Monday, May 22, 2017

Tee it up for Summer! Yep it's Me Made May Time!

Jalie 3352

With such a huge selection of knits available at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley, it's no wonder that making tee shirts for the Spring and Summer is one of our favorite sews. Whether it be cotton or rayon knit, the prints and designs are infinite, so every tee looks unique, even if you reuse the pattern over and over. We've even noticed that the overall quality of knit fabrics has improved over our 34 years here at Stonemountain, so we totally enjoy finding those unusual prints for you.

If this is your first experience with knits, you may want to try a more stable, soft cotton knit before you pick an even softer rayon knit...and by all means, save our luscious silk knits until you've got a couple of tees under your belt - slippery little devils! :) We stock great polyester knits as well, but we're thinking summer heat so the breathable natural fabrics are best for tees - save those polys for Fall and Winter.

We have been enjoying the focus on Indie Patterns for quite a while now. Over on Instagram, our sewing community is sharing their creations for Me Mad May! You can use the hashtag #memademay and always remember to tag #stonemountainfabric if you use our patterns or fabric! If you are not on there following @stonemountainfabric and @fabriclady3, do head on over!

One of our go-to patterns is Grainline Studio's Lark Tee.  It's an easy pattern for intermediate sewists, but even a beginner who's just trying their first knit tee can probably handle it. Perfect for getting started with #memademay or your summer sewing! Here one we've made in the past for me...

This graphic print was more challenging to cut out then it was to sew.

Laurel is addicted to the Lark - last Winter she made three of them in one sitting.

So naturally, as she looked forward to the summer months ahead, she returned to the Lark, but with shorter sleeves for the valley heat. The Lark has four sleeve variations and four necklines to choose from - that's what makes it such a great pattern.  We both also love that it is fitted and longer in the torso.

Why not do another "power sewing" day and make three at a time - especially when they all will use the same color thread! Much of the sewing on knits can be done with a serger - the side and shoulder seams, as well as finishing off the edges. Each variation of the Lark Tee neckline comes with a perfectly fitting neck binding pattern piece, so no guesswork is needed.  The sleeves are sewn in using a stretch stitch (you can use a small zig-zag stitch) and then finished with a serged edge for neatness.

Our Buyers Lauren and Liz are always talking sewing techniques with Laurel, and Lauren has been touting the twin needle finish on the hems. So let's give it a try, using a wooly nylon in the bobbin. We had to mess with the tension a bit to reduce the tunneling that sometimes occurs with certain knits.

Two spools of the same color thread
Laurel actually used a jeans twin needle, as the needles were farther apart. And she set the stitch length for 3.0
 Not a bad result...right?!

 On this rayon knit, she used the v-neck option and a deeper hem.

We love this cotton animal pattern soft and cute.

In the absence of an expensive Cover Stitch machine, this twin needle finish is great.

I think Laurel picked up some turquoise denim last month...this needs a pair of Morgan Jeans, right??
The third tee wasn't as cooperative with the twin needle as the other two fabrics, so we just reverted back to a multi zig-zag to finish it off.  In fact, the fabric got a little tangled up in the plate and whoops...naturally, the hole is on the front of the sleeve...oh well. Finished is better then perfect!

We love the shorter cap sleeve version too!

Most of our Indie pattern makers offer some sort of a tee shirt pattern, so don't be limited in your pattern selections. Why not also try this cute Dolman top from Jalie #3352...

Jalie 3352

Or this raglan tee, also from Jalie 3245...

Jalie 3245
After all, variety is the spice of life! And we certainly have enough variety in the fabrics to choose from.  Here's a couple I chose ( you know how I have that Celestial thing going)

Get your tees started now, before the summer the heats up.

What are you most desiring to make?

I hope that my blog is serving to inspire you to get your summer sewing planned out!

With all the great new patterns and high quality of fabric at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics, we got this, right?!

Now step on over to the inspiring blog of my Berkeley Fabric store and read more about Me Made May and what our customers are doing with our fabric!

"It's so inspiring to see what our customers create with our fabrics and patterns!  We thought we'd gather together some of the garments we've seen on Instagram this past month, and we hope it inspires you too!"

Me Made May Round Up for Stonemountain!

Creatively yours,

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