A new sewing project!

I barely sewed at all in 2020, mostly due to my poor health, and I missed it. Sewing may not be my favorite hobby, but it holds a unique place in my life. I feel better when I can make something with my hands.

One of the things I did last year to cope with pandemic stress and my ongoing medical issues was to focus on my strengths. I leaned harder into learning and fiction writing and kept my sense of humor intact. I’ve decided to combine a few of these strengths into one project for 2021: “Tee of the Month Club.”

Although I’m also working through the Sew Liberated Mindful Wardrobe course and the maximalist nature of this project is a little outside of that course’s parameters, I still want to do it. First of all, I’m not really a minimalist. Sure, I get that 12 t-shirts are a lot. Probably too many! But I also know that my failure rate with knit sewing projects is still pretty high. Plus, my body is an unusual-for-me (and probably temporary) size right now, so it’s not likely that all 12 tops will make it into regular rotation, anyway. Furthermore, I’m a permanent work-from-home worker now, so I don’t need as many office-appropriate garments as I once did.

This is also an opportunity to really shore up my knit sewing skills. I still make elementary mistakes! I sometimes make poor fabric choices, and I still struggle with tidy neckbands. I seldom sewed with knits when I learned to sew in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and I think that set me up for a lingering fear of stretch fabrics. Practice is the only thing that will improve my skill set and banish my lingering knit-o-phobia.

I have way too many tee patterns; I could never make all of them. I also have probably twice as much fabric as I need to make twelve tops. T-shirts are quick projects (even for a slow sewist like me), so this project shouldn’t detract too much from other, more ambitious sewing goals. But it could give me a lot of needed practice for a smaller, consistent time expenditure. I can also use this as an opportunity to work through some of my stockpiled knits.

Here are my proposed rules:

  1. No new t-shirt sewing patterns (unless they’re free or included in my Seamwork membership).
  2. Minimize knit fabric purchases by using previously purchased material when possible.
  3. No specific design can be repeated (same pattern, same details) as part of the project unless I need to make a different size.
  4. My definition of “t-shirt” can be as broad as I like. Tees, tunics, and tanks all count — and maybe even t-shirt dresses or sewn cardigans. They only need to be made of knit fabric and cover my torso.
  5. All finished tees will be photographed and posted here.
  6. Finally, each monthly make should be my actual, current size — and weather-appropriate. So no heavy sweaters in July, or making a larger size “just in case.”

I bet that last rule will be the hardest to stick with, oddly enough.

I actually have made a knit top every month so far this year and will post all three on the blog this week. Here’s to my new Tee of the Month Club!