Knit tops are essential in our casual wardrobe but why not add a knit top to your dressier wardrobe? This seems like a timely topic as we begin to move back into the world, eating outside at a restaurant or gathering with a few trusted friends on the deck.
Several years ago, in France, I found this beautiful rayon jersey printed in panels. It has all of Carrie’s favorite colors so a piece dropped into my suitcase as a gift for her. But I coveted the fabric so much that I too acquired a piece on my next trip to France.
Lovely, special fabric is challenging to design and sew with. Add into the pressure the uniqueness of the panel printing and I struggled to design and find coordinating fabrics to complement the cloth. Some periwinkle solid knit rayon and soft blue lace were my best finds.
Draping the fabric on myself and the dress form led me to choose the Tabula Rasa Knit Tee with the draped front neckline in Wide Neckline Variations. The minty color complimented my face and minimizing the olive colors toward the hemline seemed best. Adding the lace at the hemline brightened up the lower sections of the border print.
A visit to our Sewing Knit Fabric page on Pinterest@fitforartpatterns revealed godets as a fun choice, potentially adding 4 into the side panel seams. They would add some fun flare around the hem and the periwinkle knit with the lace as overlay accented the design nicely without overwhelming the knit print.
The length of the top was determined by the length of the fabric’s print. So, the waist to hem length determined the godet length. Each godet needed to be long enough to look official. Godets that are too short have little impact.
With the length measured, I cut 4 wide cone shaped pieces of lace along the pretty scalloped border. Then I cut 4 narrower pieces of the periwinkle, adding enough length to stitch in a hem. Each godet was assembled with the lace layer a bit fuller in width then basted into the partially constructed top. After a quick fit check, the godets were hemmed and permanently stitched to the top, leaving the top sections a bit longer for them to be hemmed around each inserted godet.
Since my unwritten rule is to use a design detail more than once, the lace over knit detail would also be used as an elasticized cuff. Because I thought of this before cutting out the pattern pieces, I expanded the sleeves so the cuff had a bit more drama. Read the construction steps for this cuff in Knit Tees for Fall.
Carrie still has her piece of this lovely knit and continues to ponder her design options, stay tuned. Surely, she will share her design process with you when she is ready to cut and sew. Do you have a piece of fabric waiting for a design and life as a garment? Take it out and begin to noodle with the possibilities, think about a hole in your wardrobe you need to fill, or an occasion where such a garment would be perfect, then get sewing!
Visit the wonderful Satelin fabric shop in Revel, France in 2022 when we once again host our Enchanting France, Embellishing Fabric retreat. Read more about this week long August adventure in Southwest France and consider putting it on your calendar as travel once again opens up internationally.
Stay well and sew happy! RAE