Feathers Flights // Sewing Blog: Sewing the Same Pattern with Different Fabrics (and a reason to pre-wash your fabric!)


Sewing the Same Pattern with Different Fabrics (and a reason to pre-wash your fabric!)

I've been making myself a bunch of v-neck tees recently because that is all I wanted to wear throughout the summer. It's just my luck that now I have finished it's getting cold, and I'll need long sleeved shirts. By the time I get some cold-weather clothing done, it'll be spring. 
Anyway, I used five different fabrics and had very different results even though I was using the exact same pattern. I wear them all, but prefer some over others. I thought I'd share my fabric comparison to show how different fabrics react even when treated the same.
For all of these tees I used the Union St. Tee (affiliate link). I know I've been using this pattern a whole bunch lately, but I've really needed some tees, and now that these are done I'm moving on to other patterns. (I'm currently cutting out a woven shirt right now!) I'm trying to focus on slow sewing and using a pattern more than once. Here are my pattern alterations:
  • Size small lengthened at the waist by 1"
  • My right shoulder has a sloping shoulder adjustment
  • I raised the necklined 1/2"
  • I shortened the sleeves 1"
  • I took a little bit from the side front at the hem since most of my hip measurement is in my backside.

I laid out the tees on top of each other and lined up the sleeve seam to compare lengths. There's probably a 3"-4" difference from the shortest to the longest. The peach and the floral tees shrunk in the wash; I've never had that problem with knit fabric before so I was very surprised.
White Graphic
Cotton Spandex Jersey - that shrunk in the wash
Rayon Spandex Jersey - that shrunk in the wash
Cotton Spandex Jersey - that did not shrink in the wash
Here's the comparison of me wearing each tee. These were all taken on the same day in consecutive order. I'm wearing the same pants, underwear, and shoes. You can see a big difference in how they fit me. The gray tee is the softest with a really nice drape. The turquoise, white graphic, and peach have the best thickness and are the easiest to sew. The white graphic has hardly any drape at all. The looser tees are great for fitted bottoms. The fitted tees I wear with both loose and fitted bottoms. The gray and the turquoise are almost too long. The gray and the floral have less recovery so the necklines are lower. I often am adjusting those during the day because they feel too low.
The necklines came out differently also. The gray and floral have lower and more open necklines while the others are higher and have better recovery.
I hemmed the tees with a twin needle and had issues with tunneling on all of them except the thicker cotton spandex interlock fabric of the white graphic tee.
I wear most of them half tucked at the front because they are either too long or too short. I do wear all of them, but I'm going to do something to the floral and peach tee to lengthen them slightly. I don't like how short they are and was really surprised that they shrunk so much in the wash.
Similar Jeggings, similar Keds Striped Boat Shoes


  1. I love this comparison! Also, I can't wait to use that floral! Now I know to wash it first!

  2. This is totally one of those topics that you know happens, but rarely have a chance to prove! It's amazing how much things can shrink while washing, and how differently (similar) fabrics can behave whilst sewing. P.s. they all look super cute on you still...

  3. Great post! It's always insightful to see the same pattern on other bodies, but it's even more useful seeing how the same pattern makes up in diffrent fabrics. I should try this with my Concord tee.

  4. Great comparison!! My first union st tee came out short but the ones I lengthened are almost too long. I recently realized the shorter one is perfect for wearing with skirts! To raise the neckline did you just remove some extra from the neckband?

  5. So interesting. Thanks for sharing how they all fit and how washing did affect the different fabrics. They all look fabulous on you!


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