Toddler shirts as far as the eye can see

Last month I decided it was finally time to learn to use the serger I’ve been borrowing from a friend. Toddler shirts are a great starting point because they’re simple, cheap, and still have a few challenging elements.

I made all of these these using the Titchy Threads Rowan Tee pattern, which can be purchased online and printed on a home printer. The pattern includes a bunch of different sleeve and neckline options that you can mix and match.

The first one I did, below, I used my normal sewing machine and a zigzag stitch. It came out great.

This is her "Cheese" face
Shirt #1, long sleeve with shoulder stripe. This is her “Cheese” face

Next was a short sleeved shirt with stripes. I tried to match up the stripes at the shoulder but completely misunderstood how the sleeves attached. So they don’t line up after all. Oh well.

Rowan tee sewn by Kellbot
Tee shirt #2, this time with short sleeves and no shoulder stripe

The third one I made from a thrifted shirt. While serging the sleeve to the body, I managed to bunch up the fabric and some of the body fabric got caught in the knife. It’s not super noticeable, but still frustrating.

Shirt #3 from a thrifted adult tee. I didn't even attempt to line up the pattern.
Shirt #3 from a thrifted adult tee. I didn’t even attempt to line up the pattern.

My final shirt was a hooded long sleeve with a kangaroo pouch. The shirt itself went great, but I had a lot of trouble sewing the curves of the hood. It shifted around and came out off center. Next time I’ll baste it in place first.

Shirt #4 with the hood up
Shirt #4 with the hood up

I’m really glad I took the time to get used to the serger. The knife was super intimidating at first, and I still leave it down sometimes, but I love not having to trim my seams afterwards. I even started using the serger to finish the seam allowance of stuff I do on my sewing machine. The toddler loves  her new shirts so I’m sure I’ll be making a bunch more soon.

2 thoughts on “Toddler shirts as far as the eye can see”

  1. Those are all fantastic, but the last one is extra wonderful. I love the hedgehog in the pattern.

    My nine-month old loved your strawberry, yogurt, and kale smoothie recipe. She’s old enough now that I’m going to try giving it to her in pouches because she’s gotten frustrated at me for not letting her eat food on her own.

  2. Very cute!!

    I love my serger for knit shirts. The knit makes it possible to attach the sleeve “flat” which is extra helpful for those toddler-sized shirts! I still attach cuffs and necklines in the round with my regular machine.
    However the most use I get from my serger is finishing (non-knit) fabric for regular sewing. If I don’t need to clip or grade the seam, I’ll finish the cut edges with the serger before sew the seam with my regular machine.

    The best thing about a serger though is the reactions I get when people see it next to my sewing machine. “Two machines?”, they ask incredulously. As I explain the differences, you can see the caution in their eyes. Yes, yes I am crazy. And not to be trifled with.

    But then they recover and come back with the universal rejoinder: “You should sell the stuff you make on eBay!”

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