Monday, April 24, 2017

Breton Tee

Here's the "simple" project I've been looking forward to after my denim jacket adventure. This should have taken me an afternoon, but that's just not the way my life works.

First, the fabric. I'm a sucker for stripes. I have waaaaaay too many striped tees but they all seem to be wearing out at the same time so good excuse for a replacement, right? I wanted a Breton-like stripe, with wider white stripes and narrow black stripes. I found the perfect ecru/black St. James ponte at Mood, but I hesitated at the $18/yd price. So I left the tab open in my browser and decided to think on it for a day or two. I finally decided I had to have it, opened the page, and hit order. Only when I got my confirmation did I realize I'd looked at multiple colors and I accidentally ordered the ecru/navy. Which is fine, I wear too much black anyway, and the navy is so dark I might just wear it with black sometimes. The fabric is amazing: rayon/polyester/spandex ponte that feels heavenly. I want to wear it all the time!

The pattern is self-drafted. I made a top from it a few years ago and I'm kind of heartbroken that it's almost worn out. It was made in a similar ponte and I happily wore it way too much. I didn't baby it, though. It went through the washer and dryer every week for at least a couple years. It was a little bit too short and the sleeves were a little bit too snug. I decided to re-draft the pattern with more length (1") and ease (2"). Big mistake. This fabric stretches and grows like crazy. I hemmed the sleeves and bottom before I did anything else. (There are side slits so the back and front are hemmed separately.) Then I switched the thread from my cover stitch to my sewing machine and did the shoulders, neck, and sleeves. I did try it on at this point to make sure the side seams would be ok, but it seemed like it would be a relaxed fit so I went ahead and sewed up the side seams from wrist to side slit. It was HUGE!!  I ended up taking out about 4" in circumference in the bodice and at least an inch in the sleeves, but I left the length because of laziness.

I've worn this top a couple times but I haven't washed it yet. I hope there's some shrinkage, otherwise I'm going to have to do some major surgery to make it something I'll wear often. And as much as I hate altering anything, I'll do it for this fabric. It's worth it!

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