Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Striped Plantain Tee

A few years ago I bought a bunch of cute knit fabric thinking that I wouldn't have any issues sewing with it. I felt pretty confident sewing with quilting cottons, and I didn't think knits would be much different. However, after my first attempt at sewing with knits without a serger, I gave up. My pretty knit fabric sat in a large tub, waiting for me to work up the courage to try again.

I recently started to love wearing knits again. I used to think they clung too much to my body, and I refused to wear garments made out of knits, unless they were super loose. I no longer have that issue, and want to wear comfortable knits all the time. So, I decided to give sewing with knits another try.

My first knit fabric attempt was a Scout Tee which is okay. I was just impressed that I managed to make something wearable. I knew I needed to figure out a better way to hem knits after reassessing that first top. I sewed the hems of that tee with a simple zig-zag stitch, but overall, it just looked funny to me.

I had been on the mission to find the perfect pattern to sew simple knit tees, and I honestly thought the Scout Tee was going to be the winner. I love the pattern, but it's not drafted specifically for knits, so I continued my search. The Plantain Tee was offered as a free pattern, so I figured I had nothing to lose trying it. To my surprise, as of now, I've found that perfect knit tee pattern I had been searching for. The pattern is written for knits, and my top fits perfectly.
This time, I used a regular straight stitch for all of my hems and I love the way that turned out. The hems turned out smooth without any waves or irregularities. I folded the fabric up at 1/2 inch and sewed as close to the raw edge as possible. I also attached the neck binding with a straight stitch, but zig-zag stitched that seam shut. Doing this made it much easier to top stitch the seam down, and also gives makes it look more finished. Like all of my newly sewn tops and dresses, I included a tag with the garment's size stamped on, made from twill tape. I sewed the side and shoulder seams also with a straight stitch, but left them unfinished since fraying won't be an issue with knits.

The pattern offers both long and short sleeve versions. I opted for the later, but I'll definitely be sewing several long sleeved tops this fall/winter. I didn't need to make any changes to the pattern pieces or instructions because I love the way this tee fits as written! It's not super flow-y (like how my Scout Tee turned out), but gradually flares out below the waist. 

Even though I'm trying to work up the courage to go through my entire closest and purge clothing, I'm already thinking about what I want to sew for myself to add to my fall/winter wardrobe. Like I said before, more Plantain Tees (with elbow patches!) will definitely be included!
Pattern: Plantain Tee
Size: 38