After my last post about an experimental Wiksten Tova, I was excited to test the success of a second knit+voile tova. I chose to start with the grey because the fabric is a dream–butter soft and thin, without being sheer. The fibre content is a mystery, but I think it’s cotton blended with either lycra or polyester, with just enough stretch to give it drape without a boingy yo-yo effect.
Just as I was starting, I came across this helpful post by Grainline Studio when sewing with knits. One thing that I find really important when sewing with knits is to take the time to really smooth out the bumps and bubbles, without stretching the fabric when preparing it for cutting. A small bubble could distort the entire shape of a pattern piece.
Et voilà, my grey Wiksten tova!
One improvement that I made with this version is my recent discovery of the stretch tricot stitch on my sewing machine. It works like a zigzag, but oh so much prettier. (When sewing knit fabric, a regular straight stitch has no give and the thread would break when the seams are stretched. That’s why a zigzag stitch or a serger is used for knit fabric.) A double-needle is a great solution, but I am finding that it doesn’t work well with all types of knits, especially the thin stuff.
A detailed look at the stretch tricot stitch on the hem:
The fabric for the inset is not actually voile–it’s a lightweight cotton shirting fabric. I couldn’t decide if I wanted the stripes running vertically or horizontally–as a happy compromise, I choose to position the stripes diagonally. I like how it turned out.
I accidentally sewed the inset inside out when attaching it to the front of the shirt. You can tell because the placket detail is on the inside. Luckily, the stripes are identical both inside and out, so it doesn’t really matter. But I spent a lot of time trying to match up the stripes on the placket, only to have them hidden!
I sized this tova down and changed the sleeves to omit the sleeve cuffs. I originally wanted it to have fitted 3/4 length sleeves, so I took in the width of the sleeves, using the Made-by-Rae Flashback Skinny Tee pattern as a guide. Unfortunately, my arms are not as skinny as I would like them to be and the sleeves were too tight! I had to cut new sleeves, but ran out of fabric, so I settled for short sleeves. I would have liked them a bit shorter, but this length is great for covering up my not-so-skinny arms.
I am looking forward to making more knit tovas! It is so easy to wear. The soft knit is incredibly comfortable and the fit of the shirt is loose, yet flattering at the same time. I am planning my next with a matching one for Froo.
With 2 yards of the grey knit, I was able to eke out a flashback skinny tee for Boo–luckily before I had my sleeve issue. I made his shirt in size 3T, but I lengthened the arms and shirt because the flashback tee I made him a couple of months ago is getting small. I liked the look of the diagonal stripes, so I stitched together 2 pieces on a 45 degree angle to create a chevron print for a tiny pocket.
I had a mishap with the neckband and serger, which couldn’t be undone. I ended up having to cut off the neckband, making the neck opening really wide and terribly unsymmetrical. Boo’s skinny tee became a boatneck tee. After his first fitting, he looked like a ballet dancer. I ended up pulling up the neckline and stitching it down with a button at the shoulders. The fish button was a last minute addition to play on the nautical theme.
Boo loves the fish button! He wanted to wear his fish shirt to preschool this morning, but I didn’t want it to get dirty until after we took photos.
My Boo will not stay still for photos. Even when I try to bribe him with gummy bears, he starts jumping up and down, causing all sorts of blurry motion.
This is the first matching project I made for Boo & me. The softness of Boo’s shirt makes me want to hug him all day long. Cuddles in bed while watching Little Einsteins. If only he would stay still… Maybe I should enroll Boo in ballet.
Froo is becoming my reliable fashion photographer:
Today was Boo’s last day of the summer session of preschool. There was a cute little party for parents just before the regular pick-up time. Boo’s teacher told me that he is very happy, sociable and will play with everyone. I am so proud of my little man.