Back to Twinkle // Take Manhatten

So yeah, I took it again. Manhatten.

Way back when I was preggo last time and I was making all those roomy Twinkle Sews designs, I had some hard words for Twinkle and her illogical pattern layouts and confusing instructions.  But here I am, back again. Of course everything I said is true, but you know I gotta hand it to her–she has some pretty cool designs. They’re just special, is what they are. I pretty much wore the tuna salad out of the first Take Manhatten, and Poetry in Motion was another big fave.  And I have plans to print another million pages and puzzle my way through her instructions some more because I like her designs that much.

For this tunic I used a lovely striped linen I got at JoAnn’s on clearance years ago, and added some slouchy pockets  because I’m into those lately.  
mad mim_twinkle sews_take manhatten_04

The cowl is supposed to be lined, but I felt like it would be too stiff so I decided to ditch the second layer and just add some bias tape to the neck seam, and then turn the end of the cowl under to create the casing.mad mim_twinkle sews_take manhatten_05

mad mim_twinkle sews_take manhatten_03

I look like a burly pubescent teen in this picture.  Just saying. mad mim_twinkle sews_take manhatten_02

I also added some bias tape on the back seam, and put a little elastic in the casing of the pocket to reign that slouchy sucker in. mad mim_twinkle sews_take manhatten_06

mad mim_twinkle sews_take manhatten_01

Fun. I really love it.  Not sure my pear shaped figure is rocking the loose a-line silhouette, but I don’t really care.  Still gonna wear the tuna salad out of it.  Have you ever sewn any Twinkle designs? What side of the fence do you fall with her?

Basic Pattern Blocking

As promised, a little tutorial on how to do some basic pattern blocking! This technique of course can be used with different fabrics (careful to use ones with similar properties and care!), but I love the look of blocking the same fabric with one of the blocked portions hand printed (more details of this discharged cabbage rose print top here). Pattern blocking is so simple, and has such a bold and graphic result!

mad mim_discharge printing_blocked rose top_13 basic-blocking-title
basic-pattern-spreading
  1. Trace your pattern front twice to create a full front pattern piece.
  2. Measure down 6.5″ from left shoulder and mark, and then 10″ from right side seam and mark. Draw a diagonal line from mark to mark, and then cut pattern on this line.
  3. Add seam allowances now (I added a 1/2″) by either taping paper to extend the top and bottom pieces along diagonal, or simply remember to add seam allowances when cutting your fabric. Be very careful to cut both pieces exactly on grain.
  4. Hand print top piece.
  5. Right sides together, baste top and bottom piece together, check placement, then sew and finish raw edges however you choose. Press well (seam allowances down).
  6. Trim any side seam excess, and then topstitch close to seam on bottom block.

Continue construction normally from there (except if you want to add a placket in back like I did!) More details here.

Rose-Blocked Discharge Printing DIY

mad mim_discharge printing_blocked rose top_10 mad mim_discharge printing_blocked rose top_06 mad mim_discharge printing_blocked rose top_07

Peeps. Favorite new printing technique, right here, right now.

Discharge paste! It’s all about discharge paste, guys! Let me tell you why I love this stuff: instead of depositing something on your fabric (like paint printing), you’re actually leaching out the color, so there’s absolutely no stiffness or chance of it fading or washing out. The design becomes part of the fabric, and will always look the same. And it’s so soft! It doesn’t always discharge to white, it varies and is sort of a fun surprise to see what color it will be. It’s a really fun process, and so satisfying to “reveal” the printing. It’s also so cool to do on really dark colors!

For this top I once again turned to Grainline’s Scout Tee, and the fabric is an oh-so-soft combed cotton lawn dyed Kilt Green (a new color for me, but I really love it!)

