This is it sewing seekers . . . the last T-Shirt pattern you’ll ever need to buy! And, there’s a pattern giveaway for you to enter!! I have a lot to say about this, so let’s get started . . .
Grainline Studio’s Lark Tee is so fabulous and such a bargain. Four necklines, four sleeve lengths, 10 included sizes – how can you beat that?!? I’ve made four so far and they each deserve their own post. Today we’ll start with Tee One – short sleeves and a crew/jewel neckline!
The Brilliant, Amazing, Best T-Shirt Pattern Ever
When I taught Sewing With Knits at this year’s Sewing & Stitchery Expo, I knew I wanted to include a great t-shirt pattern. A fabulous tee is a must-sew in any Handmade Wardrobe and I found total GOLD when I picked up Grainline Studio’s Lark Tee!
This is a seriously impressive pattern!! The Lark Tee is SO well drafted, the instructions are clear and wonderful and I love the way Jen included a separate pattern piece for each sleeve and neckline.
Lark includes sizes 0 to 18 (wows!) and the sizing is very accurate to the measurements given on the chart. Jen has wisely included Actual Body Measurements as well as the Finished T-Shirt Measurements. I make a 20 in most patterns, but for Lark my body measurements fell into the 18 and, it was perfect!
Pro Tip: Measurements are always more important to follow than your “usual size” Look at the Body Measurements to find where you most closely fit. Then check the Finished Measurements to be sure there will be as much room (AKA ease) in the tee as you want.
The only adjustment I made was on the sides. The Lark waist dips in a bit, making it a terrific layering tee. I actually dip out at the waist, so I straightened the side seams and found that to be just right for me.
Knit Fabric Fabulousness
My first Lark make was in Cotton + Steel Arrows Knit, a totally yummy fabric. If you haven’t used any of the Cotton + Steel Knits yet, trust me – these are awesome!!! The best quality knit I’ve seen in years, it has great stretch, fabulous recovery and my tee feels amazing when I wear it.
Yes, you will pay more than usual for that quality and YES, it’s totally worth it. We’re not making $20 bargain store tees here. We’re making designer tees that would cost $85 to $100, if you could even find something this great! I wish I could reach through this post and put this in your hands, it’s that scrumptious! Click here if you can’t find Arrows locally.
For Lark Tee One, I cut the arrows so they were vertical on my body and I’m very pleased with that look. Lark calls for knit fabrics with “a minimum 20% stretch”. Arrows knit has 25% stretch one direction and 50% the other. So, if you’d like those arrows to wrap around your body horizontally, that will work, too!
Pro Tip: Percentage of stretch is one of the super-secrets to successful knit sewing! If need to know how to accurately check it, click here for my tutorial and a free printable.
A Jewel of a Neckline
If you’re a sewing newbie and neckline trim scares you, the Lark Tee instructions are excellent and written for beginners. Jen will help you create a lovely neck on your tee!
Pro Tip: Stretch the neck band more along the curves than the straight areas of the neckline. That’s the secret to a neck band that lays flat on your neck!
For a great finish, press your neck trim seam towards the body of your tee and top-stitch about 1/8″ from the seam line. You can use a single needle or twin needle for your hems and top-stitching. I use a Walking Foot for all my knit sewing machine stitching. It’s helpful, but not required. (Yes, I know this isn’t the Arrows fabric, but you’ll do the same top-stitching on your Lark neck.)
And, one more thing . . . I often find that a crew/jewel neckline looks and feels awful on me and I was hesitant to make this view. So, I “tried” on the pattern piece first by holding it up to me and auditioning it in a mirror. It passed, I sewed it up and it lays fabulously on my neck and shoulders. I took a crazy, no make-up, selfie on my Snowy Sewing Retreat just to be sure. Again, I’m seriously impressed with how well Lark is drafted!
Thread & Needle Magic
So, let’s talk about thread. I use Coats and Clark’s Eloflex™ Stretch Thread for all of my sewing machine knit fabric stitching. It’ magical, amazing stuff that keeps your seams stretchy even using a straight stitch. Click here if you can’t find Eloflex™ in your local fabric store. Click here to learn more about Eloflex™.
Most of the time, I use a Schmetz Stretch Twin Needle for my knit fabric hems. A Cover Stitch Machine has not appeared in my sewing spa yet, and the Stretch Twin Needles give that lovely, “did you buy that?” look to my hems. I use a 4mm width for sporty looks and a 2.5mm for a dressier look like my Arrows Lark Tee. If you can’t find Schmetz Stretch Twin Needles locally, click here for 2.5 mm and click here for 4.0mm.
Pro Tip: Click here for another super secret to gorgeous knit fabric hems!
The Path to Lark Tee Bliss
The photos in this post were taken at a Mercedes dealer in Tacoma WA. So, true confession, that’s not my ride next to me! Hubby and I were at Rags, a fabulous wearable art show and it was a beautiful day for pictures. Afterwards, we visited Tacoma’s amazing Point Defiance Park and I found that my Arrows Lark Tee works well on a beach with a husband and a terrier, too!
Such bliss in a tee doesn’t happen often, so here’s what you need to do . . .
- Get the PDF download or printed pattern and follow along in the next week or so for the next three tees. I’ll include my suggestions and tips and you’ll be ready to sew your own!
- If you haven’t subscribed to The Sewful Life yet, you can do under the Search box on the sidebar by email or on Bloglovin’, so you won’t miss any posts.
- If you’d like to know more about the basics of sewing with knits, click here for my post on the Sewing & Stitchery Expo blog.
Enter the PDF Pattern Giveaway!!
Jen from Grainline Studio has generously offered to sponsor a giveaway here on The Sewful Life and one of you will win a PDF download pattern of the Lark Tee! Sew exciting!! The winner will be chosen in a random drawing at Noon Pacific Time on Friday, May 4, 2018. You can enter more than once in several different ways.
- Leave a comment on this blog post and all of the Lark Tee posts on The Sewful Life.
- Watch for my Lark Tee Giveaway posts on Instagram, tag a friend in a comment on each to enter.
- Watch for Lark Tee Giveaway posts on The Sewful Life Facebook page and comment on those posts for more entries.
More soon!! Hope you win! Hope you sew! Hope you love the Lark Tee as much as I do!
Moment of Further Truth:
The Lark Tee pattern and Arrows fabric were provided to me by Pacific Fabrics, sponsor of my Sewing Expo class. This post includes affiliate links and I may receive a small payment if you make a purchase using that link. Thank you if you do – it helps to keep The Sewful Life stitching along and I sincerely appreciate your support. All opinions are solely and truly mine and I only gush about things I love!