Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Knocking out the Knits

Gosh, June is more than half over already. Where does the time go? As you probably know, June is Knits Month on the Stashbusting Sewalong. I've recently taken a brief break to do some woven sewing, but now I'm back in the depths of the knit stash and more eager than ever.

This is a Santa Monica Tee, made from the second yard of that three yard bundle I snagged at the Tilton booth in Pullayup.

Tilton knit bundle - designed for color blocking but it appears I'm too timid
Chesneykat, who blogs at Room for Sewing, has just posted a plethora of cap-sleeve versions of this tee. I've made the pattern a couple of times before, but never the cap-sleeve view. Inspired, I hauled out my pattern and my fabric and got to cutting.

In my enthusiasm, I forgot one of the basic tenents of sewing:

Stripes + Garment = Pattern Matching, and
Pattern Matching + Raglan Sleeves = Heartache and Sorrow

I almost tossed in the towel at a couple of points. And, as is often the case when staring failure in the eyes, my technique got pretty darn sloppy. By stretching things a bit more than required for easing, I got the shoulder stripes to kind of match in the front. The back is another story.

But, since I can't see that side anyway, I'm sure the pain will fade with time.

I like the pattern quite a bit. It's well-known that I'm a sucker for a square neck, and this neckline is a bit squared off. The top has a nice shape, and the shoulder darts give a better fit than is sometimes the case with raglan sleeves. They're hell for stripe matching though.

The one thing I'm not wild about is the neckline finish. The pattern has you just turn and stitch. Each time I make this top, I plan to come up with a cleaner solution, and then I get rushed, or tweaked by pattern matching, and I just follow the instructions to be done with it. Next time for sure!

My review of this pattern is at PatternReview.com here.

My other recent F.O. is another version of the knit pencil skirt from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual.

The first time I made this pattern I was fantasizing about a version in a scuba knit print. I have to say, I'm not 100% clear on what the heck a scuba knit is but I'm going to go ahead and believe that this fabric is one. It feels like a ponte, but maybe a bit smoother. It's the most expensive piece of fabric I've ever owned. I got it at Britex, with this skirt in mind.

The good news is, this skirt takes less than a yard. It's like the cashmere scarf of sewing in that it makes a little bit of expensive material go a long way. I kind of fell in love with the print. It includes most of the colors I like to wear.

The elastic at the waist is applied in a very cool way. You zig-zag it to the top of the skirt, turn the band over and then tack it at the side seams. You don't get any of the gathering that you do with some elastic waistbands. I usually wear my tops untucked, but wearing your top tucked in or with a narrow belt are both good options with this waistband.

I'm planning to pop out another tee or two before the end of Knits Month. Possibly a pair of knit shorts too. I was working in the hot sun over the weekend and wished I had some knock-around short pants to wear.

And! On Thursday I'm signed up to take Beginning Underwear Sewing at Hart's. I've made a few practice undies on my own and they came out pretty good. I want to have someone walk me through the whole Fold Over Elastic thing though. I have some in stash, but my previous attempts have been very, very sad.


  1. Both your fabrics are pretty. I wouldn't worry about the stripes matching - I think it looks good.

  2. I love your scuba knit skirt, and your not-quite-matched top (which looks fine to me, by the way). Definitely I want one of those skirts in the strange 'I believe it's scuba?' fabric I bought. Regards Trish

  3. Cute top and skirt. I agree on matching stripes on a raglan sleeve - hard!

  4. Love the stripes on the Santa Monica T. I'd never notice the "mismatch". Your version inspires me to revisit this pattern I've also had for ages.