Introduction: The Billy Cardi Tutorial
Ribbed knit is so stretchy and forgiving and COMFY!
2-3 yards [depending on size and width]
A long sleeve t-shirt pattern OR an old t-shirt cut along the seams
Butcher or freezer paper
just a bit of courage ;)
Let's talk thread. I used a regular polyester for the primary sewing
For the decorative stitching [more on that later] I used Sulky thread which you should not use for seams as it is a very weak thread, but provides some shine to your stitches. I used a shade darker for even more of a statement, but you can certainly use the same thread as your seams if you'd like.
If you are using a t-shirt, trace each piece on some paper, adding 1/2" seam allowance around the whole thing. This is basically what you should end up with:
Next, we're going to add some COMFY changes:
lengthen the sleeve 2-3 inches
extend the front neck up at the stitching line (1/2" from edge) and out 8-10" and down
extend the back neck up and out and down to other side
This might hurt as you do it and cause great anxiety, but you're going to put WRONG SIDES TOGETHER for the shoulder/neck seams. Stitch with a very slight zig-zag [as in you can barely tell.] This seam allowance will be visible on the outside of the garment. Trim seam allowance to 3/8" on both sides and use a decorative stitch on the very edge.
Test this decorative stitch on a scrap! Trust me, those decorative stitches are torture to remove. Trust me. Really, just trust me on this one. I chose a blanket stitch [#9 on my machine.] But I also increased both the length and width of my stitch to the maximum to make it a big stitch.
I would suggest not using a plain zig-zag stitch, though. We want it to look homemade in a good way. Next stitch the sleeve cap in with RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER in the arm hole. No need to do a double basting stitch on the sleeve cap. Just pin in place and stretch it to fit. Your final stitching will be the sleeve, keep your needle in the "down" position at the armpit, pivot and stitch the side seam. Repeat on other sleeve/side seam.
All other edges are left raw and provide some nice draping effects.
You can wear it belted and open, or pinned shut.
And those extra long sleeves? So comfy and warm.
For more photos, check it out on my blog, no big dill.