Lurex Gathered Front T-shirt

After sewing the vintage vogue dress for the past two and a half weeks, I need some quick fix sewing and Burda’s 10/2012 issue has a few knit tops which seem quick to make. I picked no. 114 which has a gathered centre front and sleeve seams.


Burda 10/2012’s knit top 114a

The magazine featured a step by step spread on this T-shirt but I spotted a few things which aren’t clear in the instruction. I’ll talk about that later.


The illustrated instructions in the magazine

For the fabric, I used this Lurex cotton jersey from MacCullouh and Wallis in London. It has tiny golden and silver horizontal lines and it really sparkles under sunlight. The fabric is quite stretchy both on the crosswise and lengthwise grain. It’s also quite thin but can be pressed well.


The Lurex cotton jersey

The top took exactly 1 day to make from cutting to hemming and here’s how it looks with a chunky belt and jeans.


The gathered front T-shirt

I followed Burda’s instruction and used Vilene bias tape to stablise the neckline, armholes and shoulders. I did a bias tape sample and checked the change in stretchiness before and after fusing. You will see that the fashion fabric without the bias tape can stretch quite a lot. After fusing, the sample still has a little bit of stretch but much less than the original sample. I should also mention that the fused sample remains soft and didn’t change the fabric’s drape much.


The fashion fabric under tension


The bias tape sample – much less stretch here

The magazine asks for the bias tape’s chain stitch to be positioned along the seam line. Here’s one thing which I think the instruction isn’t clear. The magazine’s illustrations showed the wider side of the bias tape being positioned away from the cut edge, like what I’ve done here.


Measuring the chain stitch so it lines up with the seam line

After checking Vilene website, I found that the wider side of the bias tape should be positioned on the cut edge’s side instead of what I did. It makes sense as it would help to stablise the seam allowance rather than the main body of the fashion fabric. Nevermind…

For the neckline, I did similar fusing with the bias tape, folded and pressed. I also used a tailor clapper which flattened the folded edge for easier topstitching.


The v-neck is fused and turned


Using tailor clapper to flatten the neckline

The folded neckline is then topstitched using a tiny zigzag stitch. I used width ‘1’ and length setting at ‘3’ which has built-in stretchiness in the stitches.


Topstitching the neckling

All the seams were sewn using the same zigzag stitch setting on the sewing machine as I wanted to do a test fit. Although the jersey doesn’t fray, I used serger to finish the seam allowances. As the fabric is really quite thin, I used Metter’s Seralene overlock threads in a three-thread setting. This Seralene thread is thinner than the typical overlock thread and is designed for finishing thin / fine fabric.


Mettler’s Seralene threads

I experimented with the serger’s tension settings quite a bit to avoid stretching the jersey. The differential feed was set to the lowest (0.7). Having looked at the serged edge now, I can see that the loopers’ tension should be tightened.


The serged seam allowance

I don’t own a coverstitch machine (listen Santa…) so I used a twin needle for heming which was tough as the jersey kept on tunneling even though the bobbin thread tension was set to the minimum. Oh, I should also mention that the magazine does not ask for the sleeve caps to be gathered before being stitched to the bodice. I followed the instruction, i.e. did not pre-gather the sleeve caps and was unable to ease in the sleeve which resulted in unpicking, gathering and restitching the sleeve cap.


The restitched sleeve cap and the gathered sleeve seam

The top is tighter fitting than the magazine’s photo but it does have a casual feel and is comfortable to wear. Considering this is my second knit fabric production, I’m quite happy with the result.


The finished top

The back view

I’m more confident with sewing with knit fabric now and have started making Burda 9/2012’s knit top 106. Wish me luck!

17 thoughts on “Lurex Gathered Front T-shirt

  1. It looks fabulous. So glad to see it made up in ‘real life’! I have bookmarked this top for when I finish my current loooong project ! Thanks for the tip offs!

  2. It looks great! I was actually looking at this top yesterday in the magazine. I managed to find a copy in my local newsagents. Now I just have to find some suitable fabric.

    • That’s great! I thought of using a thicker knit for this one but decided against it as the gathered front design really shouldn’t look bulky. A thin jersey seems to work okay!

  3. I think it looks fabulous! Stabilizing seams intimidates me. I love the fabric too, I would’ve never guessed it was handmade :)

  4. Pingback: Double Faced Knit Jumper | sosewlovely

  5. Pingback: Gathered Front T-Shirt « 8ppynook

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