I absolutely love it! The fabric was such a pleasure to sew with: it stitched well, it was pretty stable and firm under my presser foot, and it was easy to press. It's also such a pleasure to wear: so, so soft! I also love that, while it's white, it's pretty opaque. You can't really see my very ugly nursing bra underneath it (phew!).
I have to admit that I don't have a huge amount of experience sewing with knits: in the past, I have definitely gravitated more towards wovens. So, I did question my sanity as I started the project as to why, after a bit of break from sewing, I decided to sew a t-shirt. My fears quickly disappeared as I got started, though, thanks to a well-designed pattern, great instructions (including Grainline Studio's sewalong), and choosing a very-easy-to-sew knit.
Why a t-shirt? I suppose it seems a bit of weird choice, but I don't currently have a lot of knit tops and - with my more casual, baby-centric lifestyle now - it's a hole in my wardrobe that definitely needs filling! I really love these recent looks by Jennifer Aniston and Selena Gomez. Now that it's cold, I'm planning to wear my tee with cosy long cardigans. :-)
These images (and those below) were featured in the past few months on my favourite fashion blogs. You'll find links to the original images/articles on my Pinterest board 'Things I'd Like to Make - AW17/18'.
I'm also planning to make a long-sleeved Lark Tee in our Rosalie black viscose jersey - as well as a dress in our Vivianne black and white striped cotton jersey. Here's some of the images that have inspired these (upcoming!) makes:
Ditto the last caption: find the original images on this Pinterest board, 'Things I'd Like to Make - AW17/18'.
If you're at all nervous about sewing with knits, I highly recommend Grainline's Lark Tee and our Rebecca cotton jersey (which will be coming in after Christmas in more colours): it's a great starter project! If you've never sewn with knits before, I think you'll be surprised at how similar they are to sewing with wovens. There are a few key differences, though:
- Knit fabrics don't have selvedges. Most knits come off a knitting machine as a cylindrical tube, and are cut open lengthwise so that they can be put on a bolt or roll. You can't assume that that the cut is on-grain. So, you need to lay out the fabric differently to make sure that your pattern pieces are cut on-grain. I love Tasia's instructions for doing this, which you can see here. This is how I cut my knits.
- You don't need a serger/overlocker machine - or a coverstitch machine - to sew knits! You can just use your regular sewing machine (which is what I do!). However, you do need to use slightly different needles and stitches than you would with wovens. I love Tilly's guide to sewing knit fabrics on a regular sewing machine: it gives all the instructions you need to jump into your first project! With regard to doing hems on a regular sewing machine, I love Patterns for Pirates' tips for using a twin needle.
I'm pretty pleased with my twin-needle hems (and my neckband!). For the hems, I followed the instructions provided by Patterns for Pirates to a T: I dialled up the top thread tension, chose a long stitch length, and sewed very, very slowly (which was very, very painful - I'm a bit of a speed demon when I sew!). :-)
As mentioned above, I just use my regular sewing machine to sew knits. As I've so rarely sewn with knits in the past and I've always been happy with the finish I've achieved with my regular sewing machine, I've never bothered to invest in an overlocker. However, this was before I had a baby. I have to say that I am definitely wearing more knits now (oh so comfy and easy-to-care-for!) and have a few knit patterns in my sewing queue at the moment. So, I might need to add an overlocker to my birthday wish list this year. ;-)
As I mentioned above, this was a pretty easy pattern to sew. Grainline Studio's instructions are excellent and it was nice to be able to refer to the sewalong for added advice and tips (particularly when doing the neckband).
As for the fit, I'm pretty pleased with this too. Those of you who read my previous blog post will know that I had a bit of a protracted adventure fitting this pattern. To make a long story short, I originally did what I used to do prior to having a baby: I chose my pattern size based on my high bust measurement (size 6) and did an FBA (full bust adjustment). However, the toile ended up being far too narrow across my upper chest. So, I ended up sewing another toile in the size that accorded with my bust measurement (size 10) and this fit pretty well. So I decided just to do a straight size 10. The only other alterations I did were some length adjustments, as I'm only 5' 3.5" and very short-waisted: I took out 1" between the shoulders and the armpit, 1" between the armpit and the waist, and 1.75" between the waist and the hem.
As I've previously mentioned, I'm pretty pleased with the fit. My one major niggle are the folds of fabric above the bust (if I stand squarely and make sure the t-shirt is sitting on me properly, I have folds on each side above the bust which look like the fold on the right-hand side of the photo below). I'm not 100% sure what these folds are telling me. That I need a small FBA? Or are these just an inevitable result of having a larger cup size and no darts? If anyone has any insight, please do let me know in the comments section below!
If you'd like to make your own t-shirt, I've created a 'Sew a T-Shirt' page on our website, where you'll find some suggested patterns and fabrics! You'll find this in our new 'Inspiration' section (which I'll be introducing on the blog shortly).