Rainbow Stripe Nora Tee
Posted on Monday the 21st January 2019 by Lucky Sew and Sew
I’d had a inkling for a while that my wardrobe happened to have a rainbow tee shaped whole in it and I didn’t realise how true that was until I made this garment and now feel truly complete. How have I lived without this tshirt for my whole life up until this point? I have no idea because I can’t stop wearing it. All my other tshirts shave been harshly discarded and forgotten about whilst my tee of dreams takes centre stage. I’m not even sorry about it.
This fabric. This dreamboat of a fabric. It is everything I’ve ever wanted from a jersey. I’d been thinking of making a stripy colourful tee for a while but I hadn’t had much luck finding the perfect print. Then I happened to stumble across this one on the Minerva website and it was like fate had aligned itself. Hallelujah, sewing friends! The colours are the perfect palette - some brights (the oranges and yellows) but with a good contrast of muted colours too (dark red and navy) so that the rainbow effect isn’t too overwhelming. A little more grown up and refined. Perfection.
I hadn't used a Tilly and the Buttons Pattern before, but when I was searching for the perfect top pattern to go with my rainbow fabric, the Nora pattern kept cropping up on all of my searches. I’ve admired this shape tee from afar for a while but I worried that the shape wouldn’t work well on me. It’s oversized and loose fitting, which is exactly what I wanted in my mind and I figured that if I tucked it into my other new love - high waisted jeans - then I figured I could get away with the volume. Searching the #sewingNora hashtag on instagram was a great help actually, as I could see how other people had styled their Nora top.
When the pattern arrived I spent a little time pondering over what size to make. As always, my bust, waist and hips all fall into different sizes. As a pear shape, that means that if I cut for my hip size the top half looks terribly big on me, and if I cut for my bust size then the hip area is too snug. What a dilemma. What I’ve learnt is that if I’m making a top, especially one that’s oversized or going to be tucked in, then I can get away with cutting for my bust size. So I went with size 5 in the end even though my actual hip measurement put me between a size 6 and 7. I decided to go with the crop version on the top, so I needn’t have worried so much about the hip measurement anyway really in hindsight.
When the fabric arrived I gave it a quick wash in the machine just in case there’d be any shrinking. Oh dear me, how beautiful this fabric is! It’s so deliciously soft, but with a perfect amount of body to it. I did a pretty good job of pattern matching the stripes whilst cutting, which was satisfying and simple enough to do. I just made sure that when folding to fabric in half that the strips of colour where in a line. I sewed using a lightning stitch and overlocking the edges of the seams. I was a little apprehensive about the split sides and the top stitched hem because we all know that jersey is so easy to stretch out when sewing. Thankfully this fabric has enough body that it went through the sewing machine and my overlocker perfectly without any stretching out or wavy stitch lines. I also pressed the seams as I went along to keep it looking crisp and it took a press beautifully.
As soon as I put this top on (literally the minute I finished sewing it) I fell in love. I really love the fit. The length is perfect for what I wanted and the split seam is actually a really clever aspect to have as it means you can tuck just the front of the tee into your bottoms and leave the back out, out tuck the whole thing in. So many options! I went for the elbow length sleeves and they’re the perfect length too. Plus, the rainbow stripes. Gah, all the heart eyes for those. I feel like a 90’s throwback wearing this tee tucked into some Mom jeans but I’m digging it. Totally.
I can’t wait to make some more Nora tops, I can see them becoming a staple pattern for me. I’m dying to try the roll neck version next to wear under dungarees. I’ve got a little bit of the rainbow jersey left over that I’ve squirrelled away to make some underwear out of. Then I can match my undies to my favourite tshirt and I’ll be happy as Larry.