This almost became a UFO. I cut it weeks ago and kept getting side tracked onto other projects. The fabric is Bamboo from Fabricmart.com. This is the 2nd piece I purchased but the first to be sewn. The first purchased was an olive green (like the light colored olives stuffed with pimentos). That light olive is not a color I like, but it is a color which looks good one. It’s also a color in my personal color wheel. They say usually your personal colors will be colors that you like and reach for. Not the case for the light olive. I don’t like for it or reach for it. But boy do my cheeks pop with color, my eyes glisten icy blue and my lips look like roses. I just don’t like light olive and that’s why I didn’t sew the first cut of fabric. I kept delaying until Fabricmart put this Cobalt blue on sale. Even at 40% off, I wouldn’t call it cheap. But I was curious.
I’m also a machine knitter. I’d purchased a beautiful pink cone of bamboo yarn about 4 years ago. Think fabric is cheap? Try yarn. On sale the 1 KG cone was $35.99 plus shipping which I think was about $6. I could buy a nice branded shirt for less than what I paid for that cone of yarn. I couldn’t get a reliable gauge. When you machine knit, you make a sample and then measure the rows and stitches over a given number of inches. The larger the sample, the more reliable your gauge will be. I usually take the standard 40″ by 60 rows and 4″ by 4″. If my knitting looks off, I measure on the piece in progress and start over. Now there’s a whole procedure and I haven’t given you the half of it, but let me say I repeated the procedure complete with laundry, resting and pressing multiple times. I changed the gauge multiple times and reknit until the yarn shredded. I then threw that portion of yarn away and started again. Eventually I didn’t have enough yarn to make a tank top and quit. I loved the feel of the yarn. I loved the way it handled but could never get the yarn to stabilize and produce garment pieces with the same gauge. It would be like cutting a size 8 sleeve, 12 front and 16 back. It’s hard to put those pieces together and unless you have real physical anomalies (apologies to you if you do) the garment isn’t going to fit.
Whew, the point is, I wanted to try the bamboo as fabric. I wanted to know how it wears. Is it comfortable? Is it slick and oily? Sweaty? Does it grow? or shrink? Does it stink? So I bought the light olive, but couldn’t stand the thought of wearing it. I was so glad to find my best blue in bamboo. But it was pricey so I waited for the sale. Then I’ve dawdled at making it. Finally yesterday, I stitched out a 15 minute embroidery and chose the fastest finish possible: visible serging. I didn’t even hem it. I used the suggestion from Loes Hinse newsletter and serged one time with cutting blade and a 2nd time without the cutting blade.
That’s the finished sleeve and I will say that IRL the thread and fabric match. It’s an OK finish. I think I prefer a rolled edge or a flat hem turned up and stitched. But I do like to try new ideas. I didn’t shorten the sleeves or hem. In the back of my mind I was thinking “if I don’t like this, I can always turn up a real hem and hide it all”
I haven’t even tried it on. I’m that confident of initial fit. This is the turtle neck top from Butterick that was very similar if not the same as the turtle neck top Burda Style released in one of 2010 fall’s issue. The turtle neck is perfect, neither too tall, too short, too tight, too loose. The cut-on dolman-sleeve is another winning combination. I cut this with a center back seam just to get all the pieces out of the 1 yard of fabric I purchased. I was concerned about nap but the fabric doesn’t seem have that problem. It’s a simple 4-seam top which I made into 5 seams. I plan to wear the collar scrunched as above (I already have 2 versions with the turned forward turtle neck). I’m surprised one of the Big 4 hasn’t really maxed this pattern out. I can think of several easy changes. I did the center seam in back. How about the center seam in front? Or both front and back? How about center front seam with the turtle neck portion left open to form a Johnny collar? It wouldn’t be too hard to cut a V-neck, U-neck, Jewel-neck version. Or change the length of sleeves. Or add cuffs. Anyway, this is a great pattern, which already fits wonderfully so I didn’t try it on.