This year I want to do a better job for myself and the blog of documenting how the things I make wind up being integral parts of my wardrobe rather than random disembodied garments. (Part of the whole mission to make things that do so, you know.) That objective is inspired in part by my friend Jen Beeman of Grainline Studio, who happens also to be the pattern drafter behind this great pullover, which is a modified version of her Hemlock Tee, details of which I’ll get to in a moment. It’s arguable whether this is truly my first finish of the year, though — I hemmed that blue dress the day before we left for Florida, so technically that was first, but I’m not convinced it’s finished. I think I’m going to make it sleeveless! So that will be for another day.
For now, I present you this woven pullover I’ve been talking about since October, which in this first iteration is every bit as good as I had hoped. You may recall this whole thing started when I was professing my love for my beat-up old sweatshirt and lamenting the fact of there being exactly one pullover in my closet as we headed into colder weather. I knew sewing a few woven replicas of that sweatshirt would be quicker than knitting sweaters, and time was of the essence. My thinking took a little detour when I saw that Karen Walker top with the knit ribbing, but once I was cutting muslin and working out my pattern, I found myself heading back toward my original vision, and am very happy with how it turned out. It’s a fantastic layering piece. Now that I have the pattern worked out, I can surely whip one out in under three hours. It doesn’t take a lot of fabric — this one was sewn from some scraps of an amazingly light and warm wool gauze I bought a few weeks ago (for $15!) when Elizabeth Suzann was clearing out some fabric. And it will be just as wonderful and useful in linen as it is in wool.
In this case, I photographed it with some of my oldest and dearest: my trusty Endless Summer Tunic, my 15-y-o me-mended jeans, and a beat-up pair of ankle boots. But you can see from the sketches up there how versatile it is! I can’t wait to make more.
Pattern: Hemlock Tee by Grainline Studio (modified, see below)
Fabric: Unknown black wool gauze
Cost: free pattern + $15 fabric = $15
. . .
HEMLOCK TEE MODIFICATIONS
– Re-drew the front neckline for a smaller, higher neck opening
– Straightened the sides (removed the A-line, in other words)
– Marked where I wanted the finished length to be (based on my beloved sweatshirt), then drew the cut line for front and back pieces 1.75″ above that
– Widened the sleeves an inch on each side without any change to the upper curve of the sleeve cap; redrew the underarm curve accordingly
– Sewed the shoulders, sleeves and side seams according to the pattern instrux, but with a 3/8″ seam allowance, because I’m weird like that
– Neckband is a 2″ bias strip, pressed in half lengthwise, attached (while stretching pretty aggressively) to the right side of the garment with a 1/4″ SA, then folded upwards and pressed; top-stitched in ivory with longer stitch length (3.5) and black bobbin thread
– Waist band is two pieces each 4.5″ x [the finished width of the garment + 3/4″], pressed in half lengthwise — I seamed two ends together (right sides facing, 3/8″ SA), then lined them up with the garment and marked where to sew the other ends so the circumference would match the body; then attached with right sides facing and 1/4″ seam allowance; folded down and pressed, and top-stitched in ivory, same details as above
– Hemmed sleeves to the length I wanted, turning them 1.5″ twice and stitching as close as possible to the fold line
PREVIOUSLY in FOs: 2015 Year in Review
So good, and clearly so versatile. It’s interesting to see how it works into your wardrobe. I love that a basic single size shirt pattern can be so many different things to different people.
This looks wonderful on you. You should be so proud. I have never changed a sewing pattern’s shape and it was very helpful to see the steps so clearly written. I’m not sure I’m totally sure what you mean about the underarm curve but I bet it is easier to see, if you are actually doing it. i know this is going to become your new favorite.
Thanks so much for sharing! This is beautiful, fascinating, and really helpful to others who are trying to achieve similar goals of having a useful, loved handmade wardrobe!
Love – and fabric from Elizabeth Suzann – does it get better?
This is just wonderful, Karen. It reminds me very much of an Everlane tee I bought a while ago, which also has a higher neck and a band at the bottom. But it isn’t classy like yours. That fabric, and the tiny bit of contrast top stitching, really set this apart. Well done. I want one (or two, or three). ;-)
Great work! Love your styling too. Thanks for the inspiration.
It’s perfect, Karen! Congratulations! So simple and classic – looks like something you can wear for years and years.
Your posts have inspired my love of sewing after years of setting it aside. I just finished the large Stowe bag. I have one these Bernina 730 record machines. I bought it some 30 years ago-used. It never breaks down and has built in embroidery stitches
Now if I could just find nice fabrics in person so I can actually feel them! Fabric stores are a rarity:(
I think you wear this beautifully!
i love this! i love how you take your time getting things just right! it may have inspired me to take my latest project slow…and i love how it turned out as well! thanks for the inspiration! :)
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