Happy Monday! I’m coming at you guys today with my second installation as part of the IndieSew Blogger Team. This quarter, I chose to make some “practical” garments that I could use in multiple areas of my life. My priorities included making something that I could be active in, but could also transition into casual outings without looking like I just came from the gym. And of course, whatever I made needed to be stretchy to accommodate this growing baby. I’m super happy with my picks!
I chose to sew up the Sloan Leggings by Hey June, alongside the Minttu Swing Top by Named Clothing. I’ve decided to split this outfit into two different posts, so that I can give each piece the love it deserves! So today I’m going to show off my Minttu Top, but tune in tomorrow to hear a little more about the Sloan Leggings (spoiler alert – I’m just pretty stinking pumped I made leggings!)
This was my first time working with a pattern by Named, and I’m thoroughly impressed. There are so many of their patterns that appeal to me, with their unique shapes and designs, and I’m glad I’ve finally gotten the chance to try one out. The pdf pattern was only 16 pages or so. The design of the pattern itself was really lovely, and very easy to look at and put together.
Not only did I get the pattern from IndieSew, but I’ve also sewn up this top in one of their performance knit fabrics. I have been so drawn to blues and greens this year, and this deep green was too pretty to pass up! What I deemed to be the wrong side of the fabric has a super soft, almost lightly sueded feel to it, and the outside is just beautiful, high-quality performance knit. The emerald color was exactly as I hoped it would be, and I feel great in this fabric. I still need to put it to the test with a long day outside in the Texas heat, but I will say that in the short time I’ve worn it outside it didn’t feel stiflingly warm, which surprised me given the plush thickness of the fabric.
Sewing up this pattern was very interesting! First of all, the fabric that I used was a dream to sew with. I used fusible knit interfacing for the first time, and I’m convinced that it is some kind of magic miracle textile. I love the stability this offered in my facing without compromising the stretch – SO COOL! I also utilized the three thread narrow overlock stitch for the first time, after listening to the lovely ladies of the Sewing Out Loud podcast drill into my head just how wonderful it is for so many episodes now. The three thread narrow stitch (achieved by simply removing the far / left needle from your serger) is a less stable stitch that actually increases the durability of a stretchy knit garment. I’d highly recommend checking out the podcast episode dedicated entirely to this stitch if you are into sewing knits. So far, I’m in complete agreement with them!
Unfortunately, my good luck with the new type of interfacing and serger stitch did not extend to my first time sewing an all-in-one facing!! Now that I’m more familiar with the idea of an all-in-one facing, I absolutely love the theory behind it. The finishes that it can offer are so clean and beautiful. I felt a little baffled by the instructions included within the pattern (not at all the fault of the pattern designers – turns out this is just a very visual step!) and was so happy to find that Allie at IndieSew had posted a great video detailing the process when the Minttu first released in her shop. This demystified the process, and I was able to get to work! I had some trouble where my front and back seams met at the shoulder line, and I’ll be honest with you – I’ve still not identified exactly what I’m doing wrong, and I wasn’t able to perfect the technique.
Part of me thinks that I might be more successful with a thinner knit fabric, maybe a jersey, and that this thick-ish, luxurious performance knit may have been a small piece of my problem. Don’t quote me on that though. I ended up unpicking the first shoulder seam that I did three times, and each of my repeat attempts turned out slightly better than the last. I never did quite get it to match up perfectly and lie flat… And I finally decided not to let perfect be the enemy of good. At the end of the day, knits are still new to me and this technique was very cool and totally out of my wheelhouse! I didn’t end up with the world’s most perfectly executed top, but I’m actually super in love with this tank and you can bet I’m going to be wearing it constantly! (PS – that does NOT mean that I’m not open to your tips and tricks for what I may have done wrong here! Please feel free to leave your ideas in the comments!!)
Top: handmade by me
Pattern: Named Clothing – Minttu Swing Top
Fabric: Performance Knit Emerald (now sold out) from IndieSew
The silhouette of this swing top is beautiful. Although my baby bump is still small, it is most certainly growing and I’m constantly surprised to catch my reflection in the mirror! This top ticked all of the boxes I’d hoped it would: super soft, stretchy, and comfortable, flattering shape that will no doubt grow with me throughout the next few months, appropriate for exercise but also easy to throw on with shorts and a cute necklace for a casual daytime outfit. I’m really looking forward to making a couple more versions in different knit fabrics to see if I can get a better handle on the all-in-one facing situation, but even if I don’t, I’m happy to have a few almost perfect versions of this top in my closet!
- XX Elizabeth