It’s so cold here at the moment, I must admit that although I am a skirt and dress girl all the way, the temperature has forced me into my jeans and jumpers rather more than usual.
Bored with always wearing the same tops I decided to make a much overdue pattern that I have wanted to sew for ages. It’s the Hemlock Tee by Grainline Studios. Better still it’s absolutely free – the lovely guys at Grainline will kindly send you a free download if you sign up to receive the newsletters on their website here . It’s a cute slouchy long sleeved tee, one size fits all, designed to be worn loose and perfect for drapey knit fabrics.
The PDF printed out beautifully, lovely clear instructions, measurements, cutting layouts and tips for sewing with knits accompany the simple pattern pieces themselves. The pattern itself only consists of a front piece, a back piece, a sleeve and a neck band. Simple. I also had fun cutting this one out when I rediscovered a forgotten guillotine that my husband has in the office. I will definitely use this again when cutting out my PDF’s.
Because of the slippery, stretchy nature of the jersey knit I was using I decided to use my rotary cutter and mat to cut out the pattern pieces. This is nice and quick and I love how neat the fabric cuts out using this technique. Also just to mention as this is a one size only pattern there is no pattern tracing to your size necessary- again a time saving winner!
I found that using lots of pins to keep things in place helped me lots with this project. Jersey is notoriously stretchy and also the cut edges have a tendency to curl over a little so use as many pins as you can to help you keep things secure. I chose to use my ball point pins so that there would be no damage to the fibres of the jersey.
This top was a dream to sew. So quick to make I couldn’t believe it. I did refer to the Grainline Studios tutorial before I started here and one thing in particular from this that I found helpful and used in my make were the tips regarding the neckband. I think I might have struggled if I hadn’t used the techniques recommended in this tutorial.
I used my overlocker/serger throughout this project. Again such a timesaver, and I love any excuse to use it! It coped with the jersey wonderfully. No stretching, nothing.
To finish off the neck band, sleeves and bottom hem I used my fancy new twin needle (ball point) on my regular sewing machine. Again I was so pleased with the result, although I was a little unclear as to whether the twin line of stitching should sit below the neck band seam or whether to stitch is so that the twin lines of stitching ‘straddled’ the neck band seam. In the end I opted to sew just below the seam line and I’m happy with how neat and finished this makes the neck line look. I don’t think it would have mattered if I had chosen the other option either. Just a preference I guess. Any way this gives a really professional finish to your work.
I do know that I will be sewing this top again for sure! The grey marl fabric that I used was only £2 from Stuarts Fabrics on Leicester Market, and what with the pattern being free this was a real bargain top!
Just to mention a couple of things that I found useful for this project:
- Ball point pins
- Gutermann polyester thread, great for knits
- Ball point twin needle
And before I go, here’s one for the cat lovers amongst you!
I love, love, love this top and can’t wait to make more. I would thoroughly recommend it to any beginner because of its simplicity and also how quickly it comes together.
I look forward to making the Scout Tee by Grainline Studios which I recently purchased but as this is a short sleeve I may wait until the weather warms up a bit. I must admit I like the look of the Moss skirt too – am definitely interested in sewing more Grainline projects soon!
Have you made the Hemlock Tee or any other Grainline patterns that you would recommend? I’d love to hear your thoughts..
Take care, and I’ll be back soon,