This week’s Slow Fashion October prompt is Handmade. For me, the desire to do things myself is a persistent one. I find myself returning to this desire on the day-to-day whether it’s working with plants that I foraged or grew, self-care through herbal remedies I’ve prepared, or making a piece of clothing. And so, I think in much of the same way that many people in this movement did, I found my way to sewing naturally. I remember having a Peter Rabbit kids sewing machine and often “tailoring” the fit of my 90’s stretch leggings. I did so with the instruction and help of my mom, who taught me to sew.
Since 2013, I’ve been wearing the same five Everlane t-shirts. They have held up perfectly; the fabric has softened and worn over time, and no holes have developed. While I will continue to wear these until they’re rags, I did want to add a couple shirts to my wardrobe before then. I’ve had my eye on the Hemlock Tee by Grainline Studio and finally had a free weekend to run to the fabric store. After consulting Instagram and all the beautifully made Hemlock Tees, I decided on a linen/cotton blend in oatmeal/tan.
++ INSPIRATION ++
- Elizabeth Suzann’s linen Georgia Tee
- @anita.foldvari ‘s variations (1, 2)
- @notestoafurtherexcuse’s variation (1)
++ MODIFICATIONS ++
- I used the first section of the sleeve with the armhole curve, but modified the taper to a rectangle so I’d be able to cuff it.
- Sewed sleeve to armhole
- With the shirt inside out, I folded the remaining fabric up to cover the armhole seam, folding 1/4″ under to create a closed seam.
- Followed pattern for sewing underarm & sides together. It was difficult to get the armhole pivot to lay flat (lots of ironing).
- Since linen has not stretch, I subbed the neck hem from the Wiksten Tank. If you don’t have this pattern, I recommend following The Craft Session’s Hemlock Tee tips.
Length of Shirt / High Low Hem
After finishing the shirt, the length felt a bit long. I don’t usually tuck my shirts in and it kinda made it look like I was wearing a pillow case (ie. linen has a very different drape than tissue knits). So I decided on re-doing the hem to be high in front & lower in the back.
- While wearing the shirt, I pinned up the hem. Overall, I shortened the front by 3-4″ and then followed a gradual decrease leaving the center back at about the full length.
- Once pinned, I folded the shirt in half to make sure the decrease matched on both sides (left & right).
- Iron fold. Then tuck & pin in 1/4″ to create a closed seam. Ready to sew!
I didn’t use french seams on the sides or armholes. I definitely will if I make another Hemlock out of linen/cotton, as it tends to fray a ton. Plus, it creates a more polished final product. Will have to add an extra 1″ to the seam allowance.
If you have any questions about modifications or the process in general, please leave a comment! I’d also love to see your Hemlock Shirt, as I plan to make a couple more.