I think sometimes people get intimidated to print an entire garment, so I wanted to highlight a project where I printed only a small portion of the top.  You can do minimal printing and still get the same look as an overall printed piece. I actually love piece printing because it really emphasizes your design, and it’s a fast printing process. Some other designs that would work well with this idea is something with a yoke (here or here), or pockets (like my both my Briar tees!) So I decided on some diagonal blocking in the front (look for another basic pattern blocking tutorial later this week!), as well as adding a placket to the back, with different prints on both. I think if I were on Project Runway Tim would counsel me to edit and choose ONE print, but I can’t resist the temptation to mix it up, sorry Tim.

title-discharge

Begin by carving you stamp. My basic process was to freehand sketch this cabbage rose onto a rubber block, carve the outer lines using a linoleum cutter set, then the inner details, and finally cut that sucker out entirely with an xacto knife. I mounted mine to an acrylic block for easy stamping. With discharge paste, I found it was better to use designs that allow for overlap and randomness. Because it prints clear, it’s too hard to try and align exact repeat designs and precise patterns.

mad mim_discharge printing_blocked rose top_01

Scoop a little paste out onto an old plastic lid, and with a small roller or brayer, get some paste and roll it several times on the plastic so it evenly distributes onto the entire roller (important). Roll it onto the stamp, creating a thin and even layer of paste on the surface.  You want a good amount, but not so much that it goops in between the grooves of your design.  A small amount of paste will go a long way.

mad mim_discharge printing_blocked rose top_02

Now after making a test print to check placement and stamp distribution, firmly print your design on to your fabric. Again, discharge paste prints clear, so on some fabrics it’s almost invisible.  To help me place my pattern (flexible placement is best!) I marked with a chalk pen around the edges of my stamp directly after printing so I could see where I had gone.  Here on the right you can see all my marks, and barely discern the pattern.   Allow paste to dry completely and then rub off your markings.

mad mim_discharge printing_blocked rose top_03

Using a hot iron with plenty of steam (as hot as your fabric allows that is!) and magically reveal your printed pattern by evenly ironing.  Be sure my friends, to do this in a well ventilated area (windows OPEN), as this stuff stinks pretty bad and shouldn’t be inhaled. A mask probably wouldn’t be a bad idea.

mad mim_discharge printing_blocked rose top_04 mad mim_discharge printing_blocked rose top_05 mad mim_discharge printing_blocked rose top_13 mad mim_discharge printing_blocked rose top_11 mad mim_discharge printing_blocked rose top_12

Isn’t this stuff cool?! What kind of projects would you use this stuff on? I wanna hear some of your ideas!

And to announce the last of our Stretch Yourself winners, congrats seamstress60 the winner of Madeira Serger thread, Danica the winner of Fabrics A to Z , and to Sarah S the winner of the Ottobre subscription!! I’ll be in touch with you very soon!

And ps, how do you like my new haircut??

Trouble Shooting Fabric Dying

So the other day I really screwed up a dye job. And not like a bad job, but a total fail, wa wa waaa.  I dyed some fabric a deep blue green-blue color that was just a tad too blue for me.  It was really lovely, but I felt like I might not wear it as much as I wanted to.  I should have just dealt with it, but I decided I was gonna try to bleach it a bit. After TWO bleach baths, it was semi-messed up, but in a cool, I-can-still-make-lemonade out this kind of way. It looked tie-dyed, and it was actually really pretty. I should have just stopped there (would that I HAD), but like an idiot I had to try and bleach it one more time, and BUMMER, I ended up with completely shreddred fabric. My FAVORITE silk-viscose too! Agghgh!!!  Why didn’t it occur to me that 3 strong bleach baths wasn’t a good plan? I dye fabric ALL the time, so I was mad at myself for going crazy with the bleach, I know better!

I learned a powerful lesson that I’ve learned too many times before. TEST your dye. Just do it.  If you care about the project, it’s worth preparing a little cup of dye to test a square of fabric.  Every fiber and blend takes the dye a little differently, and sometimes that little bit can make the difference.  I usually just dissolve about 1/8 teaspoon  and a teaspoon of salt in a little mug, and let my little test-square sit for a half hour or so.   It will be a little different (probably more vibrant) in the actual dye bath, but this will give you a good idea of how the fabric will take the dye.  If I find I don’t quite like the color, it’s easy to mix the dyes at this stage to try and play around with the color.

mad mim_dying fabric_discharging2

Another thing  I’m relearning is how important it is to keep the fabric moving.  I use the tub/bucket dying method, and have been a little lazy with this lately–just stirring every so often when I pass by or remember, and consequently my dye jobs were getting a little splotchy and uneven. I corrected this by planting myself by the bucket/bath (grab a book or something), and stir frequently. This prevents the setting of the dye in the creases and folds of the fabric.

