Friday, 2 October 2015

Maria Denmark Stripy Kirsten Kimono Tee

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Hola people! It feels like it has been a busy month, but really I have been on holiday, which was lovely and then catching up with housework, washing and the like, ill children too. I started making a full circle skirt (if I was naming clothes it would be called One of the Seven Circle's of Hell skirt). I still love the fabric, but I'm not enjoying the process of levelling the hem! We're also planning a major redecoration our living room, including a new fireplace, new lighting, re-plastering... so lots to think about there. If you follow me on pinterest you can see some of our ideas on there. 

My prize of 2m of fabric from Sew Over It arrived too. I had to change the fabric I picked orignally as they didn't have enough left and couldn't source any more. Instead I picked this lovely Chambray. I have no idea what to make, but just really love the fabric! 

Little Petals Chambray from
Here's today's offering a Kirsten Kimono Tee. I love this top so much! I've had lots of wear out of it. It's so comfy, very casual and pairs very nicely with jeans. I've also worn it to my pilates class a few times.
Having an overlocker meant that this was a quick sew for me. I made it in a couple of short sittings at the end of May. It's the second garment I made on my overlocker. Which I bought from The Sewing Cafe in Hinckley (Leicestershire), along with the fabric for this top. The fabric is a stripy grey and white jersey. I love the feel of it, it's very soft and obviously, like all other fabric I've bought recently, it has got a good drape!  
So to the pattern. It's by Maria Denmark and is free when you sign up to her newsletter, which I did! I took advantage of a 10% discount and bought the Edith blouse/dress, which I have had my eye on for a while, but still have not yet made (perhaps the Chambray fabric?). The pdf pattern for the tee was quick to print and stick together. I remembered to add seam allowances to my tracing. I used the medium size. I have plans to make a pyjama top with this pattern and maybe copy some of my existing pyjama bottoms to make a cute set.  
Sewing the front and back was straight forward. And I managed to get all matchy matchy with the stripes. The neckband was the first I have ever attempted and I have to say I did mess up a little and had to unpick some of the overlocked edge (how annoying!) and realign the raw edges of the neckband and front. But it worked out fine really, it looks a little stretched if you're looking hard at it, but a successful first attempt at a neckband I think!
Then came the hemming on my standard sewing machine using a twin needle. This was a huge pain. Skipped stitches and tunnelling!! I managed to correct the skipped stitches by re-threading with Gutermann instead of Ikea thread (which in my defence I bought to make curtains with and bought WAY to much, so was just trying to use it up). I wouldn't have thought it mattered that much, but it does. You can visually see the difference between the types of thread (or you would be able to if these photo's weren't taken on my phone). 
Thread - top left photo the Gutermann thread is above the Ikea
The Ikea is very wispy with a lot of lint, the Gutermann isn't! It looks thicker and is stronger when I pull it. The skipped stitching stopped once I switched threads. Then I fiddled round with the tension on my machine to try to get it to produce flat twin rows of stitching, but alas my machine just couldn't handle it! It can cope with twin stitching, but I fear it will be only ever manage it in thicker fabrics (it did so with my second Moneta in a ponte, yet to be blogged). 
In the end I decided to try out using fusible interfacing on the hem to see it this would help to stabilise this thin and very stretchy fabric. It worked enough to get the hemming completed and it's wearable too. Colette have a helpful tutorial on this. Next time I use this fabric (and I might just have enough to get a Moneta dress out of it), I will try overlocking the raw edge too. 

If anyone has any other tips for sewing with a twin needle, they would be much appreciated;-)


  1. Cute top! To stop the raised section in between the twin needle stitching you will need to loosen the bobbin tension. Check the manual for your machine for how this is done, and remember to put it bacck to "normal" aftwrwards! ;)

    1. Thank you! I've just googled this as my manual has nothing about bobbin tension (it's a machine that I'm willing to bet gets upgraded in the next year!)! Next time I'm sewing with knits I will try this, thank you so much for the tip:-)

  2. My twin needle and I have a very ugly relationship. It has done ONE hem just as I wanted it to, but every hem I do has the dreaded tunneling effect. I have a 20 year old Bernina that has no information in the manual about changing tension on the bobbin. I like the striped T a lot!!

    1. Thank you JoAnna. It's a good basic! I never did get to fiddle with the bobbin tension...I upgraded my machine and the only twin needle hem I've sewn so far has been perfect! Here's hoping it's not a fluke;)