Moonstone La Brea Tee
Posted on Wednesday the 15th April 2020 by Oak Blue Designs
Hello there! I have to share up front that I’m starting this post soon after our state went in quarantine for the COVID-19 virus. I’ve felt many different emotions throughout the beginning and current stage of the virus spreading. I’ve been more distracted in this time. I made alot of mistakes through sewing this simple top (I have already sewn this pattern once). I decided to embrace the mistakes and be gentle with myself instead of not sewing right now. On to the project!
I made the La Brea tee by Halfmoon Atelier. I was in the pattern test group when the design came out, June 2019. I enjoyed the test process but I’ve been wanting to make this pattern again. The tee is a unique “all in one” sleeve top that can be made in a non-stretch knit or a woven fabric. I love that the incorporated sleeve design uses less fabric. The following are the pattern line drawings, for reference:
For the fabric, I picked a lovely viscose fabric by Atelier Brunette from Minerva. I loved the design in the Moonstone print and found the little splotches of mustard quite special. I love that Atelier Brunette includes pre-made viscose bias binding as an option to purchase. I love wearing viscose but the process of making handmade viscose bias binding was not appealing to me.
1m, Atelier Brunette Moonstone Viscose Challis Dress Fabric (reference size chart for fabric lengths needed)
1m, Atelier Brunette Stardust Bias Binding, Ochre
80/12 Universal needle
Iron/ Sleeve ironing board
Glass head sewing pins
Tracing paper, pen, ruler
Size - 3/4, 3 at the neckline, extend the shoulder to a 4, 4 at the sleeves down. B-cup version
I count this pattern test as a muslin for this project. I wanted to note that I previously used a cotton lawn fabric. The top is comfortable and fits well but I decided that I’d like to try one size up for this go around.
I wanted to grade across sizes but I felt that the drafted underarm curve was nice to preserve. I kept the neckline one size smaller and extended the shoulder line out to the next size for the sleeve down. The photo below shows the shoulder of the pattern extended to the next size at the sleeve:
Size - 4/5, B-cup (following the same draft approach as mentioned in the muslin/toile section).
Although I decided to go up a size for this project, I also made a few other pattern construction mods. With the viscose fabric being quite drapey, I traced out the pattern flat and cut the fabric flat (vs. cutting it on the fold).
One mistake I made through the fabric cutting process is that I cut out two BACK pieces rather than a FRONT and a BACK. To fix this problem, I layed the FRONT pattern piece on top of one of the BACK fabric pieces (to cut out the front scoop neckline).
I had a seam mod that I did on the pattern test (that I wanted to do again). I did not sew the top with the suggested french seams. The pattern seam allowance is ?”. I sewed the underarm seam with a standard straight stitch (with the wrong sides together).
Then I clipped into the curve of the underarms to open up the flexibility of the seam.
I serged the edge of the fabric to finish while still keeping the curve flexible (through the clipped seam).
For the sleeve cuffs, I layed out the fabric pieces and compared which print layout I liked best (to decide the right and wrong side of the cuffs).
I LOVE my ironing sleeve board. It’s so handy to keep by my sewing machine and works well when ironing the cuff edges. I have plans to make a replacement cover in the future for this board. It has seen lots of love (to put it nicely).
When I attach the fold of the sleeve cuffs, I like to attach via the wrong side of the cuff. You have to be careful when you don’t sew on the right side of the fabric (that your bobbin thread is evenly balanced). Admittedly, this approach is a way I cut corners. I normally would baste this edge first, making sure the folded under edge is captured. Then I would sew the seam with a standard stitch length on the right side of the cuff and take out the baste stitch.
I normally prefer to apply a single fold bias tape to finish the neckline of a woven top. In this case, the Atelier base is a double folded bias tape. This tape applied to the underside of the neckline has a little bulkier finish then I normally like. I found matching the ochre color and matching the fabric base was more important to me so I ran with using the double folded tape option.
I thought about modifying the construction to fold the bias tape around the neckline, keeping the bias tape visible. I decided I liked the look better of the bias tape hidden, so I folded it inside the neckline. The following photo shows what the ochre tape would look like if sewn visible around the neckline:
I LOVE this top!! I really appreciate the combination of a fancier t-shirt. The drape of this viscose is so lovely and it's really comfortable. I love the simplicity of the design yet the built-in shaping (without bust darts) makes for a flattering and very quick sew. This is one of those patterns that is handy to sew right before you go on vacation or to throw together right before a date night. Since neither are happening for me right now, I’m enjoying wearing this top at home or to take a walk outside.
Please take care of yourself and check in with others, in this time.