Grainline Lark Tee in Striped Rayon Jersey

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!

Master Class: Heather Lewenza of Closet Case Files!

We are beyond excited to announce our second Master Class series here at Pintuck & Purl. Did you miss the first one? This series of classes is a special treat where we bring in an instructor that is well versed in one of our creative fields. This time around, we are pleased (actually more like peeing our pants in
excitement!) to host Heather Lewenza of the blog Closet Case Files. Heather has created an independent pattern line (Closet Case Patterns) that focuses on classic wardrobe pieces that will help you achieve your own dream wardrobe.

Heather will be here the last weekend of April to hold our hands as we make the ultimate wardrobe basic, a pair of jeans. Not just any jeans, mind you! You will have the option of making one of  Heather’s two magical jeans patterns:  the Ginger Jeans, made for stretch denim, which you can find gracing the internet far and wide and the Morgans, a newer pattern which touts a button-fly and is made for non-stretch denim. Heather will be here to help fit the pattern to you (which is the biggest hurdle!) and make sure you leave with a new swanky pair of jeans, as well as the knowledge to make more
The shop will be closed for this event! We will have a Meet & Greet reception with Heather on Friday night and then from 9-5 Saturday and Sunday, we will sew our little hearts out. Staff will be at the shop later on Saturday for those who want to continue working.

***Class fee includes Meet & Greet Reception, snacks and lunch provided Saturday + Sunday and optional use of our BERNINA sewing machines and BERNINA sergers!***

Dates: April 28th – 30th
Limited to 8 Spaces
Price: $425 Register Here! (there are still a few early bird registrations available!)


Acadia Easy Folded Poncho

Have you ever felt The Fibre Co.’s Acadia yarn? It is a luscious mix of merino, baby alpaca, and silk, and it is heavenly. I do feel like I say that about all of our yarns, but I guess I wouldn’t stock them if I couldn’t be obsessed with them. Right? If I am just meh about a yarn, it usually doesn’t make the cut to be in the shop. If you have been in the shop, you know we don’t have a huge space so we need to be VERY picky about what we bring in.

We brought in this yarn a little less than a year ago (March was when it arrived) and we didn’t knit up any shop samples until after we got back from the TNNA (June!). We had sold a few skeins, but we knew that once people saw it knitted up they would fall head over heels in love with it like we did. Then came the herculean task of finding a pattern. Someone suggested the Easy Folded Poncho pattern from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas and it was like a match made in heaven.

I convinced Jenny, our sample knitter (not yet full employee at the time!), to put down her own projects and whip this up before fall. And whip it up she did! We chose the Driftwood color, since my secret plan was for this to eventually end up in my closet and that is the color I wanted! Ha! Jenny knitted the cowl version, which required about seven skeins. If you wanted to do this without the cowl, you probably only need six skeins. If you are thinking of knitting the poncho sans-cowl, I just want to tell you that the cowl is my favorite part.  It is warm and soft against the neck and I think it makes the poncho look a little more finished. If you don’t take my advice, however, I have no doubt your poncho will still be just as lovely.

All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography

The best part about knitting this pattern in this yarn is that the drape of the yarn is amazing. The pattern comes in one size and everyone who has tried on the shop sample (all shapes and sizes) has looked amazing in it.  This yarn is magical, I tell you. The finished poncho is light yet warm enough for spring and fall or even those chilly nights in the summer. If you layered up underneath (remember we are in snowy,cold NH), I don’t see why you couldn’t wear this all year long.

The pattern is pretty easy to knit. It is all stockinette, so it’s perfect for watching a movie and keeping your hands busy, and construction isn’t difficult either. The downside of this pattern is that it is a very long pattern. If you are a true beginner I would be mindful of not burning yourself out on such an endeavor, unless you realize what you are getting into and take your time. The money and time will be worth it when it is done, but just be aware and maybe don’t make this your first or second project. 😉

Have you knit with Acadia before? Are you as obsessed as we are? Or are you one of the knitters of the nearly 3,000 finished versions of this pattern? If so, tell us!

Liberty Sureau

I know it is just after Christmas, and the temperature here in New Hampshire is nowhere near being able to wear this now, but I am still posting this today. Let’s say it will bring us back to the warm, yet crisp days of fall before we settle in for the dark winter. This is the Deer and Doe Sureau. It is a two piece dress with a faux placket and the options for sleeves or not. I choose not. It has been awhile since this pattern’s heyday, but I have to say, I understand why it enjoyed such popularity when it was first released. Because of the faux placket and simple construction, once I had worked out my own fitting tweaks (and jumped over the pocket hurdle), this dress was a pretty quick and satisfying make.

The skirt is gathered, which normally I am not a huge fan of, but figured I would give it a go. Looking at the photos, maybe I need to give gathered waists another chance! I am quite smitten with this dress on me. Who knew?!?!

