Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Spring Tops Series - Modal-Tencel-Spandex T-Shirts

Today we'd like to show you how beautifully our Modal-Tencel-Spandex striped knits make up into spring tops. With 60% Modal, 37% Tencel and 3% Spandex these knits are super-soft and drapey, but also hold their shape and have good recovery.
Modal and Tencel are both man-made fibres created from wood pulp cellulose, similar to rayon. They have decent environmental credentials since the chemicals used are contained and recycled or re-used and by-products are also put to use. Additionally, the wood can generally be more sustainably grown than cotton. It's hard to believe a fabric so soft can be made from timber!
First I made a simple t-shirt for my 15 year-old Charlie from the blue stripe. I've only ever sewn with cotton or cotton/spandex knits before, so I wasn't sure how I'd go handling something this drapey and soft. However it behaved really well, perhaps just needing a few more pins here and there to keep seams in line.
 To achieve the stripe right on the edge of the neckband, I cut carefully, pressed it right on the stripe and basted the raw edges of the neckband together before attaching as normal.
As you can see here, the fabric has a lovely softness and drape, but also holds it shape really well, thanks to its medium weight and touch of spandex. The pattern I used was an out-of-print Ottobre that I've enlarged, so I can't really direct anyone to that. However I believe the Thread Theory Strathcona Henley pattern would be an excellent men's t-shirt.
Charlie was so pleased with this t-shirt that he asked for another, from the red stripe! I was delighted to oblige.
Since he's such a teenage beanpole I was able to make each t-shirt from just one width of fabric, using just 90cm each. I pressed the hems carefully and topstitched them with a twin needle.

Stripe matching on these fabrics was a cinch: the stripes seem to be the perfect width to make it easy to line up when cutting and sewing. And the fabric is fluid enough that any minor cutting imperfections can be fudged over with a little extra stretch here and there!

The Modal-Tencel-Spandex Stripe Knit is available here in red or navy on white, and also here in navy with white stripe. Fiona recommends the latter made up in the free Grainline Hemlock tee pattern! Other pattern suggestions: Grainline Lark Tee and the Deer and Doe Ondee.

- Jane & Fiona xx

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