February Wardrobe Basics

When Stef announced February’s theme I knew I’d be taking part!  I love stripes of all shapes and sizes – and directions!  I had thought the best thing to do would be to combine last month’s denim jacket and the stripes from this month – in the denim jacket!  The denim I have has a herringbone pattern, so effectively, it’s stripes, right?  I managed to get the second toile of the pattern fitted and checked earlier this month, but as I was too busy making coats, didn’t make the alterations to the pattern.

I then got distracted with other striped fabrics!  I love stripey tees, so decided I’d have a few new ones for the summer.  I started with a piece of organic cotton lycra from a local store – white with narrow black stripes.  I knew I wanted to make the Basic Instinct Tee from Sasha at SecondoPiano.  She has a clever formula on the pattern that helps to line up all the stripes on the shoulders and side seams – if you have a stripe pattern of the correct repeat.  Thankfully, this stripe fitted the 6mm repeat, and my shoulder seams are just perfect!

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Organic stripe jersey in the Basic Instinct Tee
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The most perfect shouldeer seam stripe matching ever!!!

Then I got stripe-happy and ordered some fabrics from Montreux Fabrics and cut another Basic Instinct Tee from the black and white stripe.  Unfortunately this pattern repeat wasn’t suitable for Sasha’s clever formula, so I had to choose between lining up the side seam stripes, or the shoulders.  I couldn’t have my cake and eat it too.  But I tell you, keeping stripes lined up on viscose jersey is tricky!  I ended up using a ton of pins and then basting by hand.  Machine basting just didn’t work, the stripes all jumped and danced around and got all out of balance.  If you have a machine with a walking foot you just might be better off!  Anyway, I was satisfied with the matches I got, and more than happy with another comfy Basic Instinct Tee.

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Another Basic Instince Tee

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For my third tee, I chose the Stellan Tee from French Navy.  I like the boxy shape for the summer, and the curved hem is a cool detail.  The fabric is viscose jersey again, but has more weight than the black and white.  I decided to try to get all the stripes lined up on this one, and marked the intersection of the shoulder seam and stripes on the pattern so I could match them.  And it worked!  There is only one stripe on the shoulder because of the pattern repeat and the angle of the shoulder, but it doesn’t matter, it lines up!!

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the Stellan Tee
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Just one matching stripe, but I can live with that!

So – I have managed to fulfill the challenge brief and stock up on good tees for the summer, but I still want to get that denim jacket made….  if there’s time!  These three tees also tick the box of the three tops required for the Great Module Sewalong.  I made a pair of trousers to go in the module, but although they’re comfy and all, they aren’t right.  Why?  Well…  Let’s leave that for the next post, shall we?

In the meantime, let’s see if I can get that denim jacket done by the end of Saturday!!

 

A Monochrome Selection

I have tried to inject colour into my wardrobe, but I keep adding more of the basics, black, blue, white, beige and grey.  I guess they’re just too easy to use!  Speaking of basics…

I’ve added two Basic Instinct Tees to my summer collection this year, one I made just before heading off on holiday, the other I made just last week.  This is a tee shirt pattern I really like.  It’s loose enough to be comfy without being tent-like but still has shape, and made in a viscose jersey – it’s heaven to wear!  I like it for all those reasons and more.  For me, it’s the perfect design for wearing while gardening!  Sleeves that cover the upper arm and prevent sunburn, crew neckline that doesn’t allow flashing when bending over and keeps the sun off delicate décolletage and back neck areas, and long enough to tuck in without popping out.

My first Basic Instinct tee this year was made in black viscose jersey – I think I bought it from Fabworks.  The fabric was what remained after making Daughter No 1 two long sleeve tees in December, and was just enough.  It’s lovely to wear, I love the feel and flow of viscose jersey, and in basic black, what’s not to like??  Then last week, I made another.  This time in pale grey marle viscose jersey, again, I seem to recall I might have got the fabric from Fabworks, but it may have been Croft Mill Fabrics – honestly – I cannot remember!

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It’s such a quick and simple tee to make, even with a floaty viscose jersey.  I just love it, I need more of these in my life.  Maybe I’ll find an actual colour to make one in!  I think I’ll have to go down a size now, but the three I’ve made so far will still get use – lots of use!

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Basic Instinct Tee on the allotment

Next on my round up of recent monochrome projects in another LB Pullover from Paper Theory.  I went down a size this time, this is a size 14.  I had been innocently browsing The Textile Centre’s website sale page when an interesting geometric ponte jumped out and hit me in the face, at £2.50 a metre, it was begging me to buy it!  So I did!  It’s a border print, solid black with this grey and white broken geometric print running parallel to both selveges.  And the print is soooo nice!  I took my time deciding where to place the print, it was too easy to pop it straight down the middle.

