Sunday, May 21, 2017

Selfish Sewing: Three Grainline Tees.

With Me-Made-May upon us once again, I am participating but struggling a bit because I barely sewed for myself at all last year, so most of my me mades are more or less in tatters. One of the purposes of Me Made May is to reveals serious holes in your sewn wardrobe. Well, that's easy for me! I need everything! Ha!

Okay, realistically, I need more blouses to wear under suits, and I need more simple t-shirts.

At the beginning of May, I started scribbling out some plans for selfish sewing, and I've made some progress with those plans, although never as much as I'd like! My plans included several new tops, including some knit tops, all in creams, to help beef up my me-made wardrobe. Thus we meet here, with a (not all that exciting) blog post to share some very neutral t-shirts!

The first t-shirt is a Grainline Hemlock Tee with short sleeves, using a burnout ivory stripe from Stonemountain. This fabric has been in my stash since last summer, yay stash busting!

In addition to the obvious short sleeves, I did a little split hem on this one, following the idea of this tutorial, but with some obvious differences in hem-distance.

This is my third (?) Hemlock tee, and I really love this (free!) pattern. In my experience, Hemlock Tees look great untucked or tucked into a skirt for work. I do always take off a significant amount of length in the body, but I am in love with the neckline (even though it sometimes slides to show bra strap). There's not much to say about this pattern, except that it's dope! Try it out!

Next up, two Grainline Lark Tees! Two V-NECK Lark Tees, actually! I decided to tackle the dreaded v-neck, finally! This was my first time sewing a v-neck t-shirt.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Do not try to do a v-neck for the first time on a striped knit, especially a drapey rayon one like this with tiny stripes as well as normal stripes. BAD IDEA. I had to cut off my first v-neck and try again with a new neckline and even so, it's a tiny bit wonky, which you can see if you zoom in above. But, luckily, not terrible in a normal wearing environment.

This is another Stonemountain fabric, one of those really lovely but really difficult and shifty fabrics. Another problem with v-necks - the Lark tee instructions have you sew the v-neck with your sewing machine. But this is exactly the kid of fluid, grabby, shifty fabric that my sewing machine hates most of all and basically devours. It was pretty impossible. I ended up serging the neckline despite the lack of precision and it's a freaking miracle that I didn't totally butcher it, but the sewing machine was also no bueno.

Which brings us to Lark V-Neck Tee, take two, in a really lovely ivory organic cotton/lycra from Stonemountain. This one has cropped sleeves, perfect for a hot day in the garden. I didn't think I liked cropped sleeves until I made the Lark last year, but this is a GREAT sleeve. 

I thought, after the stripey version, that V-Necks in a solid color - well, that was going to be no problem. Obviously it was the stripes that made it difficult, right? Um. Well, let's just say it also took two tries for this neckline, and it's noticeably lower than the one above because I had to cut off more and improvise a new neckband piece. And the final version is still visibly wonky if you zoom in. UGH!

I've concluded that v-necks are legit hard.

Somehow, this does not reduce my desire for more v-neck Lark tees, though! I am totally feeling the v-neck right now. It's casual and relaxed in exactly the right way, and shows off my necklaces perfectly! I suppose this might be a skill I can develop with practice, right? I mean, there was a time when any knit neckline had me terrified! I can do this. Eventually. Maybe.

Also seen here, my Moji Pants, which I had to literally cut off my leg last summer when I broke my foot (think swollen leg in plaster cast, moji pants digging into said swollen, tender appendage; it had to come off). The shredded, ripped open pants sat in my "to-mend" pile for a year. I was convinced they were toast. I think the fact that they had felt so tight when I had to cut them off made me think they would definitely be too tight when I sewed them back together. With Me-Made-May, I was inspired to tackle my mending pile and simply sewed them back together with scant seam allowances, as best I could. And they are fine! Thank goodness, my normal ankle circumference is less than broken foot proportions, and you'd never even know the difference. Also, thank you past, injured, reasonably stressed out Inder for using a seam ripper to cut the pants off rather than the giant shears. Excellent mending win!

Have you been sewing things for yourself this month, just to provide something to clothe yourself with? Dish!


  1. Great basics! I've been on a small basics bender too (MMM -inspired also!). Two long sleeve tees and some leggings, all in very neutral shades of, well, beige if I'm honest. Yawnitty yawn. But so, so useful.

  2. These are all great tops. The vs look perfectly sharp to me! You did inspire me with your IG pics and I have now made three v-beck Renfrews; two in stripes, one of which is that silky, drapey rayon knit that my machine also hates. I found that a bit of wash away Wonder Tape helped a lot. I also found that I only needed to use my sewing machine on about three inches of neckline, the center of that three inches being the point of the v. Once I had that sewn down, I serged starting from the point of the v all the way around the neckline and down the other side, ending at the point.

  3. I am ALL about the wearable tees.
    I gave up on MMM17 as I was just posting the same patterns, over and over, I was bored taking them so I am pretty sure everyone else was bored shitless looking at them.

    Your poor leg, I remember that.

    PS Don't you feel all righteous after mending?

  4. I agree with Masha - the tops are great and the v looks great to me! I still remember my v not being perfect on my Lark tee but I also remember that I loved the pattern. I have been enjoying your MMM makes so much. I think they all look so pro and not homemade (in the bad way), you know?

    Also high five on cutting off the pants with a seam ripper! That is truly impressive! And yay on the mending - why is it so dreadful? It never takes nearly as long as I anticipate! To me, it's like putting away laundry - just the worst haha - but then it takes like 5 minutes!

  5. Tests show that when a golfer pits a launcher tee against other tees, their drives are straighter and longer, a double whammy when your goal is to hit a shot exactly where you want it to land.

  6. The inundation of corporate subsidizing of the 1980's changed the entire face of the T-shirt market. Trademark T-shirts were picking up popularity once more, "Pick Life" was created to promote the debut collection of George Micheal's band "Wham", whilst "Frankie Says" helped push a string of exceptionally controversial singles to the top of the UK charts for Liverpool based band "Frankie Goes to Hollywood".t-shirts

  7. Beyond any doubt a few plans function admirably being in rectangles printed on tees - that's the reason this is a standard guideline. tshirts


I love comments! I do my very best to respond to comments, by email or here, although I am often running late. I also try to follow and comment on my regular readers' blogs. So please let me know you were here!