Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Two Fabrics, One top - The Floreat

The Floreat Top paired with Emerson Pant made out of linen!

There are so many creative possibilities when we sew, learn, and experiment with the fabric we love! The Floreat by Megan Nielsen is an asymmetrical dress or top that can be made out of either a knit or a woven fabric. Most patterns have to be adjusted to have this dual use, but this simple pattern, with clean lines, is extremely versatile and perfect for spring.

Laurel and I chose one knit and one woven fabric to make this top. We can't wait to see how they compare and how each top fits into our handmade wardrobes!

So many views to play with!

So we thought we'd test it out.  For the knit version, we chose the crop version  (View C) with short sleeves.  Our fabric is a soft organic cotton and hemp knit with a gentle slub texture. With so many high quality knits available, it's hard to choose! 

Love this color range on the Organic Cotton & Hemp Jersey at Stonemountain
Olive, Denim Blue, Terra, Shell, White, Black, Mauve, Brick Red, Red, and Navy!

If you've been sewing for a while, you do know that you can virtually make an entire knit garment using only your serger.  It takes practice, but the finishing on the inside is tidy and very professional looking.

Keep your pins close together and pull them out as you go along - even a sleeve can be set in using a serger...and remember...


We did stitch the Floreat's neck band on with a standard sewing machine, as it requires a little bit of stretching.  After it's safely sewn on, you can then serge the edge for a neat finish.

Don't you just love the Kylie and the Machine garment labels that are available for your me-mades? We chose the This is the back for this shirt.

Insides as pretty as the outside!

If you don't have a fancy cover stitch machine, just pop in a twin needle for the hemming.

Hint: If you don't happen to have two spools of the exactly same thread for your twin needle, just wind some thread onto a bobbin. Voilá! Matching thread! We use a larger stitch length for this top stitching technique.

Pretty cool!

So, if we want to try the Floreat in a woven fabric, just how different are the construction techniques? You'll find the neckline treatment is the main difference between the knit and woven versions, but the sleeve construction will differ as well.

The knit version has a bias neckband, whereas the woven top has a facing and an opening in the back with a hook & eye for ease of getting it over your head. The woven dress version will have a zipper down the back.

There are so many amazing choices for this versatile top or dress in woven fabrics. Check out our website to shop our linen and linen blends.

Laurel chose to make a woven Floreat, out of some left over metallic linen she had used previously for a dress.  She decided to use the wrong (non-metallic) side of the fabric for a more casual look. 

Facings are usually under-stitched to keep the them in place. It's a simple row of stitching on the very edge of the facing that catches the seam allowance. The facing can also be stitched down if you prefer. And for a closure, all that's needed is a small hook and eye to secure it at the neck.

The second difference between the two fabric versions occurs in sleeve construction. The knit sleeves are sewn to the armhole flat, then the side seams of the garment are sewn up from sleeve hem to the bodice hem. The woven sleeves are constructed separately, then inserted into the armhole, adjusting the ease and matching the notches. After the woven sleeve is set in, you can then finish off the edges with your serger (or a zig-zag stitch).

Laurel did a quickie "pattern hack" on the sleeves of her Floreat, as they did come out a little fuller than she prefers.  She made a small pleat in the edge of the sleeve...very cute.

Double row of top stitching on the hem.

Laurel can't wait to wear this sweet, springy Floreat.

 Whether you choose to use knit or woven fabric, the Floreat is a great beginner to intermediate project. The knit version whips up pretty fast - Laurel made mine in a little over an hour. The woven version is a little more time consuming as the fabric has less "give", so it has to be eased together.

Which version do you like? Why not try one of each! We have some great knits for a soft dress version and the woven version would be awesome in a rayon print. We look forward to seeing your Floreats on the 'gram!

You can read more about constructing both versions of the Floreat on the Megan Nielsen blog!

Sewing is no longer an isolated, individual craft. It has evolved to a shared experience, empowering folks to sew garments that we love. There is such a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive community of creative people to connect with.

Thanks again for reading along! 

Suzan Steinberg
in Berkeley since 1981