Tee with a twist

Batting off   Tomoko Nakamichi’s inspiring patterns, I’ve drafted a pattern with twisted side seams for the next one in this mini series of getting T shirts which fit.

The fabric is another from the sale rail in Myrtille, and once again it took less than a metre . Its a navy cotton jersey with elastane and printed diagonal stripes in white, light blue and mid blue.

Working Pattern

The bodice has a  cap sleeve, starting from the underarm, and the bust darts put into diagonals. The side seams twist round from back to front and front to back.


(All done on the mechanical Bernina again.)

Stay stitch neck edges.

Pin and stitch diagonal dart in the front.

Stitch diagonal seam in the front, pressing the seam upwards. I top stitched this with a double needle, but its decorative only.

Stitch the shoulder seams.

Set the folded neck binding to the neck raw edges to raw edge and stitch.

Turn the neck binding down, top stitch with a double needle through turnings.

Stitch side seams as far as the underarm notch. I top stitched these with a double needle too, but its not an essential construction point.

Bind the cap sleeves in the same way as the neck binding.

Turn up the hem and top stitch with a double needle.

Pretty quick.




Simple method of binding on jerseys

To bind curves such as the armholes or necklines on jersey fabrics I like this method.

Decide how wide you want the finished binding to be. I used half the width of the regular foot, but it can be any width you like. Cut the binding four times that width. Cut it with the stretch going along the length of the piece.

Trim your seam allowance on the garment to the exact width you’ve picked for your binding.  Where the raw edge of the seam allowance is will then be where the folded edge of the binding will finish. So you measure that – tape measure on the edge or use your binding, taking care not to  stretch it while you measure.

Cut your binding the length you just measured, plus the turnings you need to make it into a circle,  stitch that little seam, press it and fold the binding long raw edge to long raw edge.

Pin the folded binding to the RS of the garment all raw edges together. Stitch down the centre of the binding (which is why the foot width is easy!). Where you stitch will be a little bit longer than the binding, its  stretched a little as you sew.

Fold the binding up, pressing all the turnings toward the garment on the WS. From the top stitch down the turnings with a double needle. You can  place your top stitching lines so that the zig zag formed on the WS between the two rows of stitching covers the edges of the turnings on the inside.

right side is like this

wrong side

Of course, you can  attach the binding with an overlocker instead, turn in the turnings and use a single needle to top stitch them down instead.

Needs a press, but I’m happy with the fit. I’m wondering about the fabric. It turns out to be impossible to match the stripes all down the twisted seam. Does it matter? I can’t decide.










The twin needle hem is jumping out a bit here, but after a press flattened out nicely. I top stitched the diagonal seam at the top of the bodice. The twin needle top stitching there did not lie flat on the first try. I pulled it off the machine a bit too fiercely, and the bobbin thread tightened up, squashing the end of the seam into a ridge which wouldn’t ease or press out. I had to rip it but the second time remembered a tip from a member of The Sewing Forum,  useful if you have no  stabiliser to hand. Till roll!

emergency stabiliser

About jay

I design and draft patterns
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