knit tops

i recently came across maria denmark’s blog, no doubt after falling down the sewing blog rabbit hole. one blog leads me to another… which leads to another… and so forth. she has a great free pattern, the kirsten kimono tee, available over on and and a few other places. i immediately downloaded it for future use and pulled it out recently to make a quick top. i had this great black and white stripe fabric from which was the perfect weight for a simple not too fitted top. 

i am particularly pleased with the finishing on this one. sometimes the sewing gods are with you and sometimes they definitely are not. the pattern doesn’t include seam allowances (but smartly advises you add them in before cutting out the pattern) so i added a serger-friendly 3/8″ to the seams, and 3/4″ to the sleeve and hem. i bound the neckline with self fabric cut on the bias for interest. typically i cut my knit bindings on the cross grain where all the stretch is, but i like the diagonal striped binding. it’s a little more interesting than a solid color, yet still doesn’t look jarring or irregular.

everything was top stitched with a twin needle to maintain stretch. i’m super pleased with this top. it’s comfy and will no doubt get tons of use! i didn’t make any pattern changes this time around (other than grading between sizes). next time i might lengthen the top by an inch and maybe curve the shoulder/sleeve seam down just a tad so it’s less angular. other than that, this top is definitely a winner, quick to make and a good stash buster for the fabric hoarders among us!

this second top is mccalls 6078 which i made up months ago! it made a sneaky appearance back here but thought it deserved it’s own mention. this top is also a really fast make, and is perfect for layering (hello fall). since it’s put out by mccalls, it has stupid wide seam allowances and dumb finishing instructions. why can’t they just do it right? instead of turning and stitching a 5/8″ SA (which NEVER works) i made a narrow facing with strips of self binding and top stitched. it’s super easy to do and looks way more professional.

other than my minor quibbles with the finishing, i really like this pattern. it’s good for funky prints that need showing off, and i even made it into a casual dress with some fitting changes (hopefully a post for another day).

okay, i should be back with a coat muslin soon. the kiddos brought home their first virus from school so i’m a little under the weather… hopefully i can still get it done over the weekend though!

โ€”lisa g.

9 thoughts on “knit tops

  1. poppykettle says:

    ooh! This is the second time I've seen/heard about this Kimono tee – it looks lovely! Especially the binding at the neck ๐Ÿ™‚ Lousy instructions are the worst – where's the common sense? Irrespective – you've got a wonderfully fitting tee out of them!

  2. Susan says:

    Both of your tops are adorable! Love the bias stripe on the first one… I need to make up this pattern soon. Also, the second one showcases that great print perfectly! I think the Big 4 generally suck at knit directions… I almost always adjust the SAs prior to cutting, and do my own finishing thing too! Nice job on these wardrobe builders. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. lisa g. says:

    thanks so much! these tops are in heavy rotation… i highly recommend both patterns. i've started adjusting my SAs also. i feel like the big 4 just set you up for failure regarding their knits. why? it baffles me!

  4. aleah says:

    These are both great tops! I'm particularly envious of the second one – what cool fabric! I love that McCall's pattern too, and I have also used it for a crazy big mod print. It's so easy and like instant gratification!

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