Monday, November 28, 2016

Undershirts - Hits and a Miss or Two

I mentioned a short while ago about shirt extenders - or undershirts as I like to call them.  Made from cotton jersey on top with a lace trim that hangs down beneath a top or cardi.  And I love them so I made some more . . . . want to see?

White cotton/spandex jersey with a rayon print trim.  Yep, regular fabric works just as well as lace.  I made the skirt 3" longer on most of these.

Grey cotton/spandex jersey with a brown checked fabric.  I also used some pink trim on the arm and neckline.

A 'tartan' check on grey jersey with a little bow on the neckline (shorter skirt).

Apparently this is Royal Stewart tartan.  I think that it looks very dramatic and I have matched it here with black cotton/spandex jersey and black arm and neckline trim.

Charcoal cotton/lycra jersey, charcoal lace and an organza ribbon trim.  For this version I used different lace and it frayed a bit so I edged the bottom with black organza ribbon, folded it up and sewed it to the right side.  Done.

And sometimes I add a lovely little patch on the back:

Please excuse the Merchant and Mills type photography.  The weather is pretty cold right now, and I didn't fancy lots of costume changes!  I think that you can see the details a bit better as well when the undershirts are flat.

Well - how do they look as part of garments?  Let me show you :)

Here is the Royal Stewart version with a charcoal grey McCalls 6168.  I would wear this with black Peg Legs or some Tina Givens jeans.

And it works equally well with the cardi open, a pretty necklace and a scarf.

This time a burgundy cardi and my undershirt is under a light grey linen drapey top.  Pearls and a short infinity cowl made from rayon fabric and done!

I think I will be wearing these two outfits to work next week.  I remember that Carolyn from Diary of a Sewing Fanatic used to plan out a week's worth of garments including accessories (I can't find the posts now) and they were very inspirational, and such a great idea.  No pondering what to wear in the mornings.  Bonus!

So, what were the misses?  Well, with one version I used some different black lace that I think had lycra or spandex in it.

Can you see all those little threads?  I think that they are the spandex/lycra/elastane/whatever and washing and wearing had made them degenerate.  That's a shame, but I'll take this lace off and add something else so not all is lost.

Here is the other one:

It is a little hard to capture in a photograph but the neck trim doesn't lay flat (this is one of my pet peeves).  It is a matter of lovely trim, wrong application.  It looks great on the neckline of a bra, but does not have the stretch for this jersey.  Oh well.  I'll cut this off too and add a different trim and this will work too!

I'd like to think that I am 'undershirted out', but let's be realistic - that's not going to happen!


  1. I think these are great. No naked skin when moving around. I'll have to consider, but not sure what length of undershirt to make. I used to like body tops - where the top was lengthened and fitted between the legs. Only worked with stretch, I guess, but kept tops in place. As I'm tall I do have a problem with gapping between top and bottom.

    1. Thanks! I used the lengthen/shorten line on my pattern and then extended it by two inches - totally arbitrary! However, I then found that worked under most of my tops as they are hip length - but they are too short for my shorter cardis, so I may have to make a few with a shorter bodice. I wanted the length to cover the essentials when I am wearing leggings or my Tina Givens jeans as they have a dropped crotch so they are quite long.

  2. Oh wow. My head is spinning - I love these! thks for sharing such a fun garment to make and wear. I want some!

  3. Thank-you! They are so quick and easy to make - about 3/4m of jersey fabric and less than half a meter of lace. Go on, you know you want too!!

  4. Fantastic! You set me off making all kinds of Tina Givens clothes, but I've been trying to figure out what to wear under them, now that it's winter. Voila!! the answer. I have never had so much fun with clothes in my life, and it's all because of you!

  5. That's a very cute idea! I really like the Tina Givens aesthetic too :)

  6. What a great idea you've come up with for your TG layering. I luv how you've brought together a whole new style for yourself using her patterns as a base.


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