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LB Pullover from Paper Theory

In the end, I decided to run it down the right of the pullover, as I wear it, but right over, with only some of the design coming up to the centre front.  Then I placed the neckband to be in the same position, and cut the back so the design is mirrored.  That was the easy part.  The sleeves are wide enough that unless they are centered on the centre of the fabric, the all black part, they catch the design.  I didn’t want the design running down the centre of the sleeve, and didn’t want a lot of it there anyway.  I also didn’t really want to “waste” fabric by cutting both sleeves down the middle of the metre or so that was left…

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So I went with just a small section of design on the front part of the sleeve, closest to the underarm seam.  This was the sleeves are still part of something, but not covered in geometric print, thus taking away from the design on the body pieces.  I think it’s worked out rather well, and I like the result!  Only one beef – the fabric is not that good quality.  This was the first time I’d worn the pullover, I’d carried some hessian shopping bags to the supermarket, and this pilling you see is from that.  First time.  I can only imagine how much pilling will happen with regular wear and washing.  Maybe there’s a reason it was only £2.50/m.

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Sleeve details! Apologies for hiding behind the bronze fennel, my photographer had to move me away from there a few times!

Now I have some of this left, but not enough for a Toaster Sweater or a Sauni Cardigan, trust me, I tried!  But – I think there might be enough for a cropped sweater, this Burda one, for example.  I just need to dig out the traced pattern from a file somewhere – I made two of these for the girls in the lead up to Christmas 2017.

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It’s all About the Tees – Part II

More T-shirts!  These are the first of the “new to me” patterns.  I’ll start with the Grainline Lark Tee.  I bought this pattern a year or so ago, but have only made one tee from it, and that was for a friend!  I had the PDF pattern, and sent the copyshop off to the other half to print for me at the office on their nice big plotter.   It was about time to use the pattern for myself, I went with the short sleeve, v-neck version.

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Grainline Lark Tee

I traced the 12, based on my high bust measurement, and made a FBA as described on Maria Denmark’s website.  There’s only one thing that’s constantly bugging me, there is a fold of fabric that ends up looking like I need to dart it out at the armhole.  I have already done that in paper, but the little bugger is still there!  Any tips, tee shirt gurus??  The fabric for this one came from the NEC, I forget exactly which stall.  I love the graduated sizes of the white and black stripes, it’s a viscose/modal jersey, soft and drapey and lovely to wear.

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I’m really happy with how it all turned out, I have to admit I was a little worried going with such a “small” size!  But it worked!  The sleeves are the perfect length, and I like the fit on the body, especially the looseness around the waist and hips.  The instructions are pretty good, the neckband went in very well too.  I just need to remember the seam allowance on this pattern is very, very small, only 6mm!  I forgot that on the first seam, and sewed the shoulders at 1cm instead…  It doesn’t seem to have done any damage, even the sleeve head went in ok.

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The second tee for today is one I know I will be making loads more of!  I downloaded the Basic Instinct Tee from Sasha at SecondoPiano – finally!!  I’d seen lots of versions of the tee on Instagram (just search the hastag #basicinstincttee) and really liked the relaxed fit that everyone was achieving.  While a fitted tee is great, I like a loose one more for the summer.  I had one more blue and white striped jersey from Montreux Fabric to use, this one has a cool double thin white stripe on a navy blue ground.  The fibre content is polyester/viscose, I try not to buy polyester, but the stripe was too good to pass up!

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Basic Instinct Tee

Sasha has written brilliant instructions, and has spent a lot of time making sure her tee can be made with lots of different stripe patterns, and that those stripes will line up everywhere.  If you take the time to do it..  I have to hang my head and say I ignored those bits of the pattern and instructions and just ploughed on (I really really wanted to wear this tee – fast).  I promise that the next one I do I will definitely follow the stripe matching instructions.  The pattern is simple, round neck, short sleeves and relaxed, loose fit throughout.  It’s incredibly comfortable!  I don’t usually go for high necklines like this, I don’t like the feel of fabric so close to my neck, but this is just fine, even for a fusspot like me!

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I made the XL, no FBA, no adjustments – next time I think I’ll size down, see how it goes.  It all went together incredibly well, great instructions and very well drafted pattern.  I highly recommend this pattern, subscribe and you’re in business!  This is the perfect pattern for allotment tees, the loose fit means more comfort in the heat & the round neck keeps the sun off me.  I have to make lots and lots more!  Thanks Sasha, for a brilliant little tee pattern!

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There they go again, I just cannot keep my hands out of my pockets!

I have one more tee to show off, and I still cannot decide on my favourite!  I think I might need to get a few plain coloured tops now though, there are enough stripes!  What’s your favourite t-shirt pattern to make?