Friday, 29 May 2015

Two Emmeline Tees

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Silk Georgette Emmeline Tee from Little Tailoress

One of the main things I had on my list of garments to sew during my recent 'sew-cation' was an assortment of simple but interesting tops to wear with jeans throughout the spring and summer. My job can be fairly hands on so despite trying my hardest to find reasons to wear pretty dresses and maxi skirts I often find myself reaching for skinny jeans or shorts in the mornings. Spring hits and every year I think I wish I had more chic tops that I can sling on when still half asleep and feel great in all day. I've tried out quite a few t-shirt and blouse patterns in the last few weeks and despite my continuing love for the versatility of Grainline's Scout Tee I think I might have hit the jackpot with Emmeline from Little Tailoress!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Silk Georgette Emmeline Tee from Little Tailoress

Ami offered to send me a copy of the paper pattern shortly after she released it at the start of the year. While I was looking forward to making it and could see where it would fill a gap in my wardrobe I wasn't as enthralled by it at first glance as I am now I've made up a couple of versions! It is cut beautifully, and the result is both flattering and comfortable. I can just about squeeze it out of a metre so I'm really excited that it might also be the perfect pattern for using up a lot of the fabrics in my stash!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Emmeline Tee Sewing Pattern from Little Tailoress

One of the things I was most impressed with about the pattern were the instructions. I already knew from reading Ami's blog that she has some serious sewing skills and experience with techniques up her sleeve and it really shows in the depth of information provided. The instruction booklet felt like a little textbook. There are six sets of instructions in total, one for each of the three variations using both knits and wovens. I first tried out variation 2, with raglan sleeves in a lovely berry coloured silk georgette from Mood Fabrics. I cut the size XS which I was a little wary about as only a bust measurement is given but as it has a relaxed fit this turned out perfectly. For me personally it has just the right amount of ease.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Silk Georgette Emmeline Tee from Little Tailoress

I really love the shape of the neckline; both the width of it and the way it cuts down just beneath the collar bones. The neckline is also the aspect of this project that I'm the most proud of! I followed the instructions exactly and despite using a delicate silk it's the best binding finished I've ever achieved! When I realised how narrow the binding would turn out I was slightly apprehensive of this step but, partly because the georgette pressed so well, it was fairly painless.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Silk Georgette Emmeline Tee from Little Tailoress

I did get a little confused about how to achieve the turn back cuffs with this one as, after describing how to secure the deep hem on them, it wasn't detailed in the instructions. In the end I just pressed them back by the amount I thought looked best, though I might catch them back with a stitch at the top and bottom for added security.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Silk Georgette Emmeline Tee from Little Tailoress

I've decided that despite usually being very lightweight silk georgette is one of my favourite silks to work with. The slightly textured and matt nature of it means that it seems to slip about less than a crepe de chine or chiffon might. I cut this out using my shears without any extra measures like cutting sandwiching it between tissue paper and had no problems with it shifting off grain. I used plenty of pins within the seam allowances and took the sewing nice and slow. It's also a pretty resilient fabric so I've been washing it on a delicate 30 degree cycle in my machine with no trouble. If you are intending to wash your silks by machine make sure to pre-wash your fabric in exactly the same way to prevent any unexpected shrinkage or damage when the completed garment in washed.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Cotton Jersey Emmeline Tee from Little Tailoress

For my second version I chose variation 1, which has kimono style sleeves and I used a soft cotton jersey which I picked up in the recent £1/m Cloth House sale. It is printed with a silver foil effect which I love but unfortunately a fair bit of the silver wore off when I pre-washed the fabric. I quite like the more subtle look it now has at least and the wear doesn't seem to have continued with further washes. Who can complain when a £14/m fabric is knocked down by that much anyway! I've still got over a metre of this one left so answers on a postcard for what else I could make with it please!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Cotton Jersey Emmeline Tee from Little Tailoress

I had the same straightforward experience sewing up this one as the first. A different pattern piece is used for the neckline for the knit versions (as obviously it's not cut on the bias like a woven and it's shorter so it will be stretched out to lay flat). I really like the slim width of the resulting neckband. I used my twin needle to finish this off although it is not called for in the instructions. I just like the way this looks and also like how it helps keep the seam allowance securely tucked under.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Cotton Jersey Emmeline Tee from Little Tailoress

As has become normal practice for me with knits I used a narrow zig zag to assemble it, then finished the seams on my overlocker. The jersey was really lovely to sew with and responded well to a nice hot and steamy iron. The instructions were much more explicit about the cuffs on this version and after pressing I slipstitched these in place by hand as described.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Cotton Jersey Emmeline Tee from Little Tailoress

I do prefer my woven version to the knit which I think is down to the weight of the jersey being a little heavy for this style of top and not hanging quite right. I'm keen to try out one of the other variations in a lighter weight knit. Both of these have been in and out of the wash at least a couple of times already and I can see them getting a lot of wear over the summer. I so enjoyed making them and already have another waiting to be cut. I'm looking forward to seeing what Ami releases next!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Cotton Jersey Emmeline Tee from Little Tailoress

24 comments:

  1. Wow lovely t-shirts, I am currently looking for a simple t-shirt pattern and was trying to decide between the Plantain and Scout...now I will have to try this one!

