In Sewing

More Me Made Knits

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Hey it’s May already (can you believe it?!) and you know what that means – Me Made May. This is the first year I’m actually participating which is very exciting for me! One of the reasons why I sew is because someday I want a wardrobe that’s predominately handmade. If I had my way I would have participated in MMM since 2012, but it’s taken me quite a long time to narrow down my personal style, my sewing preferences, and proper fitting techniques in order to reach that point. I’m still not there yet, but this month will be a great way for me to put my previously handmade things to the test, as well as identify what types of clothing I’m still missing from my wardrobe. One thing I’ve already established: I need more mix-and-match separates!

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As of the first of the month I’ve been keeping a MMM diary and writing down what I’m wearing each day along with a few thoughts about each outfit. It’s been a great way to rule out the hits and misses, and so far all of my stretchy knit shirts are a hit!

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My go-to knit shirt pattern right now is a Sewaholic Renew/Simplicity 1463 hybrid. It’s so quick to make and each time I make it I get a little better at sewing with knits. My necklines are still slightly “bacon-y” and my serging in the round isn’t perfect, but I’m getting there and I’m having fun in the process. This is my fourth version of this shirt now! So far I’ve made one in Kaufman Laguna Jersey, one in Organic Cotton Plus interlock knit, and now two in the new knit solids by Art Gallery Fabrics.

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Art Gallery Fabrics contacted me last month asking if I’d like to help promote their new knit solids, and since I’ve been on a knit shirt kick lately it was a no-brainer to say yes. At my request, they sent me two yards of their knit solid in Amaranth. I’m a knit fabrics newbie at this point, but even from my beginners perspective I really like this fabric. It’s 95% cotton with 5% spandex so it has a nice amount of stretch and recovery, and it didn’t roll as much as I thought it might. I feels slightly heartier than the Kaufamn Laguna Jersey and I think that’s why it rolled a bit less. I had to use quite a few pins with the Laguna jersey, but the AGF knit allowed me hold things in place with my fingers pretty well. For example, I did use pins for the neck band but I didn’t feel the need to use them on the side seams when working with the AGF knit. Now, the lack of pin-needing-ness could also be because I have a tiny bit more experience working with knit fabrics at this point, but it’s hard to say for sure.

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As far as color goes I would characterize the Amaranth as more beige than anything. That’s not a problem for me because I think it’s a color I can wear pretty well, but it’s much darker than cream or off-white. In the photo above you can see what I mean. On the top I have my bleach-white Laguna jersey shirt, followed by my natural white interlock knit version in the middle, and then my Art Gallery Fabrics amaranth version on the bottom. I tried to photograph all three shirts in natural light, but I think the beige is even more rich in real life. Personally I think it’s a beautiful color! Just like a Chai Latte.

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I had originally planned to make two identical crew neck tops but my neckline was so stretched out on my first attempt that I had to add a little faux knot detail to save it. I think I cut the neckband on the wrong grain which is why it stretched too much and tends to tent up a tad around the back neck. Oh well, I’m still very happy with how it turned out and after a few tweaks, both shirts are totally wearable! Actually I think my “messed up” faux knot version is even more cute than my A-Okay crew neck version (which I’ll share another day)! I love happy sewing accidents πŸ™‚

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The shorts were another sewing experiment that turned out surprisingly wearable. They’re simply a cuffed shorts version of Gertie’s capri pattern for Butterick. I made them more as a wearable muslin than anything so I could work on some fitting issues and practice my top-stitching. The fit is pretty roomy, which isn’t what I was going for, but they’re a very comfortable pair of shorts so I’m happy with them. As for my top-stitching… yeah I’ll pat myself on the back for that πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

Now that I have plenty of basic solid tops, I think it’s time to try a stripe or a print next! Art Gallery Fabrics has soooooo many beautiful stretchy prints. So many!

p.s. I’m hoping to finish the Spring For Cotton slide show this week but I’m trying not to aggravate the tendinitis. Meh πŸ™

xo
Rochelle

  • I think it all lovely, and a little bacon is good, wink. I invite you to share at my Thursday hop ( you can link up through Sat midnight) Hugs! P.S. don’t forget to enter my new giveaway.

