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!

basic grey 1

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!

basic grey 2
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.

graphic lb 3
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…

graphic lb 2

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.

graphic lb 1
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.

graphic lb 5

 

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.

stripe lark 1
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.

stripe lark 3

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.

stripe lark 2

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!

stripe instinct 3
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!

stripe instinct 2

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!

stripe instinct 1
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?