Two Winter Tops – Frankie and Hemlock

Would you believe I’ve finally been blogging long enough to start posting repeat garments? These are a couple of winter tops I whipped up to sew through a bit of stash fabric.

An image of a woman standing in front of a fence with trees. She wears a long sleeve knit tee in black and white with cat head print, black slim pants, black boots and a hat and sunglasses. Her hand is on her hip and she is smiling.

The first is the Tessuti Frankie Top. You may recall I made the short sleeve variation over summer (in this exact fabric!) and wasn’t quite happy with the fit. This time, I sewed the long sleeve variation, sizing down to an L (with added width in the arms). Following Marjorie’s example, I lowered the front neck by 5.5cm, the back by approx. 2cm, and replaced the neck finish with a 1.5cm wide band. The shoulders were also brought in a little for more coverage.

An image of a woman standing in front of a fence with trees. She wears a long sleeve knit tee in black and white with cat head print, black slim pants, black boots and a hat. Her back is to the camera.
It lays flat at the back neck now, rather than bulging up as in my previous variation.

It definitely fits better around the neck with this finish, and the fabric and cut make for a very comfortable winter tee. But after two tees with this fabric, it was time to retire it, so I’ve posted the rest off to Bridgette – I’m excited to see what she makes with it!

An image of a woman standing in front of a fence with trees. She wears a long sleeve knit tee in black and white with cat head print, black slim pants, black boots and a hat and sunglasses. She is smiling.

 

The other tee is the free Grainline Hemlock Tee, which was actually one of the first projects I shared on this blog. I had found a small piece of what I assume to be a stable cotton knit at Salvo’s for 50c and was pleasantly surprised to find the Hemlock pieces just squeezed on if I pieced the neckband. I even managed to keep my usual added length to the sleeves! (But not the body.)

An image of a woman standing in front of a fence with greenery. She wears a casual long sleeve tee in grey and cream stripe, red skinny jeans and brown ankle boots. She is looking at the camera and smiling.

I’ve sewn enough of this pattern to make my praise kind of redundant, but anyway: it’s a great free pattern, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants a casual, quick sew.

An image of a woman standing in front of a fence with greenery. She wears a casual long sleeve tee in grey and cream stripe, red skinny jeans and brown ankle boots. She is looking away from the camera and smiling.

Some boring technical details, because I always stare at blogged garment photos thinking, how did you do that?? Hems are overlocked, pressed up and topstitched with a 4mm twin needle. I struggled with twin needles for a long time before realising the trick to getting it right was having my machine serviced. WHO KNEW. If a hem is flimsy (which neither of these were), I’ll stabilise it with some Steam a Seam 2 Lite – a sample will always tell you what you need to do.

I apply neckbands by cutting a long strip x 4cm wide, pressing in half, then basting in by feel. Curves need more tension in the band than straight sections, but overall I find I always need to stretch the band more than I expect. Once I’ve tried it on, I can tighten any floppy sections then seam and overlock in place (with twin needle topstitching again).

An image of a woman standing in front of a fence with greenery. She wears a casual long sleeve tee in grey and cream stripe, red skinny jeans and brown ankle boots. Her hand is on her hip and she is smiling.

I’ve been slowly catching up on photographing some old, unblogged projects (as weather permits!), so I hope to have a few more posts for you soon.

 

The deets:
Pattern: Tessuti Frankie Dress and Top
Pattern details: “This perfect jersey knit style is a fabulous wardrobe winner suitable for all seasons. The pattern features a flared hemline, set in sleeves and comes with numerous style options – two dress lengths, a top and four sleeve lengths (short, elbow, three quarter and full). The stitched down, back facing creates a neat and secure neckline.” Available as a PDF download or limited stock paper pattern in sizes XXS-XL.
Fabric: Cotton spandex knit in pussy bow, ivory from Spotlight.
Other materials: Clear elastic, to stabilise shoulders.
Mods: Size L
– Moved shoulder seam forward just a couple of mm’s
– Sewed tee length with long sleeves
– Widened sleeves 8mm either side at hem
– Brought shoulder in towards neck 1.5cm
– Lowered front neckline 5.5cm, back neck a few cm’s too
– Finished neck with self-neckband
– Shortened sleeves 2.5cm

Pattern: Grainline Hemlock Tee
Pattern details: “The Hemlock is an oversized tee that was designed with knits in mind. This tee is just the right amount of slouchy. With its bracelet length sleeves, dropped shoulder seams, and a hem hits below the hip it’s the perfect comfy top to pair with jeans, skinny leg trousers, shorts, and straight cut skirts!” Available as a free PDF download.
Fabric: Mystery knit from the op shop, likely a stable 100% cotton, perhaps with a bit of poly.
Other materials: Clear elastic from Aliexpress, to stabilise shoulders.
Mods:
– 1/2″ forward head adjustment, same done to sleeve cap
– Lengthened sleeves approx. 8cm for full length
– Cut own neckband, 4.5cm wide (6mm SA), and stretched to fit when sewing

 

Author: Siobhan S

20 something, living in country Australia. Spoonie profile: ME/CFS, dysautonomia, anxiety. All about sewing, knitting and food. Unapologetic feminist and disability advocate.

4 thoughts on “Two Winter Tops – Frankie and Hemlock”

  1. Both tops are lovely and you got great fit. The hemlock didn’t work for me, may have been the fabric choice. I need to do it over.

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    1. Thanks! It’s worth a try. I’ve made it successfully in everything from a 100% cotton knit to a ponte to a french terry (which were all heavier than the recommended fabric and gave a different look, but one I liked).

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