Last time I shared my versions of the Kirsten Kimono Tee. This time we'll kick off with the knit top from New Look 6899, the pattern I used for my Head vs Heart Skirt (still a favourite, by the way). When I bought it it was really only for the skirt; the top didn't register as a possibility at all. But two years on, I thought it was time to try it. Because I sew knits now... ;)
This is a slightly scooped boat neck top with raglan sleeves, and I used a fine, drapey (viscose?) knit fabric from Rathdowne Fabrics and Remnants. The pattern has quite a lot of shaping, including at the back centre seam, and I was able to do the whole thing on the overlocker. (Why did I ever bother trying to sew knits on my regular machine??)
(Please ignore the dire need for ironing...) I think I stretched the raglan seams a little when sewing them, which is something I'll have to watch out for next time.
The pattern actually calls for twin needling at the hem and sleeves, which I tried to do. Unfortunately my machine wasn't having a bar of that - it absolutely destroyed those hemlines, chewing up the fabric like no one's business. (Is this normal for lighter-weight fabrics? I must research that more.) In the end I had to cut all attempted hems off. This meant for the sleeves at least there wasn't enough fabric left to turn under and try again, not without catching up the upper side seam, anyway. So instead I sewed bands to finish them off, and this is where the formula given in the Kirsten Tee was so helpful. Although since arm bands don't curve the same way a neckband does, I probably could have made them slightly longer than the given 70% - maybe 80% or so.
The hem band I kept the same width as the top itself, so as to keep the drape. Wish I'd made sure it was sitting flat before taking the photo...
I do like this one, but I've found I like it best tucked in with skirts or trousers (just not jeans...). The drapiness of the fabric gives it a bit of a blouse feel that seems to work when it's tucked in. I'd happily make this one again, although maybe next time in a fabric that can handle a twin needle.
Next up is the Tonic Tee, by Skinny Bitch, Curvy Chick Patterns, a free fitted t-shirt pattern that I downloaded back in February and hadn't got around to until now. (There's a free long sleeved, crew neck version too - also free - that I will absolutely be sewing up for next autumn/winter).
Very Important Note, that I wish had been mentioned in the instructions: As a PDF pattern you have to tape these pages together with the edges butted up flush against each other, NOT overlapping them. It's not something I've ever come across in a PDF pattern before, and since the pattern lines on the pages don't go right to the edges it does look as though they're meant to overlap. But they're not. This was extremely confusing until I googled other people's Tonic posts. I love the online sewing community...
I sewed this up in a cotton grey marle knit, that has plenty of stretch, but little drape.
I sewed the XS graded out to S at the hips, according to the measurements given, and it's a very similar fit to RTW. Again, all done on the overlocker, bar the twin needling at hems - no trouble this time!
It went together very easily, and was a relatively quick make. Would I make it again? Well, actually...
I already did!
This one (which I cut out at the same time as I did the first, in either Blind Optimism or Lack of Foresight...lucky it fits!) is out of the same fabric as the New Look top above. At least I thought it was, but it seemed to handle the twin needle fine - on the sleeves at least. The hem was so appalling I couldn't even bear to photograph it. Nothing for it but to cut it off. If I could have burned the offcuts I would have. Once again, the band solution came to the rescue.
There was one other change I made to the first Tonic, and that was the neckband. I think you can tell in the photos that the second sits a bit more nicely. Go back and check. I'll wait :)
When I sewed the grey neckband on, I was surprised to see that it wasn't sitting quite flat, since the rest of the top was going together so nicely. I went back and checked the instructions and saw this:
Notice how in the illustration there's overhang at both ends? I'd completely missed that the first time around.
Now, it feels a bit ungracious to say this when the pattern is free, but I don't see why the pattern piece can't just be printed at the right size. Since there are no markings or notches, it really is guesswork to get it right. I just tried to make my pinned pre-sewn version look similar to the diagram and hoped for the best.
When they're laid out flat together, you can see the difference:
It's really just a minor quibble I suppose, because I really do like the fit overall - these are going to be great summer basics, and being fitted, will sit very nicely layered under jackets or cardigans in cooler weather too. It's a good go-to pattern, and will get plenty of use down the track I think.
To wrap up, here's the last of my summer tees - ironically this was the first I made, and that back in May. This is the Style Arc Riva Raglan Tee.
I think this is meant to be a sporty style tee. I also think I'd like it much better in a different fabric, though to be fair, this was only ever intended to be the muslin. It got pressed into service during MMM.
This is a knit with plenty of stretch (it has a cotton lycra kind of feel, but I'm guessing here) and is also extremely stiff. Since it's a bit more voluminous than the other patterns here, that makes it quite sticky-outy when worn (There's probably a proper sewing term for that, but I don't know it, sorry...)
Also - and this is the first time I've ever wondered about the drafting on a SA pattern - the neckband seems a little long because it just doesn't sit flat, You can see that in the photos above. And if not, you can definitely see it in the one below:
This one doesn't really get worn out of the house, unless it's to go walking the dog, or picking up kids from the bus stop. I think a future version would be vastly improved by using a softer fabric and fine tuning the fit of the neckband. It does seem to be asking for a second chance, especially with contrast sleeves... Maybe some time.
Anyhow, that's it for the summer basics (unless I can find a singlet or tank pattern I like in the next few weeks). Apologies for the mercilessly long post; I won't inflict such a long one on you all again, I promise!
The best thing about sewing my basics first, rather than diving in to the exciting ones, is that now my more interesting projects will all have something that goes with them...no more wardrobe orphans :D
Next post, one of my favourite makes ever!
PS: Can anyone suggest a good singlet /tank pattern?? Thanks :D