Experiments in Twists

Last week, I posted a trio of basic tees. But I've also been experimenting with how to make my favorites a bit more interesting. This top started out as the Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee, but with a twist.

Pattern: Named Inari Tee, with twist borrowed from the Style Arc Dee Knit Top
Fabric: remnant cotton eyelet
Cost: free from Bay Area Sewists fabric swap

I first started experimenting with twists when I made this cozy sweater for the Britex blog last winter. I took the twist from the Style Arc Dee Knit Top and grafted it on to the hem of my favorite Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee pattern. It's not terribly difficult to do (you can read the step-by-step on the Britex blog) and was a fun little transformation.

In fact, I liked it so much that I thought I might give it a try again, but this time on the sleeves. I used the same method to graft the twist onto the bottoms of the sleeves of the Mandy Boat Tee. However, this time around things were a bit more tricky. First off, I didn't cut the sleeves nearly wide enough to accommodate the twists. As you can see below, it is quite a full sleeve and all that volume gets eaten up in the twist.

Once I added another piece to the sleeve (I didn't have enough fabric to re-cut), I didn't like the proportions at all. The dropped shoulder of the Mandy Boat Tee made everything look frumpy. So I recut the body using the Named Inari Tee, which is slightly narrower and has cute little set-in sleeves. I also shortened my sleeves so they hit right below the elbow. Still not quite happy, I also scooped out the neckline so things didn't look quite so Victorian.

Honestly, I'm still not so sure about the proportions on this one. I know the big sleeve trend is/was in, but it is something very new one me. The Mr. was not a fan at all, but I got some compliments and encouragement at a recent Bay Area Sewists meetup (love those folks!) so I'm going to hold on to it for now. Plus with some new photos taken in the crisp winter sun, it is growing on me.

Of course, after I finished all this experimenting I spotted the Sadie Tunic on the Style Arc website, which is basically this pattern all drafted out for you. But what's the fun in that, right? I noticed that Meg of Cookin' and Craftin' is also experimenting in twists, so I hope this at least inspires you to get out and try your own.

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