My all-time favorite dye is dharma trading‘s fiber reactive procian dye, which I’ve talked about lots round here. It involves a chemical reaction (with the soda ash fixative) that permanently fixes the dye, so you don’t get fading with every wash (I’m looking at you, Rit).  It’s also about the same price as Rit, but you get wwaaaaaaay more than one dye bath with a little tub. I’d say each little tub is good for around 5-8 projects (guesstimate) depending on the size. And there’s so many lovely rich and vibrant colors to choose from!

Other tips:

-Make sure you have enough water! You want enough for the fabric to move around freely–if you don’t then your fabric will likely end up with variation in saturation and a mottled, creased effect. I use a big five gallon bucket and set it in (an empty) bathtub in case of spills. Just to clarify, I don’t fill UP the bucket, I use enough water for the fabric to move around freely, (this chart is very helpful).

-Don”t skimp on the salt (non-iodized or “does not contain iodine”), it really matters.  It’s what makes the dye “stick” to your fabric, so be generous.

-I just started using this calsolene oil which you add to the bath in the beginning and helps to produce more even results, and I gotta say I’ve noticed a difference and am pleased with the results.

So now I’m working on another project, and I prepared like ten little dye baths and really learned a lot about the fabric and dye results.  It was a half hour (I did it while doing my dishes) well invested!

 

mad mim_dying fabric_discharging

 

I really love dying fabric; I enjoy the process, love the results, and am still learning! What are your dying secrets?

Congratulations Emily K you won Victory’s Lola Tunic Pattern!

Congratulations Amy U you won Figgy’s Banyan Tee Pattern!

And Congratulations Sarah (“Wonderful! Such a cute twist on the regular shirt.”), you won Megan Nielsen’s Briar Tee Pattern! I’ll be in touch with all of you soon! 

Personalized Hand-Carved Stamps

Ever year there’s at least one Christmas gift that I don’t get done in time, and I’m forced to offer a pretty lame I O U_____.  Something happens, I take on too much, whatever…and I always end up with a straggler or two.  Sometimes I get to the promised gift a few weeks/months later, and sometimes they never happen (Don’t hate me, Jeff!)

These personalized stamps and card kit was just such a gift. My sister in law (who I’ll keep anonymous…hee hee, I’m super funny!) wanted personalized note cards, and I thought that even better than that would be some rad, hand carved stamps with a card kit and printing supplies.  It was actually kind of cool that I did it all late though, because she helped design them, and so I know she’ll like them. We settled on three different designs, and I went to work with my carving tools and rubber carving blocks (you just need a small corner for these!)

mad mim_hand printing cards_personalized notes_05 mad mim_hand printing cards_personalized notes_01 - Copy (2) mad mim_hand printing cards_personalized notes_02

I am so happy with how they turned out, and am actually pretty jazzed about a new technique I’ve been using for carving small words/letters (tutorial soon to follow! )

mad mim_hand printing cards_personalized notes_03 - Copy

And now to announce a few winners from our Stretch Yourself giveaways! Eva from Spain is the winner of Sewaholic’s Renfrew Tee pattern, and Holly Sharp is the winner for the O + S raglan Tee pattern! I’ll be in touch with both of you soon to get you your patterns!

