First, I just have to say that I love the Hazelwood top so much! It was so easy to make and the shape is perfect. I would love to make more!!!!
I will briefly discuss fabric choice, pattern layout, pattern construction, modifications, pattern fit, and then in more detail, notes on using a twin needle, cutting stripes, and styling your garment!
This fabric is from the lovely Sewing Studio. I made sure to use a ponte or something with some body. The thick hem helps the shirt have more body as well. My ponte was not super thick but it worked for this top. Any fabric with viscose or more of a drape would give the top a different look! Probably still cute, but different!
The layout provided was super simple, but I was sewing with stripes so I decided to cut my fabric laying flat. More on this below!
The directions were fabulous! The instructions are laid out to help you get all of your regular sewing done before you switch to a twin needle on your machine! This helps you only have to do it once! I really really appreciated this detail.
Modifications to the Pattern:
I had no problems with the fit and it was such a beautiful top in general! I made the size according to my measurements. I typically require a small bust adjustment but this top is not fitted enough to worry about that!
Notes on Using a Twin Needle:
This type of needle is intended to be used on a regular sewing machine. It imitates the stitch that you see on ready to wear garments called a cover stitch. I don't have a cover stitch machine! It makes two straight stitch lines close together. This is great for hemming knits! It looks professional and the stitch is very stretchy! I bought a twin needle that had a 4.0 mm space and was for sewing with stretch fabrics.
Every machine (I have a Pfaff passport 3.0) is different but here are the instructions to use a twin needle for my machine.
It is very simple and you just use two spools of thread, be it your bobbin and regular thread spool, or if you have an extra spool of the color you need. Your machine should have an extra spot for another spool of thread that you must insert a thread holder into, or it might already be there.
It doesn’t matter for my machine what order you thread the spools of thread. Sometimes I thread them in together. Once you pass the threads through the holder right above the needle, just be careful not to twist them at that point.
The bobbin can be any color as you will not see it. I looks like a lattice or zigzag stitch on the back of the fabric that provides the needed stretch.
The stitch must be performed with the right side of the fabric up and it is a straight stitch on your machine. I used to be so scared of this stitch, but I have finally come to love it and the look it provides.
If your knit fabric is very thin, you might have a bit of tunneling on your fabric (it literally looks like it is making a tunnel). However, you can use anything you like to stabilize your knit and make it thicker and this will help your stitch. You can use tissue paper underneath, soft stretch hem tape, knit interfacing along the hem, etc. I usually make my stitch length a 3.0. your tension needs to be right for this stitch so just play with it. I didn't have to adjust mine from the normal. On different fabrics, this stitch will behave differently. I was using a very stable Ponte knit, so I had no problems with the stitch!
You can back stitch at the start and end with this stitch. I used to think you could not! If your stitch does not look great or you still have tunneling, sometimes you can use a slightly stretchy thread, as seen in the picture, for the bobbin (eloflex thread purchased from hobby lobby). This can help the stitch relax down. I also find that a walking foot helps this stitch move along very well. A walking foot is helpful with knit in general!
Notes on Stripes:
I have a very detailed stripes post on my blog a few posts back, but I wanted to add a few things! When you are cutting pieces that are meant to be cut on the fold or pieces that you need to cut 2 of, you can use your previous cut to cut the new piece out. Let me explain…if something is on the fold, cut half of it out as straight as you can, meaning a straight piece is lined up with a straight stripe. Then fold over the piece and line up the stripes exactly.
A lot of times you can see them from the wrong side. Then lay your pattern piece over this to confirm that it is the right size and that you have pulled it over far enough. This will help you make sure it is the same on both sides!
If you have a pattern piece that you must cut two mirror images of, then take the whole piece you just cut out completely and then lay it on your fabric to cut the next piece. This is so helpful, especially if you expect your side seams to line up, etc.
These pictures were so much fun to take! There are so many ways you could style this. When I first started sewing this shirt, I had something else in mind for when I styled it. But….I put it on right after sewing it and thought to myself…it looks so good with my fleece leggings! What!?? Never have I ever thought I looked good in leggings! I was thinking of Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face! I love that movie.
Then I started dancing around outside while my poor husband chased me around to get pictures of my outfit. Never in a million years would I have thought I would have the confidence to wear leggings outside and take pictures in them! Then….post them on the internet for hundreds to see! That is a perfect example of what sewing can do for you! Build your confidence to new levels!
I think this wide bottomed top would look good with any skinny pant or a mini skirt. I made the cropped version and it was perfect. I have a long torso but I like high waisted pants so it still worked without me lengthening the pattern!