a trio of lovely larks
as previously mentioned, i recently made a goal to sew more things for myself. so on my birthday a few months ago I took the day off work and made trips to my two favorite fabric stores in the east bay: a verb for keeping warm and stonemountain & daughter and got fabrics specifically for this purpose.
one of the patterns on my to-sew list was the lark cardigan, which is an adaptation of the lark tee from grainline studio. i believe the first time you sew a pattern it's best to follow the instructions and hold off on any alterations or hacks. so before I embarked on the cardigan variation I thought it best to make a basic lark tee with the lightweight grey knit I picked up at a verb for keeping warm.
i decided on the v-neck version with 3/4 length sleeves. i measured between a size four and size 6 but decided to size up to the six as it's easier to take something in. Then I read the pattern instructions (always read the instructions before starting!) and realized it called for a 1/4 inch seam allowance, to which I actually scoffed and exclaimed out loud "yeah right." you see i've been sewing oliver + s patterns for so long and their standard 1/2 inch seam allowance is engrained deep within my soul at this point.
so it is with this acute self awareness that i decided to cut out a size eight with two inches added to the length since I always hate when shirts ride up, or even threaten to ride up.
the construction was pretty standard and the shirt came together really well. after sewing everything with a narrow zig-zag I used my overlock stitch and overlock foot to “serge” the side seams, shoulder seams, and armscyes.
the only tricky part was the point of the v-neck. i eventually got it, but It's not quite as crisp as I would like it, but i'm sure that will come with practice.
within a week this shirt became my favorite so I decided to make myself a few more and ordered two meters of this grey knit from blackbird fabrics (a Canadian online fabric store I discovered from the ‘love to sew’ podcast).
when the fabric arrived I was instantly in love. seriously this stuff is so soft and has such a perfect hand that being draped in it was coma inducing. it probably didn’t hurt matters that they sent me an extra half meter, bringing my total to 2.5 meters :)
after washing the fabric (always pre-wash your fabric!) I set about making more shirts. my second attempt was the same 3/4 length sleeve but this time i did a scoop neck version. not to brag but I totally crushed this neck band right out of the gate.
cocky from my neck band success (and tipsy from some excellent beer) I phoned it in for the hem: overcast stitching the edge, then folding and doing a zig zag stitch.
However I didn’t use the iron and it looked like crap so I trimmed it off (thankfully I added that extra length!) and in my second attempt I used the iron and did a proper double folded tiny hem held in place with a zig-zag stitch. I worked from the inside of the shirt to make sure to caught all the layers of fabric.
for my third rendition I decided to do the short sleeve version. being limited on tracing paper I just found the point on the 3/4 length sleeve pattern where I would want a short sleeve to end, added in an allowance, folded it over, and traced it. the result was fine but now that i have restocked on tracing paper i’ll go to the work of actually tracing out the proper piece.
once again I crushed the neck band.
these shirts are definitely my new favorites, i’ve worn them to work the past three days. I don’t have quite enough of the fabric left over to do another lark tee (I already tried) but I might be able to squeeze out a julia tank.
inspired by these projects I ordered myself another two meters of the same fabric is the recently restocked (but as of this posting no longer in stock) spruce color.