Hot Day Woven Tee

Pattern: New Look 6217 Kimono Tee
Fabric: remnant silk
Cost: $5

This year and last I have once again been working on making woven tops. There are a range of good patterns out there I have tried: the Stella Blouse, Scout Tee, and BurdaStyle's Printed Blouse. At first try-on, they fit great, but after a day of wear I always encounter the same problem - tightness and chaffing at the underarm. Is there such a thing as an armpit adjustment?! The one exception to this rule is the Archer, which is my comfy weekend go-to. As for the others, I'm afraid to say they may have to go - as they are just unwearable as is.

Before I re-draft my patterns for better underarm fit, I decided to take a break and go for something I knew would fit: New Look 6217 Kimono Tee. There are a ton of great patterns like this out there, but for $4.29 this pattern included the tee, a kimono jacket, a skirt, and simple pants. I'm very interested in making the kimono jacket, too, if I get a chance.

For the tee, it's a simple, two-piece top, and in my opinion does just a good of a job as  fancier 'with sleeves' woven tee. This one is cut from a bright silk remnant I got on sale at Stone Mountain. It is sturdy enough that I didn't have too much trouble with shifting or disintegrating during cutting and sewing. To hide any raw edges, the side and shoulder seams are french seamed, which is really the only way to finish a top like this, IMO.

The longest part of this project are the hems - bottom, sleeves, and top opening. I usually use bias tape, but this fabric was too lightweight and drapey from my usual cotton tape, and I had run out of fabric to make self-bias. However, somewhere online I read a tutorial for doing a narrow hem using a row of stitching to guide the fabric, and after some fiddling around I found that putting in two rows of stitching (one for each fold on the narrow hem) worked great. I will definitely be using that technique again!

You'll also notice that the original top doesn't have a pleat at the neckline. After some creative cutting to fit my pattern on my little scrap of fabric, I found that the neckline gaped horribly. A little pleat easily solved this, and is actually a rather cute detail for a rather simple top.

Thank god for easy projects!


  1. Oh I love the pleat at the neckline! Good thing it gaped :)

  2. Ha! I totally thought the pleat at the neck was a design detail. Good thinking!

  3. I love the pleat too! It adds just enough of a unique twist, and that colour looks gorgeous on you!

  4. awwww, it looks so nice where you are. I'm jealous!

  5. Pleat = design opportunity. Nice job, and great looking top!

  6. Love it, and the pleat is adorbs! New Look 6217 is now on my list of stuff to buy at Joanne's. You know, I always thought it was just me with that underarm tightness on my woven shirts. Like, is yoga twice a week making my arms that big? How could this be? I'm working on a sleeveless top from New Look 6080 right now, and am removing a good 1 inch below the underarm area as a precaution - hope this helps! But in the meantime, love your new shirt and its lovely pleat!

    1. Yeah! And to be honest, I don't work out my arms at all or have much of an upper body. Perhaps it's my posture?! I will definitely take you advise along with matching it up with my Archer.

  7. Instant gratification projects are the best. Looks comfortable and stylish thanks to that added pleat.

  8. Very cute top. That pleat worked out beautifully.

  9. Love the little pleat! It totally makes the top.

  10. Very cute top! I almost always have this problem with arm holes. I just lower the armscye as part of my standard alterations now (including for the Scoute tee) - usually to the lowest hole on a multi-size pattern, or around 1 inch. I've also learned to adjust the sleeve. Usually I just go one size up in the sleeve pattern so that it's closer in size to the adjusted arm hole. You can guess how I figured that out!


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