You Spilled Blueberries and Batwings All Over my Knit Tops!

Still continuing on with the fun of sewing knits.  I made the T-shirt pattern from the Craftsy Sewing With Knits course.  It actually started out as stark white jersey fabric.  Whiter than white can be white. White fabricAnd I thought, “it’s too white”.  So, I decided to dye it.  In the interest of environmental and health safety, I wanted to use something natural.  I have dyed things with tea before, and they came out a lovely sepia tone.  But wanted this one to be more colourful.  Have you ever been to somebody’s house and everything is completely white?  I mean, everything, furniture, pillows, curtains, rugs.  Not only does being there make one REALLY nervous, but, what are the two things you pray they don’t serve you?  Blueberry juice and red wine!!  So, those were the winners for the dyeing process.dyeing with blueberry and wine  I sewed up the T-Shirt first, then let it soak for about half an hour in the offending-to-white liquids.  Et, voila!!  It came out a subtle purple-grey tone.  I made the XXS, as I did with the fleece hoodie, but this one was not as roomy.  I would make the XS next time.  Knit Tee For the next knit top, I drafted my own pattern with instructions from the book, Downtown DIY Sewing by Alice Chadwick.  It included a body, cuffs, waistband and interfaced neck facing.Pattern DraftingI used gridded pattern paper.  I could only find paper with the grid in inches and my rulers are in metric, but not a big problem.  The grid makes it so much easier to measure and draft, and I highly recommend it!  And this was the end result:Dolman  Sleeve Knit TopIt is a printed jersey and was my first time using a directional pattern, stripes and a geometric floral band, and it lined up out quite well.  The pattern is a dolman / batwing sleeve style, remember those?  Dolman  Sleeve Knit Top 3I was having a twitter conversation with Charlotte from Seamripped and she was working on her own project and asked if the batwing look will come back in style.  I said “yes!” and have since found a lot of sites with batwing / dolman sleeve fashions that look quite stylish.  I like this shirt as it is a dressed up version of casual.  A bit like a fancier, more interesting sweatshirt, with all the comfort maintained.  Dolman  Sleeve Knit Top 2Update:  I have since worn this top and the neck facing would periodically turn toward the outside.  So, I followed some advice to stitch along the shoulder seams, stitching in the ditch, and through the neck facing.  I did this using a triple stretch stitch and it is really helping to hold the neck facing inside the top.


51 thoughts on “You Spilled Blueberries and Batwings All Over my Knit Tops!

  1. Charlotte says:

    Your dolman sleeves look totally intentional!

    Also, you’re a brave one with the natural dye. My heart quickened a bit just looking at your concoction. Such a great color.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks! It was actually easy to come up with the idea because, believe it or not, I have been in people’s homes that were decorated in 100% white and then offered red wine. Caused me to have a mild aneurysm. 🙂

  2. Andrea says:

    I really like that dolman top, and the fabric you used is awesome. Did you get it in TO? I ask because every time I went to look for printed jersey I came up empty handed and very frustrated. Very smart dye job too!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you. That fabric caught my eye, for sure. And drafting the pattern was easy. The book gave clear instructions and using the grid paper helped to speed things up.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you! I am enjoying the journey into knits. Only thing I don’t like is how clingy the thin jersey is when you are trying to lay it out to cut it. Any tips for how to deal with this are welcome :).

        • Gjeometry says:

          Ok, thanks! A rotary cutter might be better than scissors for this. I think it also may be the type of knit I’ve been using, a very thin jersey of likely a blend. It just clings to itself so I can’t smooth it out or square it up to cut it. Brooke (@Sew Brooke) suggested that I use Static Cling spray or just cut it single and not try to double it. Think that would work out well too.

  3. Tracey Revalee says:

    This is one hot top! If the batwing look wasn’t back anyway, this rendition would rouse it. Red/ black/white is so exciting a combination in any form. Cngratulations on a great concept and execution.

    (Originally posted in Dolman Sleeve Knit Top 3 – picture)

    • Gjeometry says:

      Oh, thank you so much! I feel all fabulous now, lol. I loved the colour and pattern of this fabric and wanted to make something that would show the fabric pattern well.

      (Originally posted in Dolman Sleeve Knit Top 3 – picture)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful! I’ve seen that border print at Fabricland, and really liked it… but couldn’t figure out what i’d make with it! Your top is a great solution! 🙂

  5. Boomdeeadda says:

    Neat! So do you drink the wine or mix it in with the blueberry Juice? You are brave to do this to a freshly sewed top. I like the idea of gridded paper. I could use that in some other projects.

