This is my fourth make from Grainline Studio’s Lark Tee pattern and I’m still convinced it’s the best T-Shirt pattern ever! Seriously, the last tee pattern you’ll ever need to buy. But, maybe you won’t have to because I’m having a giveaway! You’ll need to enter before noon on 5/4/18. More info below!!
For my Sewing With Knits class at this year’s Sewing and Stitchery Expo, I wanted to use all four necklines and all four sleeve lengths included in the Lark Tee pattern. The scoop neck and cap sleeve seemed perfect for this totally summer-like Sproulet Coral print from Birch Fabrics.
Fabulous Quality Knit Fabric
If you’re not familiar with Birch Fabrics, you can visit their web site right here. Their specialty is 100% Organic Cotton. And this excellent quality knit was fabulous to work with! You’ll need a little more than usual – it’s 45″ wide rather than the 54″ – 60″ width of most knits. Keep in mind that any cotton fabric may shrink up to 3″ in length when it is pre-washed. And, this one did. My 2-1/4 yards was 2-1/8 yards after washing, so right on standard.
Pro-Tip: Always, ALWAYS pre-wash fabric that will be made into clothing. Wash it just as you will once it’s sewn up and worn. You don’t want to find out that it shrinks or changes character significantly after you’ve spent time sewing!
The price per yard is probably more than you’re used to, but we’re not trying to make cheap throwaway shirts here, right? To purchase a tee of this quality, you’d need $85 to $100. So, that makes $36 worth of fabric look pretty good!! If you can’t find it locally, Fabricworm has a great selection of Birch Organic Knits and a few were on sale, take a look. Fabricworm is out of Sproulet, but I did find it online in Navy – click here.
Eventual Cap Sleeve Cuteness
My Birch Fabric lark tee was a lesson in paying attention. I’ve told you how important it is to compare your own body measurements to the pattern measurements. And, to even measure the pattern in the areas that the instructions don’t cover. So, did I listen to myself? Apparently not!
Adding to the bicep width of a sleeve pattern is pretty standard for me, so . . . without doing any checking, I added width to the Lark cap sleeve. I envisioned a cap sleeve as cute, but designed to fit snugly on the skinny little arms I don’t have. Wrong! Grainline Studio’s Jen, once again drafted excellence into her cap sleeve. It’s designed for real arms on real people and I didn’t need to add width at all.
Pro Tip: Even if you have go-to adjustments you make on patterns, check out the pattern you’re using. Your go-tos may not be needed on every pattern! (Speaking to myself here!)
So, I finished and tried on my lovely tee and my hubby said, “there’s something really bad going on with the sleeves,” Why, thank you, dear! But, seriously that was helpful, because as soon as I took a good look I realized what I had done.
Those sweet little cap sleeves were just too wide and bell-like to be cute. Fortunately, the solution was simple!
- I tried on my tee and pinched under the sleeve to see how much width needed to go away. I didn’t pin, but you could just to be sure.
- Then I sat down at the serger and made sure that my sleeve hem was lined up evenly.
- Starting below the underarm, I serged up and into the shirt to narrow the body below the sleeve and the sleeve width. And, suddenly, my cap sleeve was cute!
No, I did not rip out the seam and the sleeve hem so that I could re-hem with the seam enclosed. Why? Because what I did was good enough. I don’t raise my arms often and no one is looking there anyway.
Pro Tip: Keep it easy when you can. Good enough is just that. Save hard for when it’s really needed!
Successful Stretch Adjustment
My Birch Fabric has less stretch than the fabrics I used for first three Larks. It stretches 30% across the width and just 10% lengthwise. Lark calls for a minimum of 20% stretch. Checking the percentage of stretch informed me that I needed to cut my Sproulet Lark just a bit larger than my others. I added an additional inch to each side below the bust to compensate. I didn’t add in the bust because I’m okay with a snugger fit there, just not at the waist, tummy and hips.
The Rest of the Tee Story
The rest of my Cap Sleeve, Scoop Neck Tee went together easily as did the previous three. Such a joy! I serged all the seams and used my trusty friend Eloflex™ Stretch Thread for the hems and top stitching. The hems were stitched with a 2.5mm Schmetz Stretch Twin Needle and I used a single stretch needle on the neckline. It all turned out great! (Well, except for that silly sleeve thing, but I’m over that now!)
Lark’s Scoop Neck is absolutely fabulous!! Not too deep, not too high and just scoopy enough. If you’re puzzled about sewing a fabulous knit neckline, there’s a post coming soon. There are tricks and I’m happy to share! For now, just remember to stretch your trim the most along the curves while you’re sewing it on. That’s the secret sauce that helps it lay flat against your neck instead of doing that annoying gappy-stand-out thing!
To see the rest of my Lark Tee makes, click these links for Number One, Number Two or Number Three. All my Larks have been incredibly satisfying experiences and I will keep this pattern forever! That’s why I am SOOOOooo excited to be able to giveaway a PDF copy of Grainline Studio’s Lark Tee pattern!
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 post and all of the Lark Tee posts on the blog.
- Comment on each of my Lark Tee Giveaway posts on Instagram.
- Look for Lark Tee Giveaway posts on The Sewful Life Facebook page and comment on each.
Thanks for dropping by for the end of my Lark Tee Giveaway series!! I hope you win! Because I know you’ll love the Lark Tee as much as I do. It’s the perfect fit for an easy, fabulous, stress-free sewing life!
Moment of Further Truth:
The Lark Tee pattern and Sproulet Knit fabric were provided to me by Pacific Fabrics, sponsor of my Sewing Expo class. I am not being paid to promote the Lark Tee – I just LOVE it! 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!