I didn’t plan to blog this simple Tee, but I ran into trouble whiling sewing yesterday. The Kirsten Kimono Tee is a free pattern from Indie Maria of Denmark.
First, in my last post I wrote that my wardrobe needs a bit of coordination. A couple of years ago, I purchased an end cut of orchid pink cotton jersey from Marcy Tilton. I think I had a purpose at the time, but I’ve forgotten what it was. Turns out that it works with two different skirts I’ve made in the past 18 months:
I made the skirt on the left (my grandmother’s pattern, Vogue 1354), in a cotton sateen, sold out from Gorgeous Fabrics, underlined with cotton voile. It’s no-waist, a- line skirt, great for every day. The skirt on the right is Vogue 7910, view C (love the pockets!!), in a digitally printed linen, sold out from Marcy Tilton, underlined in cotton batiste. In real life the dominant color is purple. I love the skirt – I’ve had it two summers now, and I probably wear it once a week.
The tee is super-simple to make. I didn’t change anything – accept to add organza selvedges to the shoulder seams. It SHOULD have taken an hour to make, tops, even on a simple machine like mine (stitch, then overcast the seams, no serger!)
But when I went to sew the double-needle hem, my test swatches just came back like this:
Difficult to see, I know, but that’s the bottom side of the fabric, and it’s a loopy mess. I messed with the tension, checked to see that the thread was coming of the spools in different directions… and read a half a dozen blogs. Most people worry about skipped stitches and tunneling, but my stitches weren’t really connecting with the bobbin – not tight enough! So, I thought about it, and made two changes. First, I went for a wider twin needle (4, instead of 2,5). Second, I remembered that whenever I have this problem with regular needles, it’s threading the machine. I re-threaded the machine, keeping both threads together (instead of separate as I have always done before). I don’t know which made the difference, but I was finished in no time after that.
I’m not much for sewing knits, preferring wovens, but I am finding different machine feet to be really helpful. I love the walking foot on knits (though I used the zig-zag foot with the twin needle). I also like the overcast foot (left below). I know, you don’t have to finish seams with knits, but I hate the unfinished look, and this fabric rolled. Much cleaner finish. My new favorite is stich-in-the-ditch foot (right below). If I move my needle to the left, I get a perfect 1/8 inch edge stitch. I did this to finish the neckline band.
The tee itself is nothing special. It’s basic, a layering piece, and easy. It would be simple to make changes. I’m not crazy about the kimono sleeve on me – I think I’ll lower the curve under the arm next time (or not).