Stretch Yourself Week 2 Review + Madeira Serger Thread Giveaway

This series is sponsored by Baby Lock. For over 40 years,  Babylock has been dedicated to the love of sewing by creating machines for sewing, embroidery, quilting and serging – all with ease-of-use, high quality and a touch of elegance.

stretch-yourself-logo

 

If you haven’t noticed we’re ending the Stretch Yourself series with a bang and an assuage of giveaways, which you won’t mind I’m sure!;) We’ve loved doing this series, and are now going to collapse in a big heap from exhaustion.  Don’t mind us if you happen to chance upon us, we’ll be the ones buried neck-deep in the pile of knitwear. No seriously, it’s been great,  you’ve been great, and we’re already scheming round 2……??

Week 2 of Stretch Yourself we had so much fun reviewing patterns specifically for knits–this was probably my favorite part of the whole thing. I loved making each of those patterns, as well as using the adorable fabric from the Fabric Fairy.  So fun.  It was also a blast to share with you the amazing talent and creativity brought to the table by our wonderful guest posters. A big thank you to all of them, they were totally the bomb (I can say that cause I’m thirty). And lastly,a massive thank you to all of the Stretch Yourself sponsors! I get a real kick giving awesome stuff away, and boy did they load us up with awesome stuff! Thank you!

For our very last giveaway we’re excited to have Madeira provide some of their wonderful  Aerolock Premium Serger thread! (Madeira is a sister company to Baby Lock, fyi).  This giveaway is for 4 cones of Salmon (peachy pink), and 4 cones of mustard yellow.   Here’s your chance to build your serger thread collection, as well as do some fun topstitching and flatlocking! I hear this thread is amazing stuff, and I can’t wait to try it out myself! For a chance to win, simply leave a comment below by January 25 (open to USA only, sorry international friends!)**closed**

madeira serger thread mad mim_stretch yourself_finishing techniques24a

 

Thanks everyone!   (If you have anything you’d like to see in another edition of Stretch Yourself or would like to be a sponsor or get your pattern reviewed, feel free to contact Miranda or me, we’d love to hear from you! )BabyLock_HortLogo_K_Tag

Stretch Yourself Week 1 Review + Fabrics A to Z Book Giveaway

This series is sponsored by Baby Lock. For over 40 years,  Babylock has been dedicated to the love of sewing by creating machines for sewing, embroidery, quilting and serging – all with ease-of-use, high quality and a touch of elegance.

stretch-yourself-logo

Well the time has come, my friends, to wind down our Stretch Yourself series. I definitely stretched myself doing this series, and so many of you have shared with us your big plans  to stretch yourselves with some of the techniques and projects we talked about. Yes! More jazz hands! Miranda and I have been so happy with the response you guys have given us, and all your enthusiasm made all the hard work payoff. You’re awesome.

The first week was our best shot at a knit-sewing resource guide. We hope that our posts on fabric selection, cutting, construction, and finishing techniques will help get you comfortable with the basics, and our posts on drafting patterns and tee variations will get you inspired.  There’s a lot of information there, so read now or read it later, it’s there for you when you have a question or are ready to break it down.

To go along with all the resources we’ve put together, we are so excited today to offer another giveaway (we’re on a rampage today!)  for the fabulous resource book Fabrics A to Z, which is a reference guide for getting to know and selecting fabric by Dana Willard from Made. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this book, and I’m sure it will come in handy as you go in for the tackle of your next knit project (It has a section dedicated to it!). For a chance to win this book, simply leave a comment below by January 25!**closed**

Fabrics A to Z

Fabrics A to Z knit overviewpictures via

BabyLock_HortLogo_K_Tag

Ottobre Design Review and Giveaway // Stretch Yourself

This series is sponsored by Baby Lock. For over 40 years,  Babylock has been dedicated to the love of sewing by creating machines for sewing, embroidery, quilting and serging – all with ease-of-use, high quality and a touch of elegance.

stretch-yourself-logo
sewing with knits_comfy kid's pant pattern

Many of you have heard me gush about Ottobre before, but I’m always happy to spread the European-fashion love.  Ottobre—if you don’t know already—is a Finnish fashion design magazine that includes about 40 complete patterns per children’s issue.  The designs are amazing! They’re modern, playful, functional, well-designed and creative. My heart skips a beat every time one shows up in the mail, and my kids love to slowly peruse each issue, making special orders for what they want me to make (especially Twinkle).  They have become my go-to source for kid’s clothes patterns, especially for their wide range of basics, and well-designed , professional collection of jeans, pants and jackets.  Each issue is loaded with patterns for both knits and wovens, and the project’s difficulty range from beginner to advanced. I absolutely love my Ottobre subscription!