  6. Chris Lucas says:

    These are great!!! I just love the stripe one and probably even more so knowing that you drafted the pattern yourself… well done and I love the colours in it too. How clever are you dying your own fabric as well… oh and I hope you didn’t waste all the wine in there and kept a little for yourself to indulge on while the fabric was soaking up it’s fare share LOL.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Lol. Yes, for sure. The official recipe is one cup wine in dye bath, one cup in mouth, then another cup in mouth.

      And, thanks for your compliments. The top was very simple to draft as the instructions were all written up in the book, I just followed them. But, it’s a good lesson as an intro to pattern drafting and making, to see how things fall into place, what tools to use, etc. So, I enjoyed it!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks, it is I wore it today! Right now, the neck facing is starting to turn out, even though I understitched it. Not too sure why, maybe it’s a touch big. So, somebody suggested to stitch along the shoulder seam to hold the facing in place and I think it’s a good idea! I’m going to try it and see if it fixes the problem.

  7. Leonie says:

    Your dolman top looks fabulous! The dye colour for the SWK top came out lovely. Let us know how it launders? I too did the SWK course but as yet haven’t tried any of the patterns. I hope to make a hoodie soon as winter is approaching and I have nothing…..

    • Gjeometry says:

      Oh, Thank you!! Yes, I was wondering how it would come out in the wash, but I know that every time I spill something like red wine or juice on my or somebody else’s white fabric, it is a nightmare of colossal efforts to remove it. So, as long as I don’t use bleach, figured it would do ok in the regular laundry.

      I will love to see your hoodie when you complete it! I finished mine a few weeks ago and posted it on my blog earlier. I lined the hood with leopard print fabric. 🙂

  8. Jeff says:

    I notice you used a Cabernet for dyeing purposes. I wonder if you should experiment with different varietals to see what colour variations you could get… for instance a Merlot might give you a brighter colour and a Pinot Noir maybe a more purple. Then for dinner parties you could not only pair your wine with the food, you could pair your clothing with the wine.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Shannon! I just followed the instructions in the book to draft the pattern, so it was very simple, but gave me a nice intro into how pattern drafting works and what tools to use, etc. so that I have the basics to venture out and draft my own patterns.

      And so happy you love Dolman tops!!! Not everybody does, including me, or so I thought, but I’m totally on the bandwagon now! Love them, they can be baggy and oh so comfy, but still retain a feminine looking silhouette. 🙂

  9. Brooke says:

    Your tops are great! And I agree that too many people like all white everything. Give me color any day! =)

    I like using things from my kitchen as dyes too. I probably use tea the most but I’ve used some juices as well. And some herbal teas are really pretty colors.

      • Brooke says:

        Main reason I like it is you can still use your pots for food later! I do have one cheapy stockpot for chemical dyes but it’s easier not to have to think about it. I always feel like a mad scientist when I dye, hehe.

  10. sewexhausted says:

    I love, love, love the print! So funky! And the pattern you drafted for it is super cute as well!
    I recently dyed some white lace purple, for the unitards I made for my daughters duet number. Everyone was more impressed with my dying then the sewing of the unitards! Needless to say I will be dying some more things soon! 🙂 ~Kerrielee

  11. SheSew says:

    I’ve enjoyed your post and all of the follow-up! Who knew wine drinking could be used in the service of clothing production? 😉

    Would you give an update after you’ve washed your shirt a few times?

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you, glad you enjoyed all of our banter. Yes, I feel wine serves a tremendously important role in clothing production. As well as many other things. 🙂 And, I shall surely update with the laundering capability of the dyed Tee!

  12. Calico Stretch says:

    Oh I like this. Lovely job on the drafting too …. My favourite knit top is a dolman sleeve and I am going to have to throw it away soon. Its too worn out to be worn outside the house. Damn I’m going to have to copy it :o).

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you so much! I’m so excited your favourite top is a dolman sleeve one. I had no idea they could be so stylish. I was at a sewing bloggers meet-up today and somebody told me they had just bought a Vogue pattern dolman sleeve style top. So there! 🙂 And, yes, feel free to copy at will! If you have any questions about it, let me know and I’d be happy to do my best in answering them, as well.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you! Yes, I had no idea I would like it so much! I always sort of associated the “batwing” kind of look with the ’80’s, but I quite like it now!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you! This was my second go at it after my hoodie. I love sewing with them, as well, since you can fit them so much easier. But I did not like cutting them out, more tricky than cutting wovens.

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