I don’t have a sewing machine. What I do have is a gorgeous combination yarn-and-fabric store only minutes from my house. It lured me in with the yarn, but has since made me kind of obsessed with fabric as well.

A couple weeks ago, I bought a meter of this fabric:

I think it’s the prettiest fabric I’ve ever seen, but maybe it’s just me; after all I don’t call myself Yarn Birdy for nothing.

It’s a stretchy fabric, apparently called “jersey,” and yep, I’m that much of a sewing rookie that I didn’t know what jersey fabric was until I bought it. I’m going to make a t-shirt out of it.

I did a bit of youtube and craft-blogger research (this video about t-shirt sewing is pretty good, and my favorite blog-tutorial is here), but no one on the WWW seems to have much to say about the archaic art of hand-sewing t-shirts, so, in my sewing-machine-less state, I’m going to have to do a lot of improvising. To make matters even more interesting, I have only embroidery thread and needles, so my “sewing” is going to be more like embroidering hems and seams.

Am I crazy? I don’t know, but this project is certainly making me wonder. What sane person spends weeks sewing a t-shirt, when, if she could just get her hands on a sewing machine, she could probably have it finished in an hour or two? My motivation is strong however. I really want to wear a t-shirt with all those gorgeous colorful birdies!

Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Body: hemmed, sides seamed, shoulders seamed. Sleeves: one hemmed and seamed, the other in progress. Collar: nothing, and nervous about that part.

For my seams, I used a sort of embroidery running stitch, which, in my limited experimentation, seemed to give the best stretchy but secure hold. The resulting seams look pretty clumsy and crooked… or can I get away with calling them artsy and unique?

The crazy thing is, for how makeshift and haphazard this shirt is, I’m not getting discouraged. In fact, I get more excited to wear it every single day. That’s the kind of person I am I guess: neither type A nor self-conscious, but a lover of color, birds and handmade things.

I hope I’ll have the shirt finished by Easter.

Do you sew? 
Have you ever started a crazy project in a technique you know nothing about?