As well as this exciting acquisition, last week also saw the shrinking of my only two wool cardigans, beyond respectable wearability. So being cold has been firmly on my mind as this stinking Winter continues therefore I thought this fabric might serve me well whipped into a long sleeved T-shirt to provide a toastier alternative to a T-shirt layer.
I have no idea what type of fabric it is, other than something between a knit and thick T-shirt jersey but with a lovely cotton-y handle. I cut the pieces out by hybrid-ing about three different patterns, all of which I had developed and adapted using 'Sew U: Home Stretch' and existing garments as a base. Actually, if I'd spent a little longer at the prep-stage, rather than trying to get it during my lunch hour with a sandwich in one hand, the neckline would have come out a little better. You can't really see it from the photos because my hair's in the way, but I find it just a little too wide at the shoulder points.
I'm not going to lie to you, once all the pieces were cut and ready to go, the actually construction only took about 20mins flat. The cuffs are finished by making a band which gets folded in half and overlocked to the ends of the sleeves, right sides together. The neckline is finished by cutting two bias strips, one for the front neckline, one for the back. I measured both sections of neckline, and cut the bias strips 2cm shorter than each measurement (this helps the neckline stay tight and not go loose). Like the cuffs, these strips are double the width that you want the final neck band to be, plus maybe 1cm for seam allowance. These strips are folded in half width ways and overlocker the front and back necklines, easing the strips around the neckline curve, making sure I matched up the CF and CB points to the midway notches I made on the strips. For the bottom hem, I just overlocked the edge and flatlocked it. Had I been at home using my sewing machine, I would have used a three-step zigzag stitch to provide a little more stretchability, but I was at work and don't have that stitch on any of the machines there. If you aren't just skim-reading this construction bit, and actually are interested in the construction method of this top but am a bit confused by my rubbish description, leave a comment and I'll try to elaborate. Alternatively, if you would like me to make a How-To with pics (like my Undies-making one), let me know and if enough peops are interested, I'll make it happen.
As I say, this top was meant to be just a casual layer, which is why I didn't go crazy with Peter Pan collars or button details, but that evening my boy and I were going out for a pre-Christmas dinner and I didn't know what to wear. I find it really tricky trying to work out what to wear to look nice and keep warm, so I decided to try this (meaning I could still get away with wearing my vest! Umm, wait, I think a vest to me is a singlet to Yanks and Aussies, but I could be wrong) with my Beignet skirt and heels, but to yank it in at the waist with a wide belt to make it look more feminine for the occasion.
To summarise, I will definately be making another version if this top if some similar weight fabric comes my way. However, I will make a small adjustment to the width of the neckline, and perhaps will make the width of the neckband slightly narrower, though maybe not. All I want to do right now is dream of summer holidays and sew pretty short-sleeved blouses, cotton dresses and high-waisted shorts, but I know my time will be spent more wisely cranking out a few of these. How is your Winter sewing going? Have you stumbled across any styles or patterns than are keeping you toasty?