i started sewing for myself just as the weather began warming here last year, and was on a major tank kick the whole summer. i did knit, woven, split back, dress and peplum versions of some great basic tank patterns–the sorbetto (free!), the wiksten, and the tiny pocket variety. a basic tank pattern is very adaptable and great to have. while i’m not over tanks by any means, sometimes i did have trouble with the fit despite how basic they are–gaping armholes, low cut necks, too boxy or unflattering. while i do recall getting one of those patterns tweaked just right, i decided this year to play around with a tee pattern for a change. you’ve already seen a few versions of this awesome pattern, a double gauze, a knit and a rayon, and today i have two more, my two new favorite shirts!these shirts really capture why i love this pattern so much. it’s extremely simple to sew, with clean lines. you can make tiny changes, like scooping the neckline and altering the hem as i did here, and have a really different looking shirt. perhaps most appreciated, however, is how well the pattern showcases interesting, beautiful fabrics with large and/or random prints. i am crazy about japanese fabrics like so many home seamstresses–the substrates are high quality, easy to sew and dreamy to wear. and the patterns and palates just cannot be matched on this side of the pacific, i don’t know why!
this particular fabric is “freedom garden double gauze-c-greece” from the 2014 nani iro line; i purchased it here. it’s on the pricier side of cotton, but about the same as a voile. the shipping costs are kinda killer, but what can we do? they just make cool stuff in japan.
when i first got this print, i seriously considered just hanging the whole cut on the wall. it’s so awesome. that would actually be a quite affordable art installation, come to think of it. it looks very similar to an art piece bean completed a few weeks ago, so i’m considering buying some white fabric and setting her up with a few select paint choices, which could be a fun collaboration in the future. for now, i’m very happy with the professionally made fabric–i love the bold colors (who says neon is out?!) and the whimsical, unpredictable print (bonus: no print matching!). i love, love, love this shirt.
and now, another knit version. this is my first time working with double knit fabric, which is two layers of super soft knit held together by thousands of tiny stitches, just like double gauze. this particular fabric is from the 2013 nani iro line, which i have been coveting for the entire year, but had to wait until i had a better paying job to stock up on my japanese fabrics! this too was purchased here, but you will notice it’s a few more dollars/yard, and i found the yardage was a bit skimpy. i don’t know if it shrinks a lot or what, but it was not a full 45″ across, and the selvedge is blank and at least an inch wide. a lot of patterns would not even fit on the fold, so be aware of that if you’re thinking of buying.
i ordered 1.5 yds initially, and because of the nature of the repeats in the pattern, it wasn’t nearly enough to squeeze in a scout tee. fortunately, my friend teri loves japanese fabric even more than i do and also has a legit fabric hoarding condition, so she was able to spare me an extra yard. you can see in the photo above, however, that even with ample yardage, it wasn’t possible to get the print to match exactly (look at the triangles).
if you are among the many who fears sewing with knits, this one is actually pretty friendly. because of the two layers (that act as one layer), it’s quite stable as knits go, while still being incredibly soft and breathable to wear. it’s such a fine fabric, i really wanted to pull out all the stops, and even set up my walking foot to sew the hems, which i NEVER do (a ball point needle and longer stitch length is usually fine for me). ironically, the walking foot and double knit just did not get along–the foot would not move on the fabric. sewed up great with a regular foot, though!
the only thing i’m not 100% happy with on this shirt, and which i still might change, is the bottom. for both shirts seen here, i lengthened the pattern by 3″ (i like long shirts to compensate for my short torso), and i give just a hint of waist shaping to the pattern. you probably don’t notice it at all in the woven version, but in this knit version, the added length with the slight flare at the hips gives it a weird bell shape you can see in the photo above, and the hem even waves a bit. the seam itself is straight as an arrow, but the extra fabric billows a bit at the bottom. i love the way the prints look on the shirt right now, and when i’m wearing it, i certainly don’t notice. but in the interest of having really, really awesome garments (that’s much of the fun in sewing, right?), i’m thinking about straightening the side seams a bit and shortening it maybe an inch or two. when i can bear to cut into it, i love it so.
you may be aware that me made may is currently underway, which is an opportunity for self sewers to showcase their already made garments for the month. i haven’t got nearly enough summer garments to wear every day for a month, but thought it would be fun to have my own take on the challenge, and armed with my knew wardrobe architect knowledge, sew a couple of new items for myself this month i’ve been wanting to get to. next week i’ll share my mother’s day dress, and i have more japanese fabric on the chopping block after that!