This is one of those fabrics I eyed at Fabricland for quite a while. I thought I liked it, but wasn’t quite sure. Eventually it made its way to the clearance section, and I picked up two metres of each colour—blue and red stripes—for whatever ridiculously low price it was going for.
And I’m glad I did, although I’m also glad I didn’t pay more.
This is one of those terribly annoying knits that rolls like crazy. It also doesn’t have much stretch, so it’s fairly easy to cut and sew (aside from the dreaded rolling.
I used some of the blue to make an ill-fated attempt at a cowl-neck top last spring. The cowl was a disaster—this knit hasn’t got the drape—but I really liked the way the rest of the shirt fit, and the “feel”, if you will. So it was only a matter of time before it became other long-sleeved knit tees.
This shirt was also inspired by this Burdastyle pattern from ages back. There are some cute versions on Burdastyle, too. But why would I pay five bucks to download a pattern when I have Lekala 5672 for free? Of course, it doesn’t have the seaming, I (again) skipped the gathering on the front, and the neckline, at least in this fabric, is not quite the signature Burda plunge. But it has stripes and the wide raglan neckline, right?
The fit of knits varies massively depending on the knit itself. This same pattern can be dreadfully loose or scandalously tight depending on the fabric. This is a “tight fitting” fabric, so the armpits ride a little high. That’s all right—better than saggy, which is how my first take on this pattern turned out. I could probably narrow the arms a little bit towards the wrists, but we’ll see.
I decided to go easy on myself and use the self-rolling properties of the fabric as a design feature on the sleeves and hem. For the neckline, I stitched on some clear elastic and turned under twice, stitching with a stretch straight-stitch. I was tempted to let the neckline roll, too, but decided against it. Just barely. I did screw up and keep on turning under past where I should have, so there’s a portion that’s turned under three times and a bit of a kink at the end of it, but picking out the stretch stitch was doing more damage to the fabric than the thread so I am leaving it.
I couldn’t quite resist the obvious combination with the Sailor Shorts for the photos, sorry. I’m sad to say that these shorts haven’t gotten much (any) wear this summer. Partly because these days I only wear shorts for beach-bumming and creek-walking, but mostly because of the fit. The rise is a little high for my taste, and only made higher by the fact that I’ve been a little, ah, chubby most of the summer. It’s only about 5-10 lbs, but my physiology puts it right around my middle, exactly where you don’t want it from a health perspective, and exactly where the shorts waistband falls. Urk.* Anyway, I’ll probably hang onto the shorts through next summer and see if I’m any more into them, but I have a feeling they’re not going to become faves. Too bad, because it really is a cute design.
It was really nice to whip something up quickly. This top took less than an hour, and at least ten minutes of that was finding the pattern. I REALLY need to organize my patterns better. I love it when I can throw together a knit top faster than it would take to shop for it. Plus a store-bought one wouldn’t have long, scrunchy sleeves.
*Incidentally, I try not to complain much about my body on the blog. It’s a pretty good body even if the tummy isn’t what she was a few years ago. But I’m not one of those people whose weight fluctuates a lot, and aside from childbearing I’ve been mostly around my preferred weight all my adult life. The excursions from this ALWAYS coincide with periods where my usual minimally-healthy lifestyle tips over into chips-and-lazing-around. This summer definitely qualifies. Now that the school routine is back on, I will hopefully slip back to where I should be. Provided I can break this chocolate-bar habit.