Mar 10, 2013

The Bear Paw Shirt

Woo-hoo! I love this shirt! And so does my son. It's probably my favorite version of all the flashback skinny tee's I've made so far. With several versions under my belt (for both my kids), I've figured out what fit I like best on my son. So I made a few adjustments to get what I wanted for this shirt (more on than below). But this shirt didn't come without a price: $96. Yep. I made an expensive mistake and my machine is now in the shop. (More on that too.)
At first, my kid was a little unsure. I mean, he was used to dinosaurs. Like this and this (and one other I haven't posted yet).
But then he got pretty happy with the shirt pretty fast.
In fact, he has already worn it three days straight. Success, if you ask me!
So anyway, I made some adjustments to Rae's fabulous pattern. What were they? Well, I widened the body of the 5T, expanded the shoulder seams, and left the arms almost rectangular (instead of tapered). My son also likes longer sleeves, so I gave them an extra couple inches. (One thing he loves to do is roll his sleeves up, so it's easier when they're loose.) A couple other things I did: I sewed on the cuffs BEFORE sewing up the sleeves. I think this looks so much better. The seems, of course, matches perfectly and there's no uncomfortable smooshing going on with sewing the cuff to the small wrist after the arm has been sewn. The last thing I did to create a better finish on this shirt was apply the collar differently. I just recently noticed that Rae put in another option for sewing on the collar which hides the seam. What you do is sew the raw edges of the collar and shirt to the INSIDE of the neckline, then flip the collar over to the right side, tuck the raw edge under (pin pin pin) and sew it down. It's just like doing the binding on a quilt. And it looks great!
I'm really very happy with it. EXCEPT - and I almost forgot to tell you this - I broke a needle sewing on the pockets AND it threw off the alignment of my machine. UGH! I looked all over for ideas on how to realign the needle with the throat plate and came up empty. So I called the shop where I bought the machine 4 years ago, and they said I needed to have it professionally re-aligned. The estimate came back with a $96 price-tag, which includes a cleaning, a tension adjustment, and bringing the machine back up to "factory standards." Turns out, I needed to change my knit-friendly needle with a heavy-duty one to sew together the fur, flannel, and knit. (Oops.) And it happened with only about 2" to go until I was done with the entire shirt. (So I hand-finished the pocket.) But geez... I feel pretty dumb not even thinking about changing my needle. I'm sure the nice lady at the shop was choking back laughter as I explained over the phone what had happened. (I wasn't about to tell her I had a blog!)
Anyway, that's that. Anyone interested in a tutorial on how to do bear paw pockets? If there's enough (any?) interest, I'll put a tutorial together (haven't done one of those in a while.). I'm sure my daughter would like a matching shirt. In the meantime, I'm doing some embroidery while the machine gets fixed. I'll show you some pics in a few days. :) 
I'm linking up with these parties!


  1. Love it! What a fun idea!
    That looks like one VERY happy customer too!!!

  2. What a fun shirt for a boy! I can see your boy likes it :)
    Sorry to hear about your machine and the needle:( I am working on a dress right now, and the instruction actually suggested to change the needle when sewing the layers of fabrics. Without this advice, I would not have thought of it, and probably would be screaming at myself now! :)

  3. This is sooooo cute! I think a monster one would be cute, too!

  4. Cute blog I found ou on Happy Go Lucky Mingle with us Blg hop


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