Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Vintage Color Block T-Shirt: Stretch and Sew 309

For a while I have been intrigued by the old Stretch and Sew patterns. I've acquired a few over recent years and then recently I found one at a guild sale that might become my new favorite pattern. I always say that, right? Well that's what keeps me sewing, finding a new-to-me pattern that I really like. Actually I thought Stretch and Sew and Kwik Sew patterns were the same company, but a bit of research has told that they are not. The two companies were started by two different women in the 1960's and both seemed to focus on knit fabrics. I have about 5 or 6 of these Stretch and Sew patterns now and you can bet that I will revisit them to find some more gems. I have a top/dress pattern that you would think is a current design, so that may get sewn up soon. 

Kwik Sew t-shirt

Also this t-shirt was sewn up entirely with scraps and remnants from my stash. Which tells me a couple of things. 1) I definitely have a color palette that I stick to and 2) I keep a lot of knit scraps. For this version I wanted to make something to go along with the July challenge on the SewOver50 Instagram account, the theme was color block. So I was all in - I can never turn down a color-block opportunity. 
You can expect to see this pattern again, in fact I have been collecting old pink/burgundy/wine color cashmere sweaters from the thrift stores for the past 3 or 4 years with just this type of thing in mind. 

Here's the image of the pattern. I sewed mostly a size 38 with some grading out at the hips and the fit was perfect. Another bonus point for these patterns. Also it has kind of a high crew neck which I like in t-shirts. 

Kwiksew tshirt pattern

The sleeves were just a bit too short for my liking, so I hemmed them by adding a band, similar to the neckline to preserve the length and add about 1/4".

Kwik sew tshirt close up

Even though this seems a bit fussy from tracing to finish I think it took me about 2 hours. That is not including the 30 min or so I spent playing around with the colors. To get that last light color section in the center I did rummage around in my t-shirt drawer and finally cut a small piece out of the back of one of my old Target brand t-shirts which I just wear around the house. 

The instructions were excellent, short and to the point but very easy to follow. The seam allowance was 1/4" which worked well for those small pieces. Although I didn't follow them to the letter as I like to sew the neckband in the round. 

Stretch and Sew Instructions

Kwiksew t-shirt back

Back view. Not very interesting but it shows the subtle shaping of the t-shirt. I toyed with the idea of making the sleeves different color knits but I'm glad I just went with the base color for those and kept the color block to the sunburst area. 

Color block tee test

Before I make any color block item I play around with the colors with whatever is to hand, here a combo of colored pencils and sharpie markers. Just to see how it would look. And I decided to repeat the colors which the pattern also calls for. Not sure if I did it just as they did. I just cut them out as I went along and laid them out so I wouldn't get confused. Then it was pretty simple to sew together in order and construct the rest of the t-shirt. 

So that's the latest on my speedy little t-shirt. Up next, I've sewn a couple of summer dresses which I have had some nice chances to wear - so much better than 2 summers ago when we did so much backyard/Zoom socializing. 

I'm teaching classes in person at a couple of shops in the Bay Area, and I'm going to create a page here on the blog so I can list them as they get on the calendar. 
But my favorite class is coming up - yes, Blazer jackets! My online/live class which I did last year is starting on Oct. 4.   Here's the link to register on the Hello Stitch Studio website. 

The never-ending garden project is in the final stage, the back is complete (well is a garden ever complete?)  and the front should be done in the next week or so. Then I can rest, hahahaha, I mean rake leaves, prune shrubs and battle gophers. 

Happy Summer Sewing,

Today's garden photos - a bonanza of photos at this blooming time of year. 

Kwik sew t-shirt sunny day

I should show you some closeups of the grapevine behind me in that photo - I sewed little mesh bags to protect my grapes from squirrels. 

And below, a beautiful purple hydrangea to match my t-shirt :) 

hydrangea purple


  1. That is a really fun t shirt and a great use of scraps.

  2. Your tee shirt is very cute. My mother and I attended a Stretch and Sew class at our local J.C. Penney fabric department in about 1970.

  3. Precioso diseño 💙💜💙💜 BESICOS.

  4. What a beautiful tshirt, love your colors. Was wondering; do you sew the rays together first and then to the half circle, or some other order?

  5. Beth, you should always short skirts. It suits your proportions.

  6. Such a lovely creation. You look fabulous and beautiful in that t-shirt, the fit is perfect. Love your choice of colors and the pattern is great too. Love it.<3

  7. Love the color combo! Such a great summer shirt.