Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Variations on a Tee # 8: Kwik Sew 3915 Collared Tee

KS 3915 Thumbnail

Now that Kwik Sew has been taken over by BMV, it is included in the sales so I have acquired a number of their patterns.



One of the patterns I picked up is Kwik Sew 3915, a t-shirt with two neckline options.  I've seen this style of collar in a number of ready-to-wear pieces, including this St. John's Knit ($295).  You know how much I love t-shirt variations, so I had to give this one a try.  I used one of the athletic knits from Fabric Mart.  This is a really nice thick and beefy knit with good recovery.  I almost regretted using it for regular clothes because it is definitely athleticwear-worthy!

Full disclosure:  it's unfair to call this a review of Kwik Sew 3950, because the only thing from the KS pattern in the finished top is the width of the collar.  I used the body of my TNT tee so I wouldn't have to worry about fit, copying the KS neckline onto it, and then ended up altering the neckline substantially.

KS 3915 Pattern Printing Error (?)






There is a printing error, or at least a printing weirdness, on the pattern sheet.  There are two neckline choices for the top; the collar is View A.  So I traced and cut where it says "View A" and has arrows pointing to the various sizes.  When I went to sew the collar in place, it wouldn't fit.  Then I realized that I shouldn't have cut where the arrows point to View A, but where "View A Neckline" is printed.  I was pretty annoyed.

KS 3915 As Drafted









As drafted, I am way not into the KS collar.  The neckline is super high, which is not a look I find flattering or comfortable.  After sewing it up as drafted I thought about trying to live with it, or maybe adding some hand gathering to the collar to widen the neck opening, but finally decided, Nope, not happening, and ripped off the collar.

I went back and looked at my inspiration piece and saw that the neckline opening in the body of the shirt was much lower than in the KS.

I cut a new square neckline in the front with the bottom of the square at the lower edge of the bridge on my bra (the collar fills in the space, raising the neckline higher; there is no chance of bra show-through).  I made the lower edge of the neckline opening 2 1/4 inches wide, based roughly on the proportions in the St. John's tee.  The folded Kwik Sew collar, minus 1/4" seam allowances, is 3 1/2 inches wide.  The St. John's collar seems softly gathered into the opening, so I kept the original width of the KS collar.

The resulting neckline is 28 3/4 inches long.  Based on my pattern measurements, the KS collar is drafted to be about 90% the length of the neckline.  However, I felt that even this gentle gathering was creating pulling lines, as you can see in the photo above.  Every line is very obvious in this shiny fabric, even though I turned the shiniest side in.  So I cut the St. John's collar the full length of the neckline.

Staystitch and Clip to Inner Corner

I folded the collar in half (wrong sides together), gathered the lower edges, and stitched it into the neckline.  I had a hard time getting the square corners perfectly square.  I did my usual inset square method of reinforcing the inner corner and then clipping to the seamline.

Straighten Inner Corner to Stitched

Once it's clipped, spread it out flat for stitching.

Finished Collar Outside

The corners ended up a little rounded but I can live with it.  There are 5 layers of bulk with the double layer gathered collar laid over itself and the body of the top, which also makes the corner difficult.  Here is a view of the inside.


Front







This top was a comedy of errors to make and took way too long for a t-shirt.  However, the final result was worth it.  It makes for a dressier, more sophisticated tee and now that I've figured out how to do it hopefully the next version will go a little quicker!  I can see myself with a whole wardrobe of this style.  It will be a nice change from my default cowl neck (not that I don't have one of those to show you soon).

Side

The only thing I will change is to consider lowering the front neckline opening even more.  I feel the collar still comes a touch high.  However, this fabric is thick and quite substantial; a lighter-weight fabric might relax and open a little lower.  Cidell found some more of the "major brand manufacturer" base layer fabric and kindly picked some up for me in both black and navy.  The only decision I have to make is which color to choose in making a fancy summer tee!

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

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Thank you so much for the good thoughts for my dad.  It looked really dire for several weeks, but then it was determined that he had an undiagnosed infection.  Once they began treating that, everything turned around in a truly miraculous way.  He has been in a hospital or nursing home for over a month now, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel (we hope).

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Alert:  Sew Confused is giving away a copy of Cal Patch's patternmaking book.  Visit her blog for details--it's supposed to be an awesome resource. 

28 comments:

Kelly said...

So glad to hear your dad's doing better!! What a relief for you. Great job on this tee - I'm sure it will be a workhorse.

sometimessewist said...