  • Jennifer Hill

    I love the little bow!! And, yeah, so many stretchy prints…if you live in the US! But not here in the UK. Boo. Not that I’m bitter, of course ; ) Love your tops, Jen

  • Heather Dewar

    I have been loving my knit tops as well this May – I’ve been using the MariaDenmark kimono tee pattern, and it’s so comfy and quick to make up! Over the weekend I have some bengaline I am going to make into work pants, so that should be a good addition to my wardrobe as I live in long pants and tees 80% of the time!

    • Ooo that’s a cute pattern! I just signed up for the newsletter so I could get the free one. Thanks for the recommendation! I’m learning one can never have too many me-made t-shirts πŸ˜‰

  • Debra Ward

    Aww. I like the little knot! Another idea I might need to steal from you!

    • Thank you! It was really easy to do. Steal away πŸ˜‰

  • I’d never have guessed the faux knot was to hide a mistake – genius! x Sam

    • Thanks! My mom said a similar thing. Little did she know! πŸ˜‰

  • Great outfit! I love the little faux knot detail too – it makes your tee special!

  • Stephanie Dean

    Love the outfit. Also I too would love a quick tutorial of the “knot” feature. So clever! I saw an Art Gallery cotton knit that I really like. Think I’ll order. Thanks for the info!

    • Thank you, I think I will have to do a tutorial since so many have asked. It’s surprisingly simple! I hope you love the knits as much as I did. I haven’t used any prints yet but the solids are so soft.

  • Carolyn

    What a great pair of separates! I love that these pieces are so wearable, and I’m glad you’ve been enjoying your MMM so far. Go Rochelle!

    I’ve had the same experience with Laguna Jersey vs. Art Gallery Knits. I needed more pins with the Laguna, and the Art Gallery was a little beefier and stuck to itself a bit more, so I could get away with fewer pins. I absolutely love both knits though! Both have been holding up really well over many, many washes. They’re my go-to knits now. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Carolyn! I’m so happy to hear you had a similar experience between the two. I agree, both are super fantastic fabrics and I’m loving them both. Go-to’s, indeed!

  • Louise

    I agree – the knot is fab. It would never have occurred to me that it wasn’t a deliberate feature of the pattern! Please can you explain how you did it?!

    • Thanks, Louise! I think I’ll have to work on a photo tutorial for everyone since it’s an easy modification to make, but I don’t think I’d do a very good job of explaining it with text alone.

  • I love the
    faux knot detail! What an amazing mistake, can you explain how you did it?

    • Yes I will definitely work on a tutorial for everyone! πŸ™‚

  • Becky Ensinger

    Is it possible for you to explain how you made the knot? Because I love it and want to make it but I’m just not getting how you did it.

    • A tutorial is in the works since so many have asked πŸ™‚

  • I love this outfit! I love knits too, and I love this Renfrew mod (especially the neckline – what a great ‘mistake’). I may have to try it out for myself!

  • Debora McFearin

    Great job on the outfit! I have a pile of nope, not going to happen, not going to work knits and I think I’ll try one more time. I really love the shorts but the capri would suit me better!

    • Thank you! I had a similar experience with knits previously, but as soon as I started making them with my serger instead of my sewing machine it changed everything. I’ve made the capris too and they actually suit me better as well πŸ˜‰ I’m not much of a shorts girl but it is nice to have at least one pair.

  • Seriously, how can it be May already? Where on earth did the first third of this year go to? You look so cute! Those shorts are a great length. I much prefer styles with a bit of length to them to the fanny grazing styles that so prevalent nowadays (no judgement towards those who wear them of course, they’re just not my cup of tea personally).

    Big hugs,
    β™₯ Jessica

    • I KNOW! I can’t believe it. It seems like just yesterday I was planning all my sewing goals for this month. Boy that crept up way too quickly. I agree with you on the shorts! I’ve been watching a TV show called Magic City which takes place in the 50s, and all the ladies wear these super adorable (SUPER SHORT) shorts. …they’re cute but that’s not exactly my cup of tea either. Maybe they would be if my grandpa didn’t read my blog haha! πŸ˜‰

  • jannapyj

    I’m kinda disappointed we didn’t get to see a butt shot of the Gertie shorts. :o) I’m wanting to sew up a pair and keep wondering how they look in back. The outfit is so adorable, and wearable, and comfortable!!! Looooove your scarf today!

