All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography
Have you ever had a pattern turn out so good that after the first time you make it, you want to immediately make it again with every fabric in your stash? Something that you can whip up in no time and still impress everyone with your talents? It’s kind of like finding your favorite go-to recipe. If you don’t have one, and you’re in the market for a knit top pattern, you should check out Grainline’s Lark Tee. I know, I know, a knit t-shirt isn’t the most exciting thing to sew, but, at least for me, it’s a pretty essential part of my wardrobe. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to continue to support Old Navy and the Gap, with their sub-par fabrics and sometimes strange fit issues by buying my knit tops there. Besides, once you make one of your own, you realize just how easy it is to fill your closet with them. Trust me, I know.
One of the nicest parts of this pattern is the ability to mix and match. There are four necklines and four sleeve options, so you really can make more than a dozen shirts, each one different from the other. When you factor in the higher cost of indie patterns (although WELL worth it!) it makes this pattern a no-brainer for your collection.
I have made this top a few times already (you will see them slowly being blogged about, but BLOGGED nonetheless!) and love, love, LOVE every version. This was the first one I did and I did it straight out of the envelope. The length is the only thing I would tweak. That being said, that is super minor in the grand scheme of things. I traced the size 0 for the whole pattern, which normally I would grade out to a 2 at the hips. I like the way it fits (besides the aforementioned length) and wouldn’t change it.
The pattern is drafted well, which is no surprise, and the instructions are well written, with a little hand holding if you are new to knits. Cutting took just a smidgen longer since I was matching stripes. I was able to squeeze this version out of just under a yard of this 60″ wide fabric, and could have even done less if I had shortened the length. So consider before you toss those random knit scraps… you might be able to get the short sleeve version out of it. You will see this put in action in one my upcoming Larks (in LIBERTY KNIT!!). The shirt is constructed with the sleeve set in flat, and the neckband (used in three of the versions) is put on in the round and either stitched or twin-needled down. I used my regular sewing machine with a walking foot for all of the construction to aid in stripe matching and I think it really made a difference. I chose to use the twin needle for finishing and the end results look very RTW (ready to wear) and professional. No Home-ecky Becky here!
I used a soft rayon jersey (unfortunately gone from the shop) that is like wearing butter. Well…I mean, it is super soft and comfortable. I am not sure if actually wearing butter would be comfortable, but you know what I mean! The knit you choose (either more drapey or slightly more stable) will determine how the final top looks. Again, I think you could make this top a gazillion times with different fabric/view combinations and still have them look different enough to not necessarily know that you used the same pattern. I think this is a big win!
If you are scared of jumping into the pool of sewing knits and want to wade in slowly from the shallow end, we have a class for the Lark! Check our schedule, sign up and let us guide you into this fantastic stretchy world!