Hello, my name is Piper, and for my entry in Indie Pattern Month’s Hack It! contest I used the versatile Lark Tee by Grainline Studios. I am calling this post a Hack and two Hacklets as my first two versions were really only slight modifications (hacklets.) On the left is the boatneck version of the Lark, cut in size 6 and shortened by three inches to make a standard length tee shirt rather than the long length of the original pattern.. As you can see, I have selected the short sleeve option. In the center, I have added six inches to the size 6 boatneck to turn it into a tee dress. Not much of a hack, all I had to do was extend the pattern straight down at the side seams of both the front and back pieces. For both of these boatneck versions, I followed the very clear directions except that I chose to finish the necklines with bias tape rather than the serge and turn method the pattern describes.
I like the clean finish the bias tape gives, and although I used premade bias tape, next time I think I will make bias tape from the knit fashion fabric and finish the neckline with that.
My true hack is pictured on the right above, and below. This top is based on the size 0 of the scoopneck version of the Lark. I was inspired by the first episode of this season’s edition of The Great British Sewing Bee in which the contestants are asked to pick a striped fabric and create a top with a chevron on the front by cutting on the bias.
My first steps in creating the bias cut version were to trace the pattern front and back on pattern paper, then cut vertical lines one inch apart coming from the hem upward to create a slash and spread. This allows for a flowier tee, perfect for a bias cut.
Next, I lay down two rulers to help me find a 45 degree angle on which to lay the center front, spread the slashes apart a half inch, pinned and cut.
I cut out only a single layer and cut along the center front line which is normally not cut but placed on the fold, extending out enough for a seam allowance. Then I used this first cut piece as a pattern to cut the mirror image, creating the second side of the front. I sewed the two together down center front, creating a chevron patterned tee shirt front. Trust me, it sounds harder than it is. I repeated the process to create the back of the tee. From there, I followed the pattern directions. This version has a bound neck.
Pattern: The Lark Tee by Grainline Studios. I can definitely recommend this pattern which can act as a basic block to recreate any tee shirt you fancy, and create some completely original tees, (’cause y’all are rockin’ awesome that way.) It has four neck options, each with a separate pattern piece, meaning you can use them all and not have to pick your neck option as you cut out. The same is true of the three sleeve options, and each is drafted a little differently for a really good fit, as opposed to being just lengthened versions of one another. For me this justified the $16 price, especially as I had a rare stroke of genius and didn’t cut out the original pattern at all, but traced it, so I can make patterns for any size I like, which is handy as I am getting requests from friends and family for this one!
Fabric: A cotton blend knit that is silky in texture with a luxurious hand. I bought four yards of it on clearance. Where I live the tee shirt sewing craze hasn’t really caught on yet, so I was really lucky to grab this remnant. These tees are for my two daughters and me.
Notions: I used Wonder Under on the hems before double needle stitching.
If you would like to read Four Steps to Stripe Matching a Tee Top, head on over to my blog, Piper Feeds the Dogs
Thank you to all the organizers, sponsors and participants of Indie Pattern Month! All the contests have been brilliant.