Readers Questions – 4


It's that time again where you get a chance to both share what you know, and also learn more at the same time.  Readers Questions is your opportunity to share your sewing dilemma with the So Sew Easy readers and get their combined years of experience working on your problem.

Please offer up answers to these questions.  It's OK to share links in the comments to relevant pages and tutorials, whether on your own site or someone else's.

You can submit a question, answer one or more questions by leaving a comment below, or just learn more by reading through the answers.  Thanks everyone for taking part.

Susan Asks:

Are there any good tutorials or instruction you would recommend on making a t-shirt quilt?  It seems like a good way to re-purpose t-shirts that are no longer worn, but they are costly if you pay to have them made.

Renee Asks:

I'm not sure how to fix a skirt that rides up in the back.  I'm  making this kilt style skirt and she's full in back of  the hips which causes the garment to be low in the front and high in the back. How do you fix this so the hem line is level all around.  I want to avoid cutting the bottom finished edge because it's a plaid fabric so the plaid design needs to be level at the bottom.   Thank you for any help.

Juliette Asks:


I have been asked by a friend if I can sort out a bulging zipper on the back of a skirt. My first thought was that the lining, attached to the bottom tail of the zipper was the cause, but looking again, and at a few other shirts, I'm not so sure now. Here it is on the dressform – it looks even worse when she wears it. Do you have any suggestions as to cause/solution for this problem? It's a stretch fabric.  Thanks.


Hi,  I want to make a jacket like this for a Christmas present.  I'm not accomplished enough to make my own pattern.  Anyone have any pattern ideas for this?


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15 Responses to Readers Questions – 4

  1. Barbara Keller says:

    Does anyone have a pattern for a baby carrier, the cloth kind that fits around the mother’s neck and holds the baby in front of her?

  2. Hilary says:

    I follow “Shiny Happy World” and she recently made a T-shirt quilt for her daughter and included a tutorial here:

    She also referenced a course that she says you can watch for free, but when I go to the website there appears to be a charge for it. Here’s the link – maybe you can figure out how to watch it for free!

    Hope this helps! I started a t-shirt quilt years ago and have just started quilting it. I wish I’d known about using interfacing back when I started piecing it – it would have been much easier. Ah well!

  3. Doreen S says:

    For the t-shirt quilt go to and search for t-shirt quilt. They have quite a few free patterns for them.

  4. Daryl says:

    I made a t-shirt quilt out of a variety of motif sizes because you cannot always cut the shirt to 12.5″ for instance. The main thing to know is to fuse fusible interfacing on the back of the shirt motif larger than you want and square the block up to the size that you want. You may need to add filler strips or blocks if using a variety of motif sizes. Go to my blog post and scroll down toward the end to see the quilt I made in a variety of sizes of tee-shirts for the Marathon Tee-Shirt Quilt I made to see what I mean.

  5. Robin W says:

    Susan –

    My go-to tutorial for t-shirt quilts is at You can also order your interfacing here directly. I feel like it’s only fair to order interfacing from her when she’s done such a nice job writing a free tutorial. Super simple!


  6. Theresa Diaz Gray says:

    Before you put the waistband on, add some extra length to the top Place a tape or elastic around the person’s waist and use it as a belt. You then can pull up the extra fabric from the top to make the hem straight. Actually, you probably want to do this to your muslin and alter the pattern pieces prior to cutting into your real fabric.

    My advice is the same as Foonicks.

    If you can’t find the exact same pattern, you could take two different patterns from the same company and marry them. It’s easier if they are from the same company.
    I would definitely make a muslin first. Also since this is a coat you want to use a fabric of a similar weight and thickness for your practice coat. Maybe polar fleece? I’d want to see more than one view before I attempted to make a pattern.


  7. Jolien says:

    @ Susan: If you’re really unsure about figuring out the measurements of the t-shirt quilt by yourself or just not in the mood for try & error, this pattern might help:

  8. Lori says:

    Hi, Susan, I would check out….Then Joann’s Fabric for a coupon to use for iron on interfacing….I have made lots of i-shirt quilts, blankets over the years, some using decals that are on the shirts and some just as solid colors in quilt block style. But interfacing is a must, as t-shirt fabric is a curly, shifting material…..
    Hello, Renee…well if you have material already cut out for skirt piece you can modify the making the waistband help with the curve of her figure infront with a shorter height and the back of the waistband a little taller, you can keep the hem straight for the hemline….Also if the skirt has any pleats like a kilt does, it adds to the length that the back should of been cut to, remember plaids can be matched on the sides perfectly, with the top being just a few pattern differeces on the back…I always make my skirts –a-line–ones with a curve on the back, as you have found out some of us need more fabric in back, then in front…..
    and now Juliette, how are you? the zipper when sewn in, the fabric was held too tightley…So I would take out the zipper, carefully Press the Fabric smoothly, add a interfacing, comes on small rolls to not have to pin your fabric to zipper, then resew zipper onto skirts, and remember to let the feed dogs pull your fabric, and not grap material on other side of presser foot to pull through your machine….

    Have fun everyone, sewing is a useful craft……and Joy try the Burda website, lots of styles and work by up and coming clothing designers. You just may find that coat on their website as a pattern………Thanks Deby for letting us help one another with sewing ideas, and a place to get information from others…..

  9. Karen says:

    Susan – I used the below tutorial to make a quilt for my daughter and son-in-law. I’ve been sewing all my life but never made a quilt. The most expensive part was buying the fusible interfacing – it is a necessity! I made them all the same size and used solid black fabric in 2-inch strips around them – see image example below. A quilt square was very helpful to cut out all the squares once the back was fused with interfacing. I also bought a flat sheet from walmart for the backing – they are very reasonably priced. You can also search online for extra wide fabric for the backing so you don’t have to piece it if it’s wide.

  10. Karen says:

    Renee – My mom used to make clothes for us and she did hems this way: have the person try it on; determine the length you want it in the front; mark it with a pin or chalk. Then get a yardstick and measure to the pin or chalk mark from the floor, then pin or mark with chalk all around the skirt at that measurement and hem as you would normally do. You should also have them wear the shoes that they would most likely be wearing. Unfortunately, the plaid probably won’t be even all around, but the skirt will.

  11. Janet Tarr says:

    Susan, there are lots of tutorials online. I suggest you google ‘t shirt tutorials’ and you will be spoilt for choice. Good luck.

    Renee, without seeing the garment it is difficult to advise but maybe removing the waist band and cutting the front waist edge a little lower would work. Try pinning it first to see how much you need to take off. Best of luck.


  12. Fooniks says:


    It seems like the skirt fabric has been stretched and the zipper shrunk during sewing so now the zipper is to bulky. I would fix it with ripping the zipper out and re-sewing it carefully without stretching the fabric.

    • Jules68 says:

      Thanks for your advice guys, I eventually plucked up the courage to remove the offending zipper, then put in a completely new one, in the current fashion of being exposed. It worked like a treat and my friend has hardly taken her skirt off since. Another one she gave me was solved by unpicking the lining stitching from the bottom of the zipper….easy.

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