Friday, March 21, 2014

Coal, Cloud, Rust & Bone




As proof positive that the crushing silence on this blog is in no way indicative of slacking off, I present to you the five glorious Hemlock tees that I've whipped up over the past few weeks. The Hemlock tee is a Grainline Studio pattern, and is absolutely awesome for the following reasons: it's a breeze to make, it's free, it's easy to adapt, it's free, it looks great in a range of fabrics, it's comfortable, and it's FREE. And not only is it free, but Jen of Grainline has also very kindly put together a wonderfully descriptive tutorial on how to make it. Yay Jen!

I really cannot say enough great things about my Hemlock sewing experience. These shirts have totally revitalized my wardrobe, and allowed me to stash-bust as well. Sewing them also gave me the opportunity to discover the wonders of my Janome SUV1122 walking foot attachment: my old sewing machine didn't have one, and hoo boy, the difference it makes when top-stitching the hems and collar band! It's no exaggeration to say I nearly wept with joy the first time I tested it out, and it hasn't failed me yet.

Anyway, time for action shots!

Lol at my relentlessly dour and stony blog face. I'm actually really happy with these shirts!
A few details about fabric:

Upper left - this is a lovely double-faced jersey I bought here in town at Gala Fabrics. The heathery gray is the right side, and the white section is the wrong side of the same fabric.

Upper right - two shirts, actually: the undershirt is a featherweight linen jersey, and the overshirt is a bamboo jersey (both picked up at Gala as well).

Lower left - this is a regular cotton jersey, with a charcoal gray and cream stripe. You can't really tell from the picture, but the charcoal is kind of tweedy, as opposed to solid. This one came in an order I got from Girl Charlee (if they still have any, you'll find it here).

Lower right - super nice charcoal merino jersey...and expensive too! I'd been coveting this fabric from Gala for awhile, so it was nice to finally have a suitable pattern for it (that didn't require purchasing too much fabric, ahem). 

It's impossible to pick a favourite, because they all have their own special appeal: the colour-block one is super cozy, the merino one is light-weight but has a nice warmth, the striped one can easily be dressed up or down, and I love the feel and colour of the rusty bamboo version...

 
As mentioned before, the one thing I was especially pleased with in terms of sewing these shirts was finally being able to improve my top-stitching skills, particularly with collar bands. Knit collar bands have always terrified me: I've never been able to get a very consistent result with them, and whatever success I've had with them has been a fluke, insofar as I've never been able to repeat it. The first Hemlock I made was actually the pricey merino jersey one, and I was so terrified of f**cking up the collar band that I put it aside for about a week before giving it a try. Jen's method for attaching the neck band of the Hemlock is a little different than any one I've tried before, but it works beautifully, and I will never fear knit collar bands again!

Well, I think that's about all there is to say about these tops, apart from the fact that my Hemlock fever is far from over (got four more on the way, muahahahaha!). I'm hoping to do a more general, catching-up kind of post very shortly, so do check back :)

8 comments:

  1. Great ones, I want one of each! Bravo

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  2. They are awesome, each and every one! You really really can never have too many tees & now you've got them for all seasons!

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    1. Thank you! It's amazing how quickly your wardrobe expands when you've got such an easy, simple pattern to play around with.

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  3. These are fantastic! I am a newbie when it comes to sewing clothing. So the topstitching technique is an alternative to using a serger?

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    1. Thanks! In regards to your question, the topstitching doesn't replace the use of a serger (I used both my regular sewing machine and my serger for all of these tops): it simply refers to the finishing of the hems, cuffs, and neck band. However, as per Jen's advice in the Hemlock tutuorial, a serger isn't absolutely required for these tops, because most knit fabric doesn't fray when cut :)

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  4. Nice work! Ive not tried the hemlock pattern, but its not dissimilar to the also-free tessuti mandy boat neck top, which (unsurprisingly!) has a boat neck rather than scoop which i found super easy to get a nice finish on too. I love your colour block version!

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  5. These are simply wonderful!

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  6. I love the Hemlock tee. I made two black knit ones with boatneck collar. I can't remember which smart sewing blogger suggested it, but I took the suggestion and just use d the back of the pattern for both the back and the front. Worked fine. (And if I'm eating out and drop a greasy bite of food on my shirt, i can just scurry to the restroom and switch it around - LOL!)

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