Saturday, May 7, 2016

Four Tees and Oakland Joe.

Hello readers! I just got back from a conference in Orange County so I have a whirlwind week, and I am beat! I am finally getting around to blogging all of the t-shirts I've made recently. For those of you not following my Instagram feed, I ended up tossing the swimsuits I was working on for the kids. For various reasons, I was just not happy with how they were looking. If more fabric had been involved, I might have tried to save them, but since swimsuits only take a TINY amount of fabric, and I have lots more where that came from, I decided to just start over at some point in the future. In the meantime, my kids do have functional RTW swimsuits, and I needed more easy palate cleanser projects, so I made even more t-shirts! Since this is Me-Made-May (follow me here), and I am trying to wear me-mades every day, I made a couple of t-shirts for myself.

 I made two Rowan Tees for Joe, and two Grainline Lark Tees for me. Both of Joe's shirts are recycled from adult t-shirts. I made this one from a thrifted green stripe women's tee, adding a yellow kangaroo pocket and shoulder stripe detail just to liven things up. The shirt is finished off with my favorite bamboo ribbing. Joe really likes this shirt - it's fun to put random things, e.g., golfballs, into the kangaroo pocket! And the green striped fabric is super soft.

This was my first time trying the Lark Tee for myself, and I had a small amount (a yard and a quarter or so) of this peachy triangle fabric, which I picked out of the remnants bin at Britex, but I suspect is a Girl Charlee fabric in this line. I was just able to eek out a scoop neck Lark tee with cap sleeves. I wasn't sure about this color on me or the cap sleeves, which generally aren't my favorite, but I really like this t-shirt! When I tried it on for Steve, he said "that is really nice, I really like the color." Which is a big compliment from my quiet guy!

Do you use the "seasons" model to figure out what colors look good on you? I have a lot of red in my brown hair, and a red head's complexion, so I think I'm either a deep Spring or a soft Autumn (if you have no idea what I'm talking about, look here). I don't always wear colors within those palettes (I do like black and deep clear blues and navy), but I usually do. I am generally drawn to more saturated warm/earth tones. Very dark or bright autumn colors are not my best, but neither are pale, pastel spring colors. I'm somewhere in between - deeper colors, but still a bit muted. This t-shirt is definitely more pastel than I usually go for, but I like it, especially mixed with other colors.

I am a lucky mama! My Joey is so sweet and affectionate.

With his light blue eyes, I suspect Joe is either a spring or a summer. He definitely rocks the pale blues and he has less red in his hair (and more olive-toned skin) than I do. What do you think?

But if I had to choose, and a lot of it is just personal preference, I would always go for this more saturated autumn color on me ...

Here is Lark Tee #2, also made from Britex knit, a really nice-quality rayon blend abstract print in a lovely shade of rust/tomato red. I luuuuuuuurve this top!!! The fabric has a really nice high quality feel to it and the print is really interesting and fun. Again, I only had a yard and a half, but it was enough to do elbow length sleeves. Both of my Larks are in a size 10 in the shoulders and bust, grading to a size 12 at the waist and hips. The only modification I made was to remove about two inches from the length of the tee so that it hits right at my hip and is easy to tuck in. Due to the small amount of fabric, zero attempt was made to match the pattern along the side-seams.

The fit is pretty perfect through the shoulders and neckline, with a soft slouchiness at the waist, which I am loving right now. I could also see just cutting a size 10. I was reluctant to pay money for a t-shirt pattern, given that my favorites (the Plantain Tee and the Hemlock Tee) are free! But I love all of the Lark options, and I am becoming a total Grainline fan-girl, so yup! And I definitely feel like I'll get my money's worth from this pattern. I am looking forward to trying the v-neck variation next.

Ah, cute picture with my kids!!! Maggie insisted on sneaking into this shot. I have to say, posing with my kids is a lot more fun than posing by myself! Here's Joe's last t-shirt - another Rowan I made from an Oaklandish t-shirt that was always too small for me (bless my husband, he thought I was a size small?!). This was a very simple recycle, preserving the hems on the sleeves (but not the bottom of the shirt, in order to center the logo), and using green ribbing for the neck.

There is a little bit of an in-joke with this shirt, based on a conversation I had with Joe last year. We were talking about what to do if you get lost. and he was saying "My daddy's name is Steve, and my mom's name is Inder." "That's right Joe. What's your full name?" Joe, getting confused between full names and the name of his town (also an important thing to know), said, "Um, am I Oakland Joe?"

Me, trying to contain my mirth and delight: "Uh, no ...  you are Joe B."
Joe: "Oh, right! Joe B."

"Oakland Joe"!!!!! I am pretty sure that one is gonna stick!!

I love this kid!!

I am done with t-shirts for now and I'm moving to other Me-Made-May staples, starting with the Seamwork Moji pants. Pants! Eeek! What are you sewing this weekend?


  1. LOL at Oakland Joe - I will think of him that way from now on!

    The tees are very nice. I like the cap sleeves on you as well as that lighter color. And the reddish orange print is awesome.

    I have also been tempted to buy a new tee pattern recently (the Cashmerette one, so that I wouldn't have to cut different sizes for my shoulders and bust anymore), but I have been put off by the fact that my oft-used Plantain is free and also the Concord pattern is kind of spendy. The cup sizes are tempting though.

  2. I really really like the colour of that first tee on you. It really makes you look 'alive' if that makes sense. It jumped out at me so I get what Steve was saying.
    This is my first comment on your blog! But I have been following along for a few months and enjoying your makes etc. thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Your Lark tees turned out so nicely! I haven't done the scoop yet -- I want to do that and the v-neck soon. I think both colors are really pretty on you. I am very interested to see how you like the Moji pants. I've got the pattern but I don't know what fabric to use so I haven't attempted them yet. I can't wait to see yours!

  4. Lots of good stuff in this post! Both your tees are in great colors for you. Very curious to hear how the morI pants go, as I've had my eye on them for a while.

  5. Infer, such beautiful photos in this post! You need to frame some of the pics of you and Joe/Maggie. Love your tees - MMMay has really highlighted the fact that my hand made wardrobe is sorely lacking in tees - I too own the lark pattern - must make some up!

    1. Oh, and can't wait to see your Moji's - think you'll love them

  6. Aargh, love Joe's little gap-toothed smile! That's such a milestone in watching your kids grow up, I think. Love all the tees. And yeah, the colour of that first one really works on you! The green tones of those pants are really 'you' as well.

  7. I'm really loving the lighter colored tee on you. The cut and color are perfect on you. Both tees are great, but I think this first one is really really beautiful and flattering. That might be my own personal bias creeping in - where I once loved reds and brights and funky prints, I now can border a bit on sensory-overload mode and tend to prefer quieter colors. Sometimes I feel like I've become boring. :P But the print is so cool and funky and interesting! And the photos of you with Joe and then Joe and Maggie are beautiful! <3


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