For the longest time, I didn’t wear t-shirts. Somehow I had convinced myself that they didn’t suit me, or they wouldn’t fit, but it wasn’t until I made the Hemlock tee from Grainline Studios (which you can read about here) that I realised that my issue was all in my head! Since then, I have made a few more tees and I was keen to find the t-shirt pattern that would be my TNT and I could whip up quickly.
A few weeks ago I decided to treat myself to the Lark tee pattern from Grainline Studio so I could use some jersey I had got from Cali Fabrics. I ordered this navy blue chalk stripe jersey knit intending to use it for a tee at some point, and when the pattern arrived I knew this fabric would be perfect for the Lark. The knit is a poly/rayon blend, lightweight without being too floaty or sheer, and washes really well on a regular 40 degree cycle. The blue isn’t too dark, it’s a really lovely inky blue and the stripes are both white and grey, although its a little hard to see online. The lines look painted so they aren’t uniform across the fabric, but I like that – it means no two tee’s would be the same!
I made the Lark tee in a US 12 graded to 14 at the hips and made no other adjustments. I chose the scoop neck version with short sleeves – the Lark comes with a v-neck, scoop neck, crew neck and boat-neck, plus long, 3-quarter, short and cap sleeves so there are 16 possible combinations in one pattern. I did have to crop about 3 inches off the bottom hem though, it’s quite a long pattern so keep that in mind! Even with that amount removed, it’s still long enough to be decent when you lift your arms.
I used spray starch on the edges of the fabric before I cut out my pieces so that the 2 yards were easier to handle when trying to line up the grain and the stripe (you might have seen my post on my instagram!). I say stripe matching, but because of the slightly irregular nature of the stripes I just eyeballed it to make sure the stripes mostly met at the side seams. I didn’t starch the pieces once cut though, as they didn’t roll too much and didn’t really need it. I cut the neckband so that the stripes went in the opposite way to the body so it adds a bit of extra interest around the neckline, sewed the whole thing on my overlocker and finished the hems on the body and sleeves with a twin needle on my regular machine.
I was really surprised how much I love this tee. It kind of reminds me of something I would have worn in the nineties as a child. I think that’s because of the length of the sleeves being longer than the cap sleeves I’ve worn for years on tops, and the tie-dye style stripes, but the nineties are on trend again in a big way, so I’m thinking I’m ahead of the curve! I have worn this a couple of times a week since I finished it. It irons well and the fabric dries quickly so it’s become a staple in my wardrobe already! I suspect more Larks may be in my future – perhaps I could go full on nineties child and tie-dye some of this white cotton/bamboo knit!