Friday, November 7, 2014

Complete: Kirsten Kimono Tees

Hello again :) It's been rather longer than expected or planned between posts, I'm afraid. Life's been a bit fraught of late; I've had to let go of some of the "plates" I usually try and keep spinning and concentrate on just one or two of the more urgent ones. Things do seem to be settling down now, thank goodness, so here I am with the first of my warm weather projects.

This season I've tried to start on some of the basic plans first; in previous seasons I've raced on to the more exciting projects, and then found I didn't have much to wear them with. I'm hoping this will be a little more practical as an approach.

However, that does mean that this post and the next won't be all that spectacular for you...I've been trying out some different basic summer knit top patterns - not exciting, a big gap in my MM wardrobe I really felt last year - so maybe one of you out there may find the comparisons useful. Hope so, anyway!

First of the patterns I tried is Maria Denmark's Kirsten Kimono Tee, a free PDF downloadable here. This is the only one I'll show this post, because I got a bit carried away playing with it.

Just in case you haven't come across this one, Kirsten is a short kimono sleeve knit top, with boat neck self fabric band. It's just three pieces in total and only uses about 80cm of fabric, so it's a pretty quick and economical option. It's intended to be fitted over the bust and then loose over the waist and hips. Going by the measurements given, I cut out an XS using the striped knit left over from my first Plantain tee.

As muslins go, it's a pretty wearable one which always makes me happy. It doesn't fit on me the way it's supposed to, I think; mine's loose around the waist and a bit snugger at the hips than the pattern notes suggested, but I actually don't mind that - in fact I usually feel swamped in too much volume. This is loose enough to feel comfy without being slobbish.

The pattern itself was very simple to put together, and is finished at the hems with a twin needle. One thing that surprised me was that there's no piece given for the neckband. I confess, I was irritated a little by this at first, but then realised Maria the designer had done something very clever instead. She gives the formula for working out neckbands (and, I guess, all bands) so you can work it out yourself. This came in extremely useful in a make I'll post about next time, where the neckband piece didn't fit well at all. "Teach a man to fish...."

 I've already worn it a bit, but do feel the fabric, which while having plenty of stretch is quite a stiff
knit, is not completely ideal for this pattern. I think it's more suited to a drapier knit. So, having had a look through my leftovers stash, I tried making it up in the black/gold lurex knit I'd used for my queue jumper dress:

This fabric was still having no truck with the twin needle, so once again I did a narrow zigzag stich to hem the sleeves and lower edge. The neckline at the front puckers a little bit, but it's not too dire. (I'll be honest - it's pretty nasty to sew) I definitely prefer the lighter, drapey knit for this pattern; it falls nicely whereas the first version kind of puffs out.

I really like this one - and it's such a comfy way to be a bit dressy! Plus my favourite necklace likes it too...

That success got me thinking. Some may be able to pull off gold lurex for everyday wear, but I'm not sure I'm one of them. Time for an everyday casual version...

I'd noticed the join line where the A4 printed sheets are taped together when I was making the previous two tops, so I thought I'd try using that line to make a colour blocked version:

Incidentally, that's the best neckband and neatest twin needling I've ever done!

Back is same as the front, though now I'm wondering how a solid colour back, panelled front and neckband in the main colour would look...

This is my favourite one actually; it sits well, feels lovely on, and seems like it'll be a really useful wardrobe addition.

I have a few other versions in mind, but they can wait their turn. There are plenty of other summery projects to be getting on with. More on those next time :) And I apologise for all the sunglasses shots - hayfever is at particularly miserable levels at the moment...

In knitting news, I did finish the jumper for my dad's birthday, and, despite some serious doubts to the contrary in the last few rows, had enough yarn. By only 30cm.... My colourwork jumper for me is coming along nicely, if slowly, and I think my experimenting is going to pay off the way I hoped. Just in time for, er, summer :(

Finally, some of the comments last post touched on something that interested me. I'd mentioned that I pretty much keep blog content confined to sewing content, although that's an approach that varies from blogger to blogger, which was reflected in the comments. So, I'm curious - how much of yourself/your life do you share? What are your parameters for sharing?