sewing with knits_comfy kid's pant pattern

Each Ottobre issue prints 40 patterns onto the front and back of four  3’ X 2’ sheets. There are probably around 5 patterns on each side, and each are color-coded for you to trace onto separate paper (love my exam-table paper!). Most of the time it’s not bad, but sometimes with patterns that have a lot of pieces it can get confusing. I suggest lots of good lighting, reading the instructions completely through before cutting out, and referring often to the diagram of cut pattern pieces diagram.

Everything thing I’ve ever made from Ottobre patterns has fit really well, been very well-designed, and turned out so professional-looking. The construction techniques are logical and extremely well-written (I’ve always been so impressed with whoever is translating them! It is important to note though, that there are no step-by-step diagrams, only written instructions. This means that you do have to be familiar with basic sewing techniques and terms beforehand. I wouldn’t suggest Ottobre to most beginners, but that being said, you don’t have to know everything to have success.  I would say if you have a good foundation then you’ll do well, and you’ll certainly learn a lot as you go, I know I have.  The sizing takes a bit of a learning curve as well, because it’s all done in centimeters. When determining what size to make, in my experience it’s best to base it on your child’s height rather than their chest and tummy measurement.

sewing with knits_comfy kid's pant pattern

For Stretch Yourself, I decided to highlight the Harem pant pattern (#2 and #11) from the Spring 2011 issue, as it has become a real favorite around here. I have made this pattern FIVE times (they have a baby size as well), and my daughter is STILL asking for more. It is so simple, so unique, and so comfortable, which is why we both love this design so much.  She calls them her “genie pants”, and she has even gotten requests from her friends for some (not happening!) I actually would love to sport some of these myself! (hint hint for the women’s issue!)

I seriously can’t say how much I love Ottobre! You get a ton of bang for your buck, and even one year’s subscription would give you an amazing collection of patterns.  To me it’s just so exciting to have patterns for such modern and playful European designs, and to be able to produce such professional looking clothing!  Here are some of my favorite knitwear Ottobre designs  that I’ve made in the past! Merritt’s Grandpa Sweater, baby leggings, the Frenchie Stripes Tee, Birthday Flounce, and a cardigan and tee. In the pictures below Twinkle is also sporting a basic puffed sleeved tee from Ottobre that I’ve made close to 10 times (1/2011 #24)!

sewing with knits_comfy kid's pant pattern

sewing with knits_comfy kid's pant patternDetails:

Pattern: #2 and #11 from Ottobre’s Spring 2011 issue.  Child’s size 110.

Fabric: a slinky rayon knit I got for $2 a yard.

Check out Miranda‘s Ottobre project, I adore that little hoodie! I love the binding and owl print!

For your own chance to win a one year’s subscription (!!!) to Ottobre Design magazine (children’s AND women’s editions!), simply enter a comment below before January 25, 6 pm MST! PS that’s like a MILLION patterns!**closed**

BabyLock_HortLogo_K_Tag

Twist on a Basic with Lladybird and A Little Gray // Stretch Yourself

This series is sponsored by Baby Lock. For over 40 years,  Babylock has been dedicated to the love of sewing by creating machines for sewing, embroidery, quilting and serging – all with ease-of-use, high quality and a touch of elegance.

stretch-yourself-logo

To wrap up our rad guest posters our last ladies are embellishing or doing a twist on a basic.  Embellishing or varying a basic is when we get to take our homemade garments from cool to special, where we get to stamp our individuality all over it and make it personal and unique. Go see Lauren’s amazing front-hand pocketed tee at Lladybird  (it’s a variation of the Renfrew tee!!)

mad mim_stretch yourself_guest posters05

And hop over to Jessica’s for her super cute embroidered  (!!) rainbow road leggings at A Little Gray.

mad mim_stretch yourself_guest posters04

Thank you SO much to all our guest posters this week–I absolutely loved seeing all your creativity and talent! I hope you all were as inspired as I have been!