It was worth the struggle; the change you made is perfect! The finished top looks awesome on you.

The neckline as drafted looks so...strangle-ful. It really makes me uncomfortable just looking at it...

Really glad to hear your dad is doing a bit better.

Clio said...

Ooohhh Just looking at the "as drafted" version makes me feel like I can't breath! What an improvement your version is!

McVal said...

Nice adjustments to the tee!!

I'm so glad your dad's health is better!

Anonymous said...


Very nice. Your perserverence paid off,
Terry

Adelaide B said...

Happy to hear your dad is doing better!

Yeah, the original neckline as drafted is crazy high. This version looks much more comfortable.

Far said...

Very Nice, And Paired With The Skirt-Perfect!
Glad To HeAr Abt YouR daD...

Tracey said...

Really nice tee snd the color really suits you! How would it work if the collar was a woven fabric so it's looks like a built in scarf?

Very good new about your father. I hope he continues to get better.

couturearts said...

Good save! It is amazing to me that the before and after are even the same shirt.

catspec said...

So good to hear your father is on the way to health! Your top is lovely. The road to making it wasn't a snap, and you persevered! Nice! :)

M Kate said...

So glad your dad is doing better now! Truly good news. And you did a great job modifying that neckline. I could see that collar flowing nicely in one of those tissue knits for summer. Well done!

Anne said...

Very flattering on you, and perfectly styled with the skirt and boots!

Amanda S. said...

I missed the post where you revealed your dad being sick, but am glad to hear he's doing better! I like this tee a lot, especially the changes you made.

aleah said...

Thank you for the really detailed rundown of how you did the collar - I actually think I might be able to draft this myself now (and I'm not a drafter at all). I love this type of collar, but agree that it's not the tight, high Kwik Sew version that I like as much as the St John's. And it doesn't look as complicated as I assumed it would be, hooray!
I'm so glad your dad's doing better too!

Joy said...

Glad to hear your dad is improving!

The neckline is very pretty! And an improvement on the first neckline, for sure!

I had to laugh at how of much of the pattern you actually used. I find myself doing that more and more. I'm sewing a Colette dress right now, and instead of painstakingly applying all the little alterations I've accumulated, I superimposed on the bodice the entire top sleeve/armscye/shoulder section of an Ottobre blouse that fits me well.

Little Hunting Creek said...

I'm so glad your dad is feeling better. Your shirt came out great. The neckline looks much better lower

Linda said...

Nice version using the St. John's top as inspiration. I did not know your dad had been sick but glad to read that they have determined the cause and sounds like he is healing now.

Sue said...

Lovely news about your Dad. I love your top and enjoyed reading how you re-created your inspiration piece.

Sue said...

Lovely news about your Dad. I love your top and enjoyed reading how you re-created your inspiration piece.

Mrs. Micawber said...

What a relief about your Dad. I bet he'll be glad to get home!

Great job on the top, and that fabric looks wonderful. I like the slightly rounded corners too - I think if they were perfectly square there might be a tendency to pucker out. As it is the collar looks perfect.

Frances said...

Hey Trena, Glad to hear your dad's doing better. This neckline is very similar to Burda 2011-10-111, although maybe not as shawl-y. Perhaps it could help with depth though, since burda always has such low cut tops.

Kristy said...

What a relief it must be for you to have your dad on the mend. Good save on the top - the St Johns version is lovely and a good candidate for a knock off

Vicki said...

$295 for a T? What's it made of - goodness. Good save on your KS. And good news about your dad. Hope he continues to improve.

Paula Gardner said...

Thanks for linking to my blog giveaway. Sorry to hear your dad hasn't been well and glad to hear he's on the mend now.

Stephanie Farinelli said...

This looks perfect! I'm glad your father is on the mend. Take care.

emadethis said...

I'm glad your dad is doing better.
This is a good save--how odd that the original would be drafted so high--your version is a great deal more flattering. I think the proportions of where the collar sits somehow works better.

handmadebychris said...

I am so impressed with the way you just redraft patterns! I am a complete idiot making changes to a pattern, so I have stopped to even try. I like the way you have changed the collar - and I agree, maybe if you made it even lower, so that the bottom line comes towards the bottom of the bra-line that might look good as well, especially for a summer option.

Seraphinalina said...

I'm so glad to hear about your Dad feeling better. Must be a weight off your shoulder to know he's improving.

I LOVE that top. What a great way to make a simple tshirt dressy and work appropriate.