Monday, February 4, 2019

Grainline Hemlock Tee in Hemp & Organic Cotton Jersey

We're thrilled to have four colours of this beautiful 55% Hemp 45% Organic Cotton Jersey in store at the moment. Even better, it's very affordable (in the realm of hemp fabrics) and particularly sustainable because it's leftovers from a local maker.
'Rose' colourway

To demonstrate the loveliness of this knit fabric I whipped up a simple sleeveless t-shirt using the Hemlock Tee pattern by Grainline Studios, a free downloadable pdf. And I really do mean 'whipped up'. A garment could barely be any simpler and this was done and dusted in between helping customers on a weekday morning in the shop.

The body of the pattern is quite long, and I shortened it by about 5cm.

I prewashed my fabric and it shrank in length (as can always be expected from a jersey) from 75cm to around 70cm. This was barely enough to cut the shortened tee from so I'd recommend using a little more! I also didn't have enough fabric to cut the neck band across the grain. Seeing as this fabric has a reasonable amount of stretch down its length as well as across its width, I defied all good knit sewing sense and cut my neckband the wrong way i.e. along the grain. (I can hear you gasping.) It worked fine! After a wash the neckband looks a tiny bit wavy/lumpy, which is probably the price I'm paying for this, and I'm totally fine with that.

To make the Hemlock sleeveless, I used the sleeve notches as my guides and folded in a small hem. When sewing the body sides together, I started on top of the ends of the hem (see pics below). I pressed the seams open.
Armhole hem folded and pinned.

Sides sewn, starting by sewing over the end of the armhole hem.

Bottom of armhole from the outside, after pressing.
I sewed this whole garment on a regular machine with a ballpoint needle, zigzag stitch and cotton thread, with the idea that the entire garment would ultimately be biodegradable. Just writing this I have realised that the clear elastic I used to stabilise the shoulder seams mucks up that intention, but it's close. Usually we would recommend a polyester thread for sewing knits, because its strength holds up better to the stretch of seams. The Hemlock is such a loose fit that none of the seams or hems will ever be under much stress so I am confident of them being quite durable. I didn't even use a walking foot, which can be helpful when sewing knits (because I didn't think of it) and this jersey behaved itself very nicely indeed.
Bottom hem, after a wash.
And here's a hasty shop-selfie to show what it looks like on a human! It may be 'sleeveless' but the boxy shape gives a little cap-sleeve. (If you're after a pattern for this shape but in a woven fabric, we can recommend the Box Top by Frankie and Ray.)

I'm happy to report that this tee is insanely soft and comfortable and I'm wearing it right now as I type. We're not sure how much of this fabric we'll be able to get hold of so if you're keen, don't leave it too long, okay?

Oh and a clever sewist on Facebook commented that this pattern also looks great with a pocket - I can just picture that, can't you? And it would mean even fewer scraps left over!

- Jane & Fiona xx

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