    JJ
    http://www.dressupnotdown.blogspot.com

    • Heheheh! Okay next time I promise I’ll include a butt shot just for you lol! Honestly, there’s not a whole lot to see back there on this pair. The shorts are too big in the waist right now and a bit roomy in the hips. Next time I’ll size down and see how they fit. I think the only reason why they’re wearable now is because they’re shorts. If I left the full length leg they would be all sorts of baggy!

  • I really really love this entire outfit!!! You are so clever with that faux knot, I would never have thought of anything like that. You saved the day with that knot and ended up with a super cute shirt that will get a lot of wear! Success!!!

    • Thanks, Erin! Now I’m beginning to see what you mean about loving knits and not wanting to go back to wovens because of the whole “Aw man I have to make a real muslin for this” thing haha! I have a woven dress on my list next and I’m NOT looking forward to making a 6th bodice muslin!! Uhhhggg!!!

  • Gwen Gyldenege

    I love the faux knot. That totally makes your whole top. πŸ™‚ I love how a perceived mistake turns into a feature. Happens in my artwork all the time!

    • Thank you! Isn’t it wonderful when mistakes end up totally changing projects for the better? I love that, too.

  • You are rapidly becoming the Queen of Knits! Gillian needs to keep an eye on her crown! What a great outfit! I love the knot detail at the neckline – very feminine. And your topstitching? Glorious!

    • Oh god I’ve got a million projects to go before I reach Gillian Queen Of Knits status bahaha!! But thank you πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  • Amanda Russell

    I love this little outfit of yours, and for the record, your knit sewing is looking REALLY good – people say how easy sewing with knits is, and I both agree and disagree. In theory it’s easy, but in practice, because every single knit behaves differently, it’s so hard to know how much to pull your fabric when sewing, how much tension to use etc. I think the colour is lovely on you, and I also really like those shorts! Nice topstitching! πŸ™‚

    • Ah thank you so much!! That really, really means a lot to me πŸ™‚ I agree with you on the “easy but not really but kinda” theory of sewing with knits haha! You’re right, it all comes down to practice and more practice.

  • Thanks for sharing these fabrics! I find one of the hardest things about sewing knits is sourcing fabric online. Your tops look great, and I love the knot detail! Looks totally intentional πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! As I said, I’m a knits novice right now but I really enjoyed the Art Gallery knits a lot. They’re a beginner friendly weight without looking/feeling like beginner fabrics. …if that makes any sense.

  • I love see your 2015 goals set into motion now that it’s May!

  • The neckline looks totally intentional. I love iy. That’s a trick I’m going to remember as I start venturing into the realm if knits. I’m with you on needing more separates. I’ve just discovered that most of the ones I planned on wearing for MMM are a bit too snug this year. Darn. Love those shorts, btw!

    • Thank you! From what I’ve learned with knits so far, especially when making them on a serger, is you have to be fully committed to each step in the project. It’s not so easy to just undo something and try again! But, knits do tend to be forgiving when you over stretch a neckline and then try to fix it with an added “design element” πŸ˜‰

  • Wait, the neckline detail was an accident? I was just about to apologize in advance for blatantly copying your adorable design element….

    …which I totally am still going to do

    (sorry)

    • Bahah! I would be honored if you blatantly copied my mistakes that end up being pretty accidentally adorable πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  • sallieforrer

    Yes! I love sewing practical separates, and it always makes me happy to see others sewing them as well because you know they will get a lot of wear. Great short and tees! And awesome save with the neckline! Totally looks intentional.

    • Thanks! You are the queen of practical (and super stylish) separates, btw! You’re my separatespiration lol πŸ˜‰

  • Whoa nice save on that neckline! I totally thought it was meant to be that way!

    • Thanks! It feels really good when your mistakes turn out better than the intended original haha! πŸ™‚