Monday, 14 May 2018

Knit to woven: Grainline Hemlock and Penny tees

The inspiration for making some shapeless knit tees in woven fabric came about because I have a length of fantastic cream linen with flocked chartreuse spots on it.  You don't think that sounds amazing?  You just haven't seen it, or gotten to pet the spots.  So I was kind of at a loss for what to do.  Washing it made the spots start to shred.  So I wanted something that would suit the linen but wouldn't need a lot of washing.

Take 1 is the Grainline Penny Raglan tee. I'm not the first person to have made it from wovens.  My knit versions have mostly been gifted away except for the blue one with stars.  I think in a knit it should be done in something super drapey like rayon or bamboo, otherwise it's too shapeless.

However, the combination of silk charmeuse and knit sleeves worked fantastically!  This is the same size I made in the past - XS, totally not at all my measurements, but I knew my tolerance for oversized was limited.  This is very short though, which is more obvious in a woven than it was in the knit.  I would lengthen future versions.  I'm short waisted so you don't hear me say that very often...

The neckline gathered a bit at the front due to my binding and I actually like that effect quite a lot.  In order to preserve it, I didn't topstitch the neckline.  I also added sleeve bindings which I didn't topstitch, but will, because the stitching keeps flipping out.  This top has become a surprise success.  I love its breezy comfort and the ridiculous pattern is nicely broken up by the black sleeves.

Next I moved onto the Grainline Hemlock.  My first version of this was in relatively heavy organic cotton and was such a fail.  Yet again, only drapey, lightweight fabrics could save this pattern.  But first - lightweight silk, sleeveless.  This would benefit from an overlocker to finish the side seams - as usual I got caught by French seams that create an awkward V where you start hemming the sleeve.  I'm tempted to try this one with a little bit of sleeve on it.  Maybe not full length, but just a few inches worth.  Still, it's another surprise success in silk.  Because the sleeves go over my shoulders, this top looks crappy under a cardigan, it bunches up in weird ways.  But alone it looks just fine.

Also of note, I was planning to have the front pieces purposefully unmatched.  Go figure when I specifically try to not pattern match, that I end up with almost perfect matching...

The flocked spots might end up being raglan sleeves on a Penny top, but most of that fabric has been co-opted by an artist friend of mine who convinced me I should use it to make her a dress for an important gallery opening.  I reckon when an artist falls in love with a fabric, a smart person shouldn't stand in the way of that relationship. 

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