I felt it was time to find a ‘go-to’ t shirt pattern that, once sized correctly, I’d be able to run up quickly to create some staple wardrobe pieces.  After my usual Google search and reading of reviews, The Lark Tee by Grainline Studio kept showing high in the results offering 4 types of sleeve, 4 different necklines and giving a total of 16 variations.

I also love the boat neckline and only possess one garment in this style, so that confirmed my decision for The Lark Tee.

I envisaged a striped fabric to make a boat neckline, ideally with long or three-quarter sleeves, however, for this time of year I am too warm in long sleeves and opted for short.  Capped sleeves fall at the wrong point on my arms, making them feel larger than I think they are.

I found the perfect textured rib knit having an off-white background with red & subtle blue stripes.  Minerva provide a matching thread service which you can add at checkout, sending an ivory Gutermann thread to match my fabric choice

The boat neck pattern comprises just 3 pieces, front and back, both cut on the fold, and the sleeve pieces.  The instructions are easy to follow.

I made a wearable toile in some viscose type jersey that I’ve had in my stash for some time and made the V neck style.  It is quite light weight and not really suitable for boat neck, it’s really soft but creases as soon as you sit down to tie your shoe laces!.  The only changes I made to the toile were to grade up a size from the underarm seam down to the hips and pinch in the centre back neck where I always make an adjustment.  I left the length as it was.  Overall, I was pleased with the toile although I planned to shorten my next garment.  I was a bit ‘off’ with my top stitching at the front V,  but the pattern went together well, and I like the depth of the V. 

On making my main garment I kept the above adjustments and also shortened the length by about 4 centimetres.  Pattern matching the stripes was relatively easy as they are about 2cm wide.  To help with pattern matching I cut the pattern right side up, whereas I usually cut right sides together.  The sleeves I pattern matched and cut separately, and matched the notches against the stripes to try to get the pattern uniform across the front where the eyes would be drawn to.

The boat neck is a really quick make, mainly due to the neck being hemmed rather than a neck band being used, as in the V neck.  Care needs to be taken to avoid stretching the neckline when hemming.As with all stretch fabrics I used a stretch stitch or straight stitch with zig zag to neaten the seams.  It would be quicker still if I ever get around to using my inherited overlocker!

I used a tip that I’d seen used by Sew Sarah Smith to level the boat neckline and I like the effect, making it slightly more straight across.  Lauren from Guthrie & Garni also has some useful tips on making The Lark Tee.

I already have 3 more fabrics from Minerva that I treated myself to with some birthday money, and I hope to whip them up over a couple of days.

Thanks to Minerva for the kit and to everyone for reading.