Long-Sleeved Tee With A Twist

Long Sleeved Tee With A Twist

I don’t know about you but in these times of plague, I’ve felt the need for a couple of basic wardrobe items. But you know me…nothing is ever quite so simple so let me show you my long-sleeved tee…with a twist…

By the way…I hope you’ll forgive the me-less photos. I’m due for a much needed haircut (currently fed up with how my style is going) and didn’t feel like showing my face 🙂 My stand-in Frida is, however, doing a splendid job at modelling for me. And what’s more she does what I tell her and never answers back…hah!

Fabric Details

My fabric for this top is a soft, lightweight Tencel modal rib knit that I bought from Metermeter and I used it previously for this sleeveless tank in double thickness… So in my opinion, the fabric is rather sheer. You can definitely see underwear through when it’s used as a single layer. Now don’t get me wrong, it is a really lovely fabric and I imagine that in the other colours this isn’t a problem but in ivory, I feel that it is. I notice on the website that they state “Even when stretched, it is opaque.” This may be the case with the other shades but I feel that it’s a bit misleading for the Ivory. I would suggest getting a sample before you buy so that you can make your own mind up. Having said all this I’m seriously thinking about buying some of the red or chestnut colourway because the fabric is so lovely to wear.

The pattern that I used as a starting point for this basic design is good old McCall’s 6886.

Long sleeved tee with a twist.
McCalls 6886

It’s a fabulous jersey dress pattern that I’ve used for cardis and tops before but now seems to be OOP. Basically, though, any long-sleeved tee pattern or tee-shirt dress pattern will do.

A Functional Design Element

So as is often the case with creative projects, necessity is the mother of invention and for this make that was definitely the case. I needed something to disguise show-through without adding lots of extra thickness and complicated details. My solution was to simply add some different widths of fabric in ‘stripes’ at strategic places to add a little modesty and at the same time make a great design feature.

Long Sleeved Tee With A Twist. Details close-up.

The rib of the fabric is slightly different on the wrong side, so I decided to go with that side for some variety and then I simply did a rolled hem on my overlocker on both edges. I also had the differential feed on my overlocker set to the stretch setting in order to get a bit of a ‘lettuce’ effect. Once the hemming was done I just stitched the large bands of fabric on top of the main fabric. I actually did a lot of the stitching for the bands by hand because I’ve been enjoying hand sewing a lot lately, but you could also use a narrow zig-zag stitch.

The top broader band covers my bra area and the lower section is at waist level and would disguise any lines that you might get from seeing the transition to the colour of dark pants or skirt for instance.

Oh, and PS…Here’s my tutorial on how to do a rolled hem

I added the same two bands of fabric onto each sleeve to make the design more cohesive and I love the result. It makes a basic top not so basic.

Finