Long Sleeve Tee With Zip Up Cuffs

And another one. The next installment of the DIY Capsule Challenge is in. This week’s design project was a long sleeve t-shirt with zip up cuffs. To see how it came together, you can watch the video following this chunk of words. To learn how it came about from concept to completion, you can continue reading.

Design

In keeping with the Dark Romance mood of this capsule wardrobe, I wanted the design of the long sleeve t-shirt to be a softer. Not that much, but just a little. I attempted to modernize the camisole with a wrap function and I made a loose fitting red tank, so with this design, I wanted to add a feminine touch.

As I was pulling mood images for this design, I found myself gravitating towards the old black and white film noir movies. Ya know, the ones where a damsel in distress walks into a detective’s office and initiates a series of sequences that will turn the detectives life on its head… Yea those kind of movies. Only this time, the damsel isn’t corrupted. Instead, she’s the one that gets lost in the idea of love. More so...trapped in the idea, leaving her in a dark world, all alone.

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The fabric I made the shirt out of is a black and white knit that reminds you of the black and white grainy noise on old televisions. It was a happy find that I came across.

 Fashion designer Delaya Briscoe, making a long sleeve t-shirt with zip up cuffs.

Designing the shirt, I knew I wanted it to be a little form fitting with a detail of flare. Now, I’m not much of a flare person so it had to be lowkey. I came up with an “optional” flare at the cuff of the sleeves. In a normal fit, the sleeve would cover the base of my hand, fitted. With the optional flare, I’d add an invisible zipper at the end of the sleeve and when unzipped, the sleeve would flare out a little, but not be annoying with access in fabric in the way.

Patterning & Cutting

I patterned the long sleeve t-shirt based on an old David Lerner NY long sleeve shirt that I had. The differences that I made in the pattern were making the body length longer and the sleeve length longer. I also made sure to watch the hip flare out this time because I didn’t want to end up with hip wings like I did with the sleeveless tank.

 Fashion designer Delaya Briscoe, making a long sleeve t-shirt with zip up cuffs.

I patterned the shirt in less than an hour. It was a personal challenge based on not wantign to second guess myself. I did second guess myself but for a lot less time than I normally would have. The shape of the sleeve was a concern and I felt it was a little narrow while I was patterning but I decided to follow what the reference shirt was doing. Hmmm, sometimes a second guess could be a good thing.

Cutting was basic and easy. I had just enough fabric to pull everything off so there was no room for error.

Construction

I must say that this construction was pretty smooth. Knowing that it was a little more basic than the sleeveless tank, I expected to be done pretty quickly. Thinking about putting in the zippers was the only thing that made me a bit weary.

But first, the neckline. So, I’m not good with knit necklines. With the first attempt at the neckline, I used a cross grain strip (strip cut against the grain of the fabric) that was meant to be the neckband, but because it was too wide...and frankly not rib...the neckline didn’t relax. Infact, the band stood up. Definitely not what I wanted. I didn’t take out the band to redo it because removing an overlock seam is dreadful. I figured I’d fix it later, which I happily did. I ended up folding the cross grain back under the shirt and top stitching with a single needle stitch from the coverstitch machine. It was definitely a save from the latter.

 Fashion designer Delaya Briscoe, making a long sleeve t-shirt with zip up cuffs.

As for the zippers…the went in surprisingly better than I thought. Seamlessly? No. But better. What I didn’t like was the tension of the sewing machine. I didn’t figure out if it was because I sewing a knit to the zipper tape, but stitches were definitely too loose for my liking. Buuuutt, I left them there because I didn’t want to wonk up the fabric that much. I also didn’t like using the home machine for installing an invisible zipper. I used the appropriate zipper foot but at a point, the needle couldn’t get close enough to the zipper teeth. Now there are two different stitch distances from the zipper teeth.

Hemming this shirt was sssoooo much easier than hemming the sleeveless tank. The same issue did arise though, with the breaking of the thread in the same needle. I rethreaded the machine but ultimately decided to stitch slow. I think the slow speed helped because the thread didn’t break again. Yay for small victories. I did heavily pray over the machine before starting too though so it was probably more so the grace of God.

Critique

I actually love the shirt! ...I just wish it was my size! The shirt came out very snug for my body. Specifically on my arms and my stomach. If I let those two areas out, I think it would be one of my favorite shirts to wear.

The construction of the shirt, could’ve been a little better. The invisible zipper I put in at the hem of the sleeve was a little off. I couldn’t get my sewing machine at the right tension so those stitches are a little loose. Getting close to the zipper teeth was also a challenge so a lot of the zipper tape shows than it should. The neck line, even though if you watched the video, was a last minute save, it’s not the correct way to finish a neckline for a knit top.

 Fashion designer Delaya Briscoe, making a long sleeve t-shirt with zip up cuffs.

Evaluation

So far with the challenge, I’ve been doing a great job. I’ve been consistently working and posting the videos regularly but it is starting to get a little draining. You may not know but these videos are heavily cut and sped up 4x their normal speed. What you’re seeing in 10 minutes actually takes about 6 or 7 hours and the wrap cami, the sleeveless tank and the long sleeve shirt were the easier pieces of this DIY Capsule Challenge.

With the blazer, bottoms and jackets to come, I really want to take my time and give these items the respect and attention they deserve. Mainly because I really want to be able to wear these when I’m done, but more so because one of my brand pillars is quality. I can’t keep producing half ass stuff and expect you all to want to work with me. That’s not how this works.

So with that, I’ll be supplementing different content in-between these projects that’ll relate to the fashion industry, my style and self along with some illustrations. If there’s anything that you’d like to see or have any questions on about those topics, drop a line in the comments and we’ll make it happen cap’ain!