Liberty Sureau by Pintuck & Purl

As far as fitting, I did some research before embarking on this pattern. I had seen around the interwebs that people had trouble with a gaping neckline. I whipped up a quick muslin of the bodice after performing my usual sba (small bust adjustment—since D&D is drafted for a C-cup) and sway back adjustment, and tried it on. After seeing the results I took a 1/4″ wedge out of the front neckline tapering to nothing at the waist. It seemed to work well enough. I might have been able to take out more, but I didn’t want to go overboard.

The only other thing that I didn’t personally love was the neckline facing. I am usually not on Team Facing, ever. I would prefer binding or lining my garments. Since this was the first time making this I figured I would play by the rules. The facing extends around the whole neckline, which is then topstitched down. Once I attached the facing, I wanted a cleaner look so I handstitched it down. Even with the handstitching, I find that it is still a bit fussy. Apparently I will never join Team Facing. I find them fiddly and annoying. Give me bias binding any day.

Liberty Sureau by Pintuck & Purl

The one other thing I did was add pockets. Actually, let me rephrase that. I added “a pocket”. This dress has a side zipper. I had every intention of cutting the dress so that I could move the zipper to the back, but absolutely forgot when cutting. I figured that I could just add them into the side seam. If you have been reading this blog, or know me  at all, you know that most of my makes are right before a particular deadline. This dress was no different, trying to get it done for Maker’s Days in September. Since I was in a time crunch, I did not think through my construction of the zipper-sided pocket. Needless to say, when I sewed it up, I only had one functioning pocket. Yes. I had sewn the other one shut while attaching the invisible zipper. I decided then and there that I only needed one pocket. And that was that.

For this dress, since it was to be for a special occasion (Maker’s Days was our one year anniversary celebration!) I decided to go big for the fabric. What is the top of the line for me? Liberty of London. If you have never heard of this company, you should get to know it. It is an old-school London based store-front (it’s an actual department store) that has (and has had for over 125 years) their own line of fabric. Their style is tight florals or designs that lean on a vintage-nouveau feel. Sometimes even a Where’s Waldo look, in a really cool and pretty way. Their Tana Lawn (which is what I used here) is a beautifully soft cotton that is a dream to sew with and to wear. It is not an inexpensive fabric, but worth every penny.

Liberty Sureau by Pintuck & Purl

All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography

Should I make this again, and I really want to try the sleeved version, I have a few things that I would change. I would move the zipper to the back and add two pockets, and change the facing to bias binding or line the bodice instead. Anything to keep me away from those facings.

Deer and Doe Sureau

The pattern itself is well drafted and I do love the look of the dress. This is only the second Deer & Doe pattern that I have sewn, but I love the fit and style of my Belladone dress, so I am assuming that we are a pretty good match. I will tell you that the pattern directions are still a bit on the sparse side (similar to the Belladone), but there is enough there to get you to a new dress. I would suggested this to a beginner who has at least one other garment pattern under their belt. If you are looking to start your first dress in 2017, this would be a great pattern!

Have you sewn the Sureau? Are you on Team Facing or with me on Team Never-Facings? Do you have big sewing plans for 2017?? Come on, tell us!

Foxfield Hat in Cumbria Worsted

Foxfield Hat in Cumbria Yarn by Pintuck and Purl

Winter is here! We are gearing up for a storm in the Northeast tomorrow, so I thought this would be a perfect time to share a quick, easy pattern from The Fibre Company. This is their Foxfield Hat knitted with their Cumbria Worsted yarn in the Castlerigg colorway, which is a beautiful grayish purple. This yarn is 60% Merino, 30% Masham wool,  and 10% Mohair in a generous 238 yard skein. The yarn was “inspired by England’s stunning northwest region with its deep blue lakes and sheep-grazed fells and valleys” and the color range speaks perfectly to that interpretation. The colors are subtle and muted, but in a very earthy and slightly rustic way.

Foxfield Hat by Pintuck and Purl

The yarn is a pleasure to knit with. I currently have two projects on my needles, one with Cumbria (a Christmas present that I am frantically trying to finish) and a Lopi (the rough Icelandic wool) sweater. Whenever I go back to the Cumbria, it is like wrapping up in a warm and soothing blanket. Blocking this yarn makes the fabric even softer than what you would imagine from the yarn’s fiber recipe and rustic look.

Foxfield Hat by Pintuck and Purl

The pattern comes with two different stitch options for two different hats. We chose the smaller stitch pattern, for a softer (and quicker) finished project. I am dying to make the bobble version (now that I have conquered the bobble in one of my current projects–I will share after the gift-giving takes place). I think this hat would also be great with a pom pom added to the top. There was plenty of leftover yarn to be able to do that, but instead we decided to knit up a matching pair of mitts (to be blogged about soon!). So cozy!!

Foxfield Hat by Pintuck and Purl

I think this is my new favorite winter yarn. After I am finished with my current WIP, I am hoping to put a sweater in Cumbria in my queue. If you are searching for a rustic looking, yet softer feeling worsted weight yarn, you should give this a try. Make a hat (or two!) to try it out and then I am sure that you will fall in love as well!

Cumbia Worsted by The Fibre Co. Castlerigg

All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography