That’s kind of a mouthful isn’t it? Yet this new shirt (or is it a sweater?) is all of those things. The fabric is one I found in Fabriano, Italy, in a small fabric shop that just has the most beautiful fabric selection at a reasonable price. Last spring when we stayed near Fabriano for 2,5 months we actually contemplated living there, and this fabric shop was one of the reasons for me to see it working. In the end we left anyway, but not without a nice stack of fabrics. All of them have been a success so far, and I hope this one will turn out to be one too.
Of course I was scared to cut into it for a good while. It’s so delicate, it needs the right treatment or it’s very easily ruined. Since a beautiful fabric works often best in a simple pattern, I opted for Grainline’s Hemlock Tee. It’s a free pattern that is now only available to newsletter subscribers. It comes in one size but I still did my length adjustments on the bodice and sleeves. In the end I chopped off some length again, maybe it was long enough to begin with or maybe the fabric stretched a bit.
I wasn’t sure how this lacy knit would behave so I kind of closed my eyes and just sewed. I used my serger for all the seams. I reinforced the shoulder seams and the back neckline with clear elastic. The neckline I did with my stretch-and-sew method and it worked out pretty well, at least at the front, the shoulders should have been stretched a bit more. I made cuffs and a hem band as well so I could serge all the seams, the regular machine would just stretch out the hems. When I just finished it looked kind of horrible, all the seams were so wavy! I tried topstitching but it only made it worse. Fortunately a good press was all that was needed and made them all lay nice and flat. Well not entirely, but it won’t get better than this.
The reason I wasn’t sure this would be a success is that it’s wool and sheer and delicate and white. I could get used to the sheer, and maybe also the hand washing, but the other two? I got a snag right after I took the last photo, and I doubt it will be the last. It’s kind of the fabric I see a princess wearing in winter. Not a yurt dwelling clumsy woman who spills food on herself with every meal. So do I deserve to wear something like this? Probably not. But that’s the nice thing about sewing, isn’t it? If you want to pretend to be a princess in winter, you can. Even if it’s only for a few hours, before you quickly have to soak it and gently scrub it by hand because there’s chocolate on it.
Do you have fabrics you feel you don’t deserve to wear? What do you wear under sheer garments?