Did you ever embroider napkins, handkerchiefs, teacloths when you were a kid? As immigrants from England, my Mum had us embroider hankies and send them home to our grandparents for Christmas. I continued to embroider and still do sometimes.
When I see those lovely hand embroidered teacloths in second hand shops I cannot in all conscience leave them there – poor darlings with their occasional stain or grease spot. Think of the hours that went into that beautiful embroidery.
Once upon a long time ago a wonderful sewing tutor copied this sheet of nested raglan T shirt patterns for me.
Its a bit trial and error on fit, in spite of the sizing chart – I will not be put in a box! Eventually I came up with a pattern for this woven version of a raglan top made from pieced teacloths and a scrap of linen given to me by a friend.
I really liked this top when I made it, the idea had sat in my noggin for quite some time and I was pleased I’d managed to see it through. Then my kids said “it looks like you’re wearing a tablecloth Mum”. Well I cannot tell you how that shook my confidence. My kids are 16 and 20, they both enjoy clothes and dressing up and “yes” I am overly sensitive to their comments.
I wore this to a festival and received no sideways glances, no whispers as to the heritage of my repurposed fashion, it was not a fashion faux pas after all and I really like it. The bias nature of the lower front can bag out a bit, but its easy, breezy and cool to wear – I declare this a win! These photos were taken in a stiff breeze BTW.
To reduce bagginess at the lower armscye I scooped a sliver out of the lower armscye to a max. of 1cm on both the sleeve and bodice. That seemed to pull it in sufficiently for a woven. In a stretch I might need to size down in the upper body.
There are a few tutorials on the interwebs for self drafting raglan sleeves from a fitted block, like this from the Sempstress and this excellent tutorial from House of Jo in Bath. I’d say House of Jo’s draft is useful for a woven as it has a close fitting shoulder in the raglan due to the retention of a dart in the shoulder. Mine was a tad more basic.
Its Always Autumn has even gone to the trouble of giving you a printable pdf of a raglan T shirt – freebie alert!
Oh and sorry, very late afternoon sun and my photographer was struggling with shadows!
shirt cuff tutorial coming next…