How I Was Driven to Sew My Own Tee Shirt

A green tee shirtThe Challenge

When shopping for clothes, I am forever in search of tee shirts with the perfect amount of scoop in the neckline.

Usually, I can find only tee shirts with necklines that are either:

A) entirely too high, and which cover my collar bones, or
B) entirely too low, which would require me to wear layering tees beneath them.

Since I don’t look good in high-necked tee shirts and I dislike wearing layers beneath low-necked tee shirts, I was driven—driven, I tell you!—to start sewing my own tee shirts.

The Solution

I Made a Pattern

I used this tutorial on YouTube to make a pattern of my favorite tee shirt.

A paper tee shirt pattern

I Bought Fabric

I bought a yard of cotton-polyester knit interlock fabric on sale at my local JoAnn craft store, which I prewashed and dried.

I Cut the Fabric

I laid out the fabric on my kitchen table, pinned on the pattern pieces, and traced them with a fabric marker. Then, I used my fabric shears to cut out the pieces. I labeled all the pieces and noted the wrong side of each piece so as not to mix them up.

Fabric cut into pattern pieces

I also reserved some of the extra fabric to make a neckband for the tee shirt. I used this tutorial and this tutorial on YouTube to learn how to make and sew a neckband onto the tee shirt.

I Sewed the Fabric

I pinned the pattern pieces wrong sides together and sewed them together using my very basic sewing machine. (It’s a Singer Advance.)

Because I was sewing knit fabric, I used a ball point needle, which is designed to more easily pierce the weave of knit fabric. And again, because I was sewing knit fabric, I used stitches that stretch. I used the overedge stitch programmed on my machine to sew the tee shirt seams and I used a narrow zigzag stitch to sew the neckband onto the tee shirt.

Then, I switched to a twin needle, and hemmed the sleeves and the bottom the tee shirt. Here is a tutorial—and here is another tutorial on YouTube—on using a twin needle.

I Made a Tee Shirt!

Here is the finished tee shirt. Note the perfect amount of scoop in the neckline!

A green tee shirt

Thoughts on Love

I came across this eclectic collection of thoughts on love and marriage in my quote file yesterday.

A quotation about love

“What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness.”
—Leo Tolstoy

A quotation about love

“Under this window in stormy weather
I marry this man and woman together;
Let none but Him who rules the thunder
Put this man and woman asunder.”
—Jonathan Swift

A quotation about love

Early to bed may make you wise,
but staying out late gets you more guys.

A quotation about love

A quotation about love

Pumpkin Seed Powder

The Challenge: Amazing Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted pumpkin seedsPumpkin and squash seeds are a healthy and nutrient-dense food rich in minerals. In fact, pumpkin seeds made the cut and are listed in the book The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden.

Unfortunately, I do not readily use or eat whole roasted pumpkin and squash seeds. Happily, I found a solution!

The Solution: Pumpkin Seed Powder

The best way for me to use pumpkin and squash seeds in my everyday cooking is to roast the seeds, grind them into powder in my spice grinder, and then throw the powder into everything from smoothies and green drinks to soups and hot cereals.

How to Make Pumpkin Seed Powder

Raw pumpkin seedsWhenever I cut up a pumpkin or squash, I separate the seeds and set them aside in a bowl. Then, I wash the seeds in the bowl and rinse them in a fine-mesh strainer in order to get rid of as much goop and strings as possible.



Roasted pumpkin seedsNext, I grease a tray with olive oil, place the seeds on the tray, place the tray in the oven, and roast the seeds at 250° F to 300° F until the seeds are dry. It’s helpful to stir the seeds around on the tray occasionally to keep them from burning.



Whole, roasted pumpkin seeds in spice grinderThen, I place the seeds in my spice grinder in batches and grind them into a rough powder, which I store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

I’ve used the pumpkin and squash seed powder in smoothies and green drinks, I’ve sprinkled it as a topping on soups, and I plan to add it to hot cereals, sweet breads, and cookies.

Ground pumpkin seeds in spice grinder






Pumpkin seed powder (ground pumpkin seeds)