Stretch Yourself Week 1:

Knit Fabrics and Selection at OLM // Cutting Knit Fabric at MM

Making a Pattern from a Tee Shirt at OLM // Drafting a Tee Pattern from Measurements at MM

Basic Tee Shirt Construction at OLM // Finishing Details for Knit Fabric at MM

Tee Shirt Dress Variation at OLM // Peplum Tee Variation at MM

Drafting and Sewing Leggings at OLM // Drafting and Sewing a Maxi Skirt at MM

Serger and Coverstitch Techniques at OLM // Baby Lock Diana Threading and Converting to Coverstitch at MM

BabyLock_HortLogo_K_Tag

Megan Nielsen’s Briar Review and Giveaway // Stretch Yourself

This series is sponsored by Baby Lock. For over 40 years,  Babylock has been dedicated to the love of sewing by creating machines for sewing, embroidery, quilting and serging – all with ease-of-use, high quality and a touch of elegance.stretch-yourself-logomad mim_stretch yourself_Megan Nielsens Briar review_01

It’s no secret I’m in love with Megan. The girl’s got talent and impeccable style oozing out her ears, and is really one of the nicest people I’ve ever worked with.  I was thrilled when we were able to add her newest pattern the Briar T-shirt to our list of pattern reviews! I’m so excited to share the details with you, as I really really love this shirt.

First of all, let’s have a heart to heart about Megan’s branding. It’s absolutely pitch perfect, and is literally so appealing that you can’t wait to get started.  I love the little instruction booklet, and the sturdy paper patterns are made to last.  I suggest tracing your desired design rather than cutting into the enclosed patterns, because there are so many variations that you’ll want to make several, I’m guessing.

The instructions are very detailed, and are geared towards someone who isn’t familiar with pattern-speak.  She explains techniques in simple terms, and adds a lot of additional explanations for beginning sewists.  The pockets and neckline  include a couple different construction techniques depending on what look you want and level you’re at, so really the Briar covers a pretty wide range of techniques for being a single pattern.  It’s easy and stylish, and great twist on the basic tee.

elena1
mad mim_stretch yourself_Megan Nielsens Briar review_02

The high-low hem is trendy and very flattering, and the cropped version is so fun and a great layering piece. I have never liked anything cropped before, so it’s saying a lot that I chose that variation to make first (I get so many compliments on it!) My second version pictured here I actually made as Christmas gift for my baby sister LJ, and this time went for the normal length ( I actually lengthened the front an inch or so). Again, I went for that hand-printed side-pocket addition like I did with my first, as well as the shoulder applique which is so fun (I just did mine from the same hand-printed fabric).

I really love this pattern!  It has like a kazillion simple variations, and it even has brief instructions on how to change the high-low to a straight hem if you want. This is a perfect beginner’s project, and so fun and versatile that you’ll want to make several!

Go check out Miranda‘s version of the Briar, I love her cropped variation, and the color and texture of her fabric is so pretty!

For a chance to win your own copy of Megan Nielsen’s Briar Tee, simply leave a comment below by January 24, 6 pm!**closed**

BabyLock_HortLogo_K_Tag

Block Printing Knits with Anu*Miki and Paunnet // Stretch Yourself

This series is sponsored by Baby Lock. For over 40 years,  Babylock has been dedicated to the love of sewing by creating machines for sewing, embroidery, quilting and serging – all with ease-of-use, high quality and a touch of elegance.

stretch-yourself-logo

 

It’s no secret I love hand printing, so our guest posters block-printed projects today were right up my alley. Go see Rachel’s crazy cute printed scarfs at Anu*Miki,destoffenstudio printed scarf

And Anna’s adorable mustache tee at Paunnet. So great! 
mad mim_stretch yourself_guest posters01
Stretch Yourself Week 1:

Knit Fabrics and Selection at OLM // Cutting Knit Fabric at MM

Making a Pattern from a Tee Shirt at OLM // Drafting a Tee Pattern from Measurements at MM

Basic Tee Shirt Construction at OLM // Finishing Details for Knit Fabric at MM

Tee Shirt Dress Variation at OLM // Peplum Tee Variation at MM

Drafting and Sewing Leggings at OLM // Drafting and Sewing a Maxi Skirt at MM

Serger and Coverstitch Techniques at OLM // Baby Lock Diana Threading and Converting to Coverstitch at MM

BabyLock_HortLogo_K_Tag

 

Figgy’s Banyan Tee Review and Giveaway // Stretch Yourself

This series is sponsored by Baby Lock. For over 40 years,  Babylock has been dedicated to the love of sewing by creating machines for sewing, embroidery, quilting and serging – all with ease-of-use, high quality and a touch of elegance.

stretch-yourself-logo

The first time I saw a Figgy’s Pattern while scrolling through Pinterest I almost fell out of my seat.  A modern, American, CHILDREN’S pattern company?! How did I not know about them always!

the banyan tee pattern review

I’m a huge fan of Shelly’s clean and modern asthetic, and I adore how fresh and functional the Banyan tees are. Both the boy’s and girl’s patterns and instructions are in one pdf, and once printed, the pattern tiles together quickly and easily.  She suggests tracing the pattern instead of cutting up the tiled pages, which is smart—I know I’ll be using this pattern  again, so it saves me taping and assembling time in the future.

I love the way these shirts come together. The detailed instructions are the same for both versions, so there are just a few variations for each one (i.e. the hems).  One thing I liked about the construction was that you attach the neck band after sewing just one shoulder together, so that you’re attaching the band to an open neck rather than a closed circle. This makes it easier to stretch the band evenly, and it’s just a breeze to attach.  That being said, it is a little tougher to recognize if the band needs to be tighter, because it’s hard to tell if it will lie completely flat until you assemble the shoulder.  On my first version the band wasn’t quite tight enough (it wasn’t lying flat), so I had to seam rip the shoulder apart again and then remove the band to shorten it’s length a little.

It’s the small details that make these shirts such standouts—the sleeve cuff on the boy’s tee, and the handkerchief hem on the girl’s are both so cool and easy. Both tees have great style lines (especially the lovely a-line girls version!) and my kids love how comfortable they are. The fit and sizing for both are fantastic; the only alterations I made were minor: I lengthened my boy’s version slightly as my kiddos tend to have pretty long torsos, and shortened the length and added a teensy bit to the width of the  neck bands.  I had originally made a boy’s version in the same navy stripe as my girl’s but failed to prewash, and it shrunk ridiculously. So I just threw it on my baby girl, and added a little elastic through the neck casing to bring it in. It gives an oversized-tunic-tee look for her, and paired with some leggings, I really love it.

On top of the pitch perfect styling of the shirts, Figgy’s branding is exceptional—the whole pdf is pretty and exciting to work from.  This would be a great beginner’s project, but will likely attract sewists from all different levels because of the stylish design. So now I have one for each my kids and I can’t wait to make more!

the banyan tee pattern review the banyan tee pattern review the banyan tee pattern review the banyan tee pattern review the banyan tee pattern review the banyan tee pattern review

Details

Pattern: Figgy’s fabulous Banyan Tee–sizes boy 4/5  and girl 6/7.

Fabric: For Twinkle and Tiny’s I used a navy and white striped 1 way stretch knit (which made the neckbands a little hard, and likely the reason I had to alter the length), that I got for $2/yd at NPS. Tito’s happy stripe interlock knit was a remnant I snagged from a friend.

I’m dying over Miranda‘s little Banyan tops, Milo’s version is so hipster! LOVE. Go check them out!

For your very own copy of Figgy’s Banyan Tee simply leave a comment below by January 23, 6 pm MST for a chance to win!**closed**

BabyLock_HortLogo_K_Tag