This is the story of the second tee I made from Grainline Studio’s Lark Tee Pattern. It’s the last t-shirt pattern you’ll ever need and, there’s a PDF Pattern giveaway you can enter. Just comment on this post, on Instagram and Facebook. More info at the end!!
If you haven’t read about my Cotton and Steel Arrows Tee Number One yet, click here. And, watch for posts on Tees Number Three and Four with more t-shirt sewing tips in the next week or so. If you’re not already subscribed to The Sewful Life, you can do that near the top of the sidebar on this page. Or click here to sign up for my newsletter!
A Case for Solids
I usually sew with print fabrics. They’re exciting and glorious to work with and I always feel like I can purchase “basic solid” clothing if I need it. Somehow sewing solids has always felt like a waste of my time. But, Lark Tee Number Two has me thinking differently!
The Rayon/Spandex navy solid knit I chose is absolutely scrumptious and I love wearing this tee sooooo much! Of the four Larks I made, this one has been worn the most. I chose the v-neckline and three quarter sleeves because those are my favorites in a t-shirt. And, as it turns out, I really should be making my “basic solid” clothing because I couldn’t afford to buy a t-shirt this fabulous!
The Perfect V-Neck
A V-Neck is usually the most flattering neckline for me. But, I often wish they were a bit higher in RTW (ready-to-wear) and keep a stock of camisoles to wear under my Vs. The Lark V-Neck, however, is perfect. Another impressive bit of drafting from Jen of Grainline Studio! It’s kind of a Goldilocks neckline . . . not too high, not too low, but JUST right.
Jen’s instructions for the V-neck trim are marvelous, too. She suggests that you sew your first V trims on the sewing machine and I definitely agree. Jen says that once she was comfortable, she started sewing her V trims on the serger. I don’t know if I’ll ever get “comfortable” enough to sew V trim that way. It’s quite easy to stitch on your sewing machine, so that’s what I do. If that ever changes, I’ll definitely let you know!
Jen’s advice for sewing the trim is to quarter the neck and trim, start at the V point, then sew up, around and down to the other side of the V. It’s a great method and a pretty successful way to make a good point on your V-Neck. Unfortunately, I cut my trim too short (it happens), it’s a bit too stretched and the neckline ripples a bit. It definitely wasn’t the pattern’s fault!
Pro Tip & Note to Self: Pay attention when you’re cutting trim. Sigh. . . . .
Sewing a Comfy Sleeve
So, you know that thing that happens where you sew up a piece of clothing, try it on and your biceps start screaming because the sleeve is too tight? Because of that I’ve learned to always, always measure sleeve patterns and compare them to my bicep measurement. Before cutting!
But, joyously, no adjustment was needed for my Lark sleeves. Another example of excellent drafting and testing. The size 18 that I made had plenty of room in the sleeves when I combined the pattern measurement with the percentage of stretch of my fabric. What??!?? How did I do that? I’m so glad you asked!
- Measure the circumference of your bicep.
- Measure the width of the sleeve pattern bicep and subtract the seam allowances. Pro Tip: Hold the pattern up to your arm and mark where your bicep falls. Just to be sure!
- Write down the measurements from 1 and 2 and the percentage of stretch of your fabric.
- A comfortable amount of ease (roominess) for me in a sleeve is about 2″. So, for example, if your bicep is 18″ and the sleeve pattern measures 16″, you’ll want to make sure that your fabric stretches at least 25%. A fabric with 25% stretch will stretch that 16″ sleeve bicep width to 20″ and give you the 2″ of ease that you need. Easy-peezy!
Pro Tip: This works well for any knit fabric and any pattern designed for knits. For a woven fabric, you’ll want your sleeve wider than the example in 4 since a woven will not stretch. The goal is no screaming biceps!
Happy Hems & Terrific Top-Stitching
My hems were all made fabulous by using the Struggle-Free method. Click here for that post. I chose to use a single Schmetz Stretch Needle for the straight stitch hems and top-stitching on my Solid Navy Tee. No particular reason, just for something different than my usual twin needle hems.
My “must always use” Coats Eloflex Stretch Thread was a perfect match and I can’t see it at all. So, even in a close-up, you probably can’t see it either! But, it’s there and it looks fabulous because of that thread.
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.
Yes, I am partial to sheep and goats, but no, those sweeties in the pasture are not mine. We stopped at a local nursery/farm on the way home from church to take these pics. It was the perfect spot for a sunny day photo session!
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 Solid Navy 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!