Monday, February 8, 2016

Lark Tee and Gathered Skirt

It would seem that I am looking forward to transitional dressing. That blissful couple of weeks where jeans and sandals, or skirts and boots make perfect sense, when a few layers serve one better than a giant winter coat. Basically, I'm over the parka. It's only February, but winter is short in Philadelphia and whiffs of change are in the air.

I made this Lark Tee waaaaaay back in November, and I've worn it a ton. The print goes with absolutely everything I own, winter shoes, summer shoes, jackets, bulky sweaters, skimpy cardis, pants, and now this skirt. I love this t-shirt so much, I'm rationing its wear so as not to wear it out. (anyone else do that?)

PATTERN: Lark Tee from Grainline Studio. This is the boat neck with 3/4 sleeves. When I bought this pattern I didn't realize how many options came with it. There are 4 sleeve lengths (cap, short, 3/4, long), and 4 necklines (crew, scoop, boat, v). It's drafted with 4 different front pattern pieces, and 3 different back pieces to accommodate all those necklines. In my mind that is an indicator of thoughtful drafting. Plus, I like the fit. The Lark is pretty long, and I might cut a couple inches off of the bottom of this version. In a more stable knit, the length would be great for wearing with skinny pants, but it's a bit floppy looking in this very fragile rayon jersey, but...I'm getting ahead of myself.

FABRIC: Stretch Rayon Jersey from It's no longer available but you can check out the specs. to get the idea of the fiber content and drape. It's gorgeous when draped over the body, but a serious hassle to work with. It has very little structural integrity, and as stated above works best for short spans. In the photo below the hemming may look a little sloppy, it's nothing compared to how sloppy it looks in real life. Hot friggin' mess! Cover stitch machine has been added to my someday-list. Unfortunately, someday is not today.
I only bought 1 yard of the rayon jersey fabric (dummy!). With the length, and the 3/4 sleeves, and a feeble attempt at stripe matching, I was just a tiny bit short. I ended up with a little notch out of the hem edge of one sleeve. This could be an unmitigated disaster, but I scrapped in a stripe turned perpendicular to the rest of the shirt, and it magically transformed a knuckle headed mistake into one of my very favorite details. I'm always looking for ways to customized otherwise plain clothing (which is what I normally like to wear), and this is a good one.

I originally envisioned this  top with a shorter, blacker version of my self drafted gathered skirt, but then the holidays hit and the skirt fabric languished in the to-make pile. I love this silhouette (I think my sewing gallery will back me up on this), it works for my body and when sewn as separates is very easy to wear. This one is made with black rayon challis. The drapey fabric feels a bit like lingerie you can wear out of the house, buttery and flowy. I am a committed cotton sewist so this fabric was a bit frustrating, highlighting the fact that I need to branch out lest I stop learning anything new.

PATTERN: Self Drafted (made previously here). A simple gathered skirt is no great triumph, but it is fun to start with nothing, and end with a skirt.

FABRIC: Rayon Challis from Also out of stock at present. Sorry kids, I guess that's what happens when you let your stash languish. Learn from this cautionary tale.

I've been on a blue streak lately (as in, for the past 15 years). Brace yourselves, I feel a black phase coming on... #blackisthenewchambray
Kitty cat photo bomb as promised. 


Top Pattern: Lark Tee by Grainline Studio
Top Fabric: Rayon Jersey from
Skirt Pattern: Self Drafted
Skirt Fabric: Black Rayon Challis from
Heart on the wall: Wheat Weaving Wall Hanging from Land of Plenty (my mom!)



  1. oh what a great combo on you. love that stripe and hey, a skirt in rayon! i always think of it for tops/dresses, but it looks so flowy and nice. thanks for inside info on the lark, too; i haven't gotten that one yet but it sounds like i need it. so many options!

  2. A super stylish combination. I too have garments I ration the wear - how wonderful one day to have a wardrobe that only contains such things. Oh and I hate rayon knit fabric too - shifty, seductive and high maintenance!

    1. Thanks Sarah. Ha! I wish I could just hate rayon jersey and never sew with it again. But it definitely is seductive.

  3. I love this pattern and this top looks great on you! And that was such an impressive improv move! Such a great detail.

  4. I love the genius fix for the sleeve!