A sewing blog about building a functional, cohesive handmade wardrobe, one garment at a time.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Striped knit pencil skirt and v-neck tank top

DIY striped knit skirt and v-neck tank top made from the Blank Slate Abrazo Tee pattern, modeled on the beach.

Spring is always my most productive sewing season.  Sewing for warm weather is almost a ritual, along with de-fuzzing my legs, painting my toenails and swapping out the cool-weather clothes in my closet.  I can't resist it.  

Seasonal rhythms die hard, I guess, and so, I sewed a lot in May (and June, for that matter).  I sewed up 39.34 yards over the two months, to be exact. And I sewed a lot of summery things. This didn't make much sense, given that it's never summer in Bogota, and given that you never have to swap out the clothing in your closet.  

DIY striped knit skirt and v-neck tank top made from the Blank Slate Patterns Abrazo Tee pattern on the beach.

One of the things that I made was a striped knit pencil skirt. I used an awesome cotton/lycra double-knit that I bought from FabricMart a few months ago. I had intended to make a blazer to replace a striped French terry one in my closet that was too tight.  However, now the blazer fits again, so I was free to use the fabric for other things.  And I still have two yards left.

I drafted the pattern using this tutorial, which I've used a number of times before.  It always makes a great skirt.  This time I made the skirt with an extra-wide fold-over waistband, which you can see in the photo below.

DIY striped knit skirt and v-neck tank top on the beach.

I'm wearing the skirt in these photos with a top I made from the Blank Slate Abrazo Tee pattern. This is a pattern XL, which fits a high bust 40, bust 44-35-46.  It's drafted to be very fitted, so I sized up. My measurements are high bust 36, 39.5-31.5-41.5, which would put me in the size L.

The armscye didn't work so well in this tank version, so I ended up taking quite a long dart out of it to deal with that situation.  You can see the dart in the photo below.

DIY striped knit skirt and v-neck tank top on the beach.

This is my second Abrazo.  I tested the initial pattern last winter.  That was before I had lost weight, and I made the XL according to my measurements. The pattern is for quite a tight shirt, which is great for layering, or tucking into a skirt if you want a bodysuit look, but it was much more fitted than I was comfortable with at that time.  Below you can see what my size-L self looks like in the size XL tee. I like the fit of the tee now, but there is some pulling on the sleeve.  I think that the sleeve itself needs a little more ease, but that the armscye needs to be a little more fitted to my shape.  It's worth noting that the shoulder is fairly narrow in this pattern.  This is great for me because I have narrow shoulders, but if you don't often have to narrow shoulders in patterns for yourself, be aware that the shoulders might be too narrow for you.

DIY striped knit skirt and v-neck Blank Slate Patterns Abrazo Tee.

While writing this post, I realized that I don't have a perfect sleeved t-shirt pattern in my stash.  I love the Kirsten Kimono tee with its cut-on sleeves, but I'd like a solid traditional-sleeve pattern.  I've previously made many Plantains and many Renfrews, but those aren't a perfect fit either.  And in fact, it's the armscye/sleeve area that gives me trouble on all of them.  I have a chunky bicep, a large bust and what I believe is a short armscye depth.  Although I usually enjoy working out fit issues, that area remains a mystery to me.  Maybe I should figure out how to draft my own t-shirt pattern.

DIY striped knit skirt and v-neck tank top made from the Blank Slate Patterns Abrazo Tee pattern

Quibbling aside, I've really enjoyed wearing both pieces while home this summer.  I mostly wear the skirt with a RTW black tank top and flip flops.  The fabric sucks everything in and it's super-comfy, even in the heat.  I have been wearing the tank with a pair of RTW high rise pants and with my Simplicity 1877 shorts.

Obviously the tank won't be getting much wear when we're back in Bogota.  The skirt potentially could, but short skirts are tricky in the chilly weather. I find slips fussy, so my skirts always ride up when I wear them with tights. And while I do sometimes try to wear a short skirt with bare legs in Bogota when it's sunny, I always end up regretting it later in the day.

These pics were taken at the Outer Banks in North Carolina. You may have heard me talk about it before ... it is my favorite place on this earth.  We're here for another week, then back to the Andes.  As always, thanks for reading, and see you next time!
If you enjoyed this post, check out these:

V-Neck Renfrews

Late to the Mabel Party


  1. You might like the Cashmerette Concord t-shirt pattern - it comes in 3 different cup sizes.

    1. This one has been on my list to buy; people seem to have great luck with it.


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