Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Kimono Hack x 3

The Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono is my TNT knit t-shirt pattern.  I've hacked up the pattern quite a bit, lowering the neckline significantly and doing a dartless FBA and a forward shoulder adjustment.  The pattern has worked very well for me in general - I even used it to make a few maternity tees last year.  Earlier this summer, though, I made a couple that were too tight in the tummy and hips.  I'm still wearing a few other tees made with the same pattern pieces, so I surmised that the fit issues had to have come from the fabric.  In any case, after the second unwearable tee in a row, I got a bit frustrated and decided to alter the pattern again to make the shape a little more swingy and thus more forgiving of varying stretch percentages.


In order to turn my pattern into a swing tee, I slashed and spread the pattern from the hem to the narrowest part of my rib cage - this was important because I did not want the fabric waterfalling right off the top of my bust; I needed to keep the negative ease down through the bust to avoid a maternity look.  I think I succeeded at that.  I slashed and spread the back pattern too, but not as much as the front as I wanted it to be a bit more fitted.


I cut my first out of a black cotton slub knit from Fabric Mart.  I had a good bit of gaping after I sewed it together.  I initially blamed this on the fabric. I ended up taking a 1" dart in the back neck, tapering to nothing about four inches down.  I also had to take two 1/4" darts out of the front neckline.  It fits perfectly now, so I went back to my pattern and removed the excess so that I wouldn't have to sew darts in the future. In my Google research since then, I have found that the problem is most likely my free and easy lowering of the neckline - apparently you can't just scoop out a neckline, you have to "contour" it, or you get the gape I'm kvetching about here.  I haven't been able to find any good online resources to show me how to do this (other than the general "remove neck gape" tutorials) so I think maybe it's time I invest in a proper fitting book.


I sewed my second tee out of this Nicole Miller rayon/lycra remnant from JoAnn's.  The print is so random that I didn't give any thought to pattern placement other than to make sure that it was on-grain.  That faux-yoke on the front is totally coincidental.  I don't love the huge swath of orange and brown across my torso and kind of wish I'd cut the front out of the part of the pattern that I used for the back.  


It is a lot swingier than the black tee, something I think is due entirely to the drape of the rayon as opposed to the black cotton slug.  It's really comfortable, and it has so many colors in it that it matches all of the solid-color bottoms I made during my Simplicity 1887 spree earlier this summer.



I made the last tee out of a rayon/lycra from Fabric Mart.  It's also lovely to wear and - stripes!  Not much else to say about this one.


I've been wearing these three tees in heavy rotation since I sewed them, and although the fit on the latter two is really quite good, I've noticed that the back neckline is still a bit long for me.  I need to pinch out another 1/2" or so from it. When I realized I needed to do that, I started paying a little more attention to the neckline fit on the woven tees I made recently, and found that, there, too, the back neckline is too long.  In both of these patterns, I started with my high bust measurement and made FBAs, so in theory the neckline should be fine.  But I'm making a mental note to pay more attention to the back neckline on future muslins, as it seems like it will be a regular adjustment for me going forward.


It is a good thing that I rather enjoy the process of fitting - otherwise I think I'd give up selfish sewing!

13 comments:

  1. These t shirts look absolutely perfect!! I love the swing and drape on the colorful fabric. I would wear these every single day!!!

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  2. That is such an interesting point about not wanting it to look too maternity. It's such great information! The way you altered it created a very beautiful hourglass shape! Mission accomplished! I love them all but the stripey one is my fav. :D

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  3. Oh the stripes :) The tees look great! I love how much attention you pay to adjusting the pattern. I made a couple of kimono tees last summer and while I loved wearing them I think they looked rather meh on me. I expected this tee to have more ease around the tummy/hips area.I might have to try slashing and spreading the pattern a little. I was going to 'marry' the Kimono tee with the neckline from the Plantain... never got around to that!

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    1. Thanks, Jenya! Even at my thinnest two years ago, I found the Kimono tee to be quite tight in the hips. Marrying it with the Plantain neckline is a good idea - that would have saved my neck gape issues resulting from my willy-nilly lowering of the neckline.

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  4. Your tops fit so well, I was just thinking this morning that a desperately need some new tee's after not being able to find any decent ones to pair with my skirts, I have the plantain but hadn't thought of this one. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Lynsey! I do really like this pattern.

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  5. Great hacks! Your scoop neckline is so flattering.

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  6. Love the striped tee!
    I find I need to baste the neck of my Plantain tee's (I remove the stitching later) if I use a really draping knit. Would that help with your scoop issue?

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    1. I think the issue was really that the neckline was just too long. But basting is a good idea when the fabric is stretching too much - thanks!

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    2. No worries, just thought I would mention it. I am narrow but over weight so if I size up for my boobs and tummy everything else can be a bit big.

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