I've had my eye on those super trendy padded shoulder muscle t-shirts for months now. I'd toyed around with the idea of doing a DIY version using an oversized premade t-shirt. There are a gazillion tutorials on YouTube. But I ran across a pattern that already had the pieces. It's from Sister Mag Patterns.
I wanted a substantial weight t-shirt fabric... nothing that would look threadbare in a couple months after constant washings. I picked Telio Stretch Rayon Bamboo French Terry Knit White Fabric from Fabric.com. It's soft enough to make baby pajamas!
Sewing knits can often be challenging. If not handled correctly, you can easily have a garment with stretched out seams and wavy hems. I'm going to give you some tips on how I created this shirt using the Janome Memory Craft 15000. Now, you won't have to call that wavy hem a "lettuce edge" and pretend that you meant that!
Have you ever noticed that even when you sew a knit garment and even use a stretch stitch, you sometimes hear threads popping when you put it on? Using the right thread is vital. I normally use all-purpose high-quality polyester thread. But if your seams will be taking a lot of stress, I suggest trying a stretch thread. My new discovery can resolve that. It’s called SERAFLEX and it’s the perfect sewing thread for all elastic fabrics. It makes especially the straight stitch extremely stretchable (elongation of approx. 65%) and double seam elasticity can be achieved compared to seams with conventional sewing threads. Here is a video where you can see more about it.
Use a ballpoint sewing machine needle or a stretch needle. I always use Schmetz 80/12 Stretch Needles.
This is a cute pattern, but I felt it hanged down the shoulder farther than I'd imagined it would. So, I added pleats to each side to draw it back up.
Use a walking foot if you have one. If you sew knits often, you need to invest. It's a life saver for sewing with difficult fabrics.
There's a lot of debate on what type of stitch you should use when sewing knits. If your seams will be taking a lot of stress and expanding, then you'll need to use zig-zag or stretch stretch instead of a classic straight stitch. On the Memory Craft 15000, there's a feature called Sewing Applications and it takes a lot of the guesswork out. It contains preset stitches for different applications. For sewing with my knit, I used Stretch/Knit under seaming and Medium under the seaming category.
Remember that knits don't fray, but the edges tend to roll like crazy.
I always use spray starch and press them flat.
I DIY'ed the shoulder pads...
I finished with a one inch hem with a zig zag stitch.
The pants are Simplicity 8749.