Shirt Tails and Distractions

I had A Plan. It was a very good plan, and it involved a weekend full of floral stretch satin and the most beautiful merlot-colored elastic I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Despite this plan, however, here I sit: my floral satin and merlot elastics still neatly folded and awaiting cutting. It appears that I've gotten distracted by a new shirt and a baby hat.

Okay, I don't actually have the baby hat anymore: I gave it to the baby, but we're getting to that.

The shirt, on the other hand, I very much have and am very excited about. See, this all started a week or two ago when The Fabric Store had their pre-new-stock-landing sale, and I snagged this spectacularly bright fuchsia rayon/silk blend at 50% off with a mind to make a nice, flowy woven tank to use as 'Work Clothes'



'Work Clothes' and I have a pretty weird relationship. I spent most of my time at university wearing the same dye- and paint-stained clothes to all my classes, and I've really never worked anywhere that had any kind of a dress code. Really, anyone who hires this hair isn't too concerned with appearances, which is really how the world should be anyhow. Whatever I put on in the morning is 100% up to me, but as it turns out that's not always a good thing. I end up in my favorite pair of harem pants, some kind of baggy t-shirt, and a honking great scarf most days. Also, guilty of wearing my hot pink down jacket like it's going out of style.


Armed with a sewing machine and no less than five fabric stores within walking distance of my house, there is literally no reason why I can't have a wardrobe that looks like my Pinterest boards, rather than one that looks like somebody just rolled me out of bed with the blanket still wrapped around my shoulders. Not that that's not sometimes a good look...

Basically, I'm trying to make ~professional lady~ clothes without falling down the rabbithole of anything that might remotely be described as 'sensible'. Retina-burning pink ought to do, right?


This tank is just three curved lines, 1/2" of ease, and a pocket away from being an exact copy of the top half of my jumpsuit pattern. The ease is so I can slip it over my head without requiring any pesky zippers. I drafted shirttails at the front and back for a little bit of interest, and planned some bias binding for all the edges.


Things never do go according to plan, though, do they? I was about to cut into my pink silky fabric when I realized that I should probably invest the time in some kind of test before I committed shears to this beautiful, expensive silk blend. Fortunately, I found some AMAZING rayon with a border print at my favorite discount fabric store (the lady there said it matched my hair, which definitely means I'm due to brighten things up a bit...) and at $4/meter, it was pretty perfect as a wearable test run. Plus, that spectacular floral border will look great with my shirttail hem.


I'm really glad I did a test run first, and on such similar fabric, because I learned that this fabric- and this wide scooping neckline- does not tolerate bias binding. It was like the neckline was actively trying to push itself away from my body. Whoops. So I got to work with my seam ripper, and cut some facings. Much better. Only problem is I didn't anticipate seam allowances for the neck and edge pieces, because of the bias binding -but it's still well within normal range I think. Covers my bra straps, anyhow. The armhole just needs tightening up a little bit.


The only issue is that I didn't cut the facing long enough in the front, so the neckline pulls forward marginally because there's not enough weight to balance it out. I'm not sure if it's worth taking it apart a second time, but it reminded me to lengthen the facings for the second version.


I was also planning to do a bias binding for the hem, but ended up with a 1/4" rolled hem instead, so it's a bit shorter than I was anticipating. For four dollars, though, I'm not shedding any tears over a slightly short hem.


Lastly, I cut the pocket out of some scraps from the floral edge, and found its ideal location by pinning it on while I was wearing the tank. Nothing too special there - other than after working with so many synthetics and laces for my bras of late, I'm so happy with how crisp rayon looks when it's pressed. Even if I did sort of break my iron with this project...Who needs a steam function anyways?


I considered not bothering with the pocket for my tester, but I had Epic Plans mind for the pink fabric (which I didn't even get done after all that)- and I was sort of worried that it might be too heavy for the fabric. I added the floral pocket for testing purposes - and fortunately, everything stayed in place. I used Gutermann silk thread for this project, but really only because I already had the right color - it could easily have been a cotton or poly.


Even the best laid plans are destined to fail, as they say. I didn't actually make it to the pink shirt this weekend. Somewhere in the middle of my workin' lady wardrobe adjustments, I had a very distracting idea. I work for a pretty small company: my boss and his wife are the co-owners, and they are lovely to work with. I have known for approximately five months that she was pregnant, but it didn't occur to me until just this Friday past that perhaps a knitted gift was in order. They left the gender reveal for the birth, so (after talking me out of navy blue with purple specks which would have been way cool fyi) Jon convinced me to buy a ball of pink and a ball of blue and make a striped hat.


Fortunately, babies have small heads, which bodes well for my chronic procrastination problem - I knit the hat in about five hours over the weekend the kid was born.


It's the Aviatrix by Just Jussi, which is very popular on Ravelry, and especially nifty if you're looking for something a bit more exciting to knit than the average teensy hat. I knit the smallest size without the chin strap, and with some improvised stripes. It was a lovely pattern to knit, and totally doable during a Netflix marathon if that's your style. (it is definitely mine)


As I didn't have a baby on hand to model the hat, Sheep is my stand-in. He was obviously, more than happy to do some glamour shots... although it's a bit of a slouchy hat on him. I hope the actual baby's head is big enough...I had to trust the pattern directions on how big to make it. Apparently 'newborn' is an actual size...


Jon says it looks like a scallop shell, and I rather think it looks like a little tiny helmet. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino - which is 55% wool, 33% microfiber and 12% Cashmere and is very soft and also feels like a yarn that won't fuzz and pill too quickly. I'm not sure about the microfiber and I don't generally knit with synthetics but for the sake of washability it's probably necessary. Also I have loads of both balls leftover for the next time someone I know decides to pop out a kid. This project is on Ravelry if you're so inclined.


And that, dear friends, is the story of how I got distracted from my floral underthing project and ended up with a shirt and a baby hat instead.

Surely I'm not the only one. Have you ever sat down to work on a project and ended up turning out something completely different? Alternatively, have you ever waited to knit a hat for a baby until the actual day that the baby was expected to make its debut appearance? Did you block said baby hat with a hairdryer in your bathroom? Because that is what I did.

Update: After waiting 11 days past her due date, the baby barely waited the drive from home to hospital before arriving, and is a girl! She does not yet have a name, although one of the guys I work with is voting hard for 'Megatron'... It's still winter here in New Zealand, so she is rockin' her hat like the boss she will surely be.