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    1. Yes definitely give this one a try if you're after a relaxed but still flattering fit. It's really versatile with the different sleeve options and instructions for both knit or woven

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  2. These turned out wonderfully; love both the patterns and the colours you chose.

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    1. Thank you! A nice berry colour is one of my favourites!

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  3. They're both gorgeous! I especially love the silk one. The cut of this pattern looks perfect!

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    1. It is really gorgeous Lindsay! Just skims in all the right places and isn't overwhelming which I sometimes find relaxed fit tops like this are on my short frame

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  4. The neckline really is lovely on you...

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    1. Thanks Amy! I like that it shows a bit of skin and collar bone but is still high enough to move around in without feeling like you're showing too much off

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  5. Nice to sew up some basic tees right? I've been getting on with similar basics sewing too. I like the more subtle silver foil look so total bargain for £1/m - nice find!

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    1. It was such a great sale! They were moving premises so loads of their usually £10+ fabrics were down to just £1! I do love a bit of basic sewing in between more complicated projects, so satisfying!

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  6. These are both lovely. They suit you perfectly. Now I.m off to have a look at that lovely pattern!

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    1. Thanks Louise! It is a great pattern, I love Ami's sequin samples too!

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  7. Lovely! Your bias neckline is perfect :)

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    1. I'm so proud of it! It's the first time I've been able to get such a skinny one right, especially in silk!

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  8. Gorgeous tops and they do the job you wanted. What a wearable pattern.

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    1. It really is! I can see my wardrobe overflowing with these soon, I've already got one more cut out and fabric earmarked for another!

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  9. What gorgeous gorgeous tops! Nicely boxy without being shapeless and overwhelming. I have been sitting on the fence for this one, although I adore Ami and her blog and highly respect and admire her work. But I think I may just get it now. I'm curious - did you find much difference between 1 and 2 in terms of shape of sleeves/fit? It seems to me like the raglan cut is quite straight and that there isn't any shaping going on there from the flat picture. On, they both look fab - but you are straight and slim and I think most stuff looks great on you. What I mean is, is the main difference that you have a shoulder seam in one and the possibility to have different fabric sleeves in the other, or do you think the raglan sleeves make a difference?
    I like the look of number three, too, the slight cut on sleeves are really pretty.

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    1. I've got number 3 planned next! They're both cut fairly straight but I think it's the amount of ease which makes them so flattering and not overwhelming.
      I think the raglan sleeves do make a difference to the way they hang on the body and I think that is my preferred variation. Although it is quite hard to compare as the knit is heavier than the silk and behaves completely differently. I think in a woven the sleeves on variation 1 wouldn't drape over the shoulders in quite the same way, they'd have more fullness but I don't think it would be much of a difference!

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    2. Hi Fiona thanks for this - I hadn't realised you responded - I am waiting for some lovely lace to make one of these:)

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  10. I hadn't seen this pattern before but it looks so lovely! And yet the pattern appears relatively simple. And I like that it can be used with both knits and wovens. Your versions are beautiful.

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    1. Thank you! It is super simple and so fast to sew but still could be used to create such a wide range of tops when sewn up in different fabrics. I'm now imagining every fabric in my stash as one of these!

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  11. Ooh, that georgette looks delicious! The color is so nice on you! I realized during MMM that I don't really have any nice summer tops, which is crazy, because that's what I should be wearing every day instead of t-shirts! I have one kimono-sleeved tee and two hacked Sorbetto tops, and that's it! I should pick up this pattern... it looks great!

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    1. It is a super delicious georgette! I feel exactly the same way about summery tops as you Sonja, I don't know why I don't have more when it's basically all I want to wear. I get distracted by sewing pretty dresses! You should definitely give this one a try, I think it would really suit you. Plus it's so fast!

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  12. I'm curious about your note that you can squeeze the pattern out of just over 1m of fabric. The pattern lists fabric requirements that are quite a bit over 1m. I'm most interested in v2 (with the raglan sleeves), which is listed as requiring 1.7m (and I can't tell if the sleeve measurement listed is additional fabric or not). I'm excited about this pattern and am hoping to make it up in a few colors of silk to wear with suits for work! I just don't want to buy more fabric than I need.

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!