Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Stripy Plantain

I am really loving working with knits! I actually made this a couple of months ago just after the pattern was released. However, it has taken me a while to pluck up the courage to put a twin needle in my machine to finish the cuffs and bottom hem. It has therefore taken a while to finish it to a point where I wanted to post about it.

Testing neckband options
So, this is the Plantain t-shirt by Dear and Doe which I immediately loved as it is free (which is always my fav kind). After making my first Sewaholic Renfrew I found the construction of this one pretty easy. I guess the only real difference in the construction is that the Renfrew has bands on the cuffs and bottom and the Plantain doesn't. 
You can see in the photo above I spent some time trying to work out if I could half the neckband and use the main and contrast fabric to make it a bit more interesting. In the end I just chicken out and just went for the contrast for the whole thing but I think it could look pretty cool, maybe next time. As I had mentioned in my Renfrew post I used a different technique to attach this neckband. I followed this tutorial from Megan Nielsen which is actually part of her Briar sewalong. I like the way that it encases all of the raw edges and doesn't need a zig zag top stitch.

Loving the elbow patches!
Anyone who has heard of the Plantain t-shirt knows that it is all about the elbow patched. I hear that everyone is doing elbow patches these days. Well its news to me and before this top I have never owned anything with them. I am really loving them though! They were really east to add you can see from my photo I wasn't that precise with my tracing the pattern on to the fabric but they are still nice and even on each sleeve. 
I wish I could say more about the fabric but I feel my knowledge of fabric leaves a lot to the imagination. All I know is that I bought it in John Lewis during their New Years sale. It is a bit thicker and heavier weight than what I used for my Renfrew, which is actually the fabric I used for the collar and patches. Although I really light the weight of the fabric, (it is far less likely to cling to the wobbly bits) I thing it is going to be too warm a top to wear during the summer months especially with it being long sleeved. I guess that gives me an excuse to make a lighter weight one for summer.

I realise that this photo doesn't actually show the twin needle hem but trust me it is there. Question, do you ever feel intimadated when asking for things in sewing shops?  So, when I went along to the haberdashery shop I had a very specific request - "one ball point twin needle suitable for knit fabric, please". In reply to my request I received a very puzzled look and the return question (from the shops owner) "what are you planning to do with that?". This sent me in to an instant panic but, I explained my plan to hem my top. The owner of the shop gave me a smile and a nod as if to say well done, correct answer, and then went on the hunt for my needle. I am all for having a chat about my makes with folk in shops they always have a great knowledge of their products and have often given me some great advise and hint. Sadly, on this occasion it felt a little more like a test of my knowledge than helpful curiosity. After this I was left a little concerned about using my twin needle, it was almost as if it had come with a warning or something.

 Anyway, I finally decided to bite the bullet and I added my extra thread holder to my machine, read the instruction booklet and watched some youtube videos on twin needling. All I can say is IT IS SOOOOO EASY! I have no idea why I got so worked up about it. It is really no different than sewing with one needle. I am really pleased with the result. So happy that when I was at the Sewing for Pleasure show I bought another three twin needles of varying widths for my next projects.

I would really like to try more Deer and Doe patterns in the future, in particular the Beladone Dress and I am also loving the versions of the new Anemone Skirt which I have seen popping up online. Maybe some time in the future I will make them but at the moment I have enough in the pipeline to keep me going.  

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