Kirsten Kimono Tee

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). 



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