It seems that this summer, I was more into the sewing than the writing-about-the-sewing. Before I knew it, summer was essentially over, and I had a pile of new clothes, but no new blog posts. At least I was being productive with one of the two, and will aim for a better balance this season. Though it was fun to write this post and look back at how well everything I’ve made in the last few months works with each other to form a cohesive and easy-to-wear wardrobe. I also seem to have ended up with a bunch of tops that look great with white jeans, which wasn’t my intent when I chose my fabrics, but is nice for summer.
Lekala 4119, a kimono sleeve, drapey cowl-neck top was the first pattern that I took on for the summer season. A very simple pattern, with just three pieces, this is a great pattern for those who aren’t sure about digital download patterns (though, I, myself, am sold on the idea and have no problems taping printer paper together).
I loved the first one (pink floral) that I quickly whipped up a second version of this top. Both tops are made with ITY knit, which I think is one of the best fabrics for this style top as it has a lot of drape and doesn’t form permanent wrinkles within the cowl.
I did find that the pattern had a bit more ease than I was expecting, and the sleeves were far longer and baggier than I was expecting. I ended up taking about an inch+ from the bottom of the sleeve, tapering a similar wedge down to very little at the side. I also added a bit to the top curve of the front cowl to get more fabric to drape and fill the neckline. The top wound up being long enough without the hem band that I was able to leave off the band for a slightly dressier look. Once I decided that I was going to leave off the band, I realized that this would be a great project for me to play with the rolled hem stitch on my serger, and finished all edges with a lettuce/ruffle rolled hem.
I followed this pattern with another Lekala pattern, Lekala 4284, a knit top with a bow-style back, and a subtle (or not, depending on your fabric choices) yoke in the front. There are darts drafted into the front of the pattern, but I chose to leave them off and to ease the excess material into the seam as I sewed the side seams. Much to my excitement, this was the only alteration that I made to the pattern. Well, that and hemming the sleeves with a deeper hem to get more of a cap sleeve.
Although it looks like it would be a stand-out type of piece that you would only have room in your closet for one of, I quickly made this top in three different fabrics (a print, a textured solid, and a solid with lace and lace overlays on the bow/yoke), and get different reactions to all three versions. I love that the front is modest/subtle, yet when you turn around there is a pop of style from the dipped bow.
After making these five shirts, I decided it was time to get away from knit tops and add another type of garment to my wardrobe. Stay tuned for Summer Sewing Roundup: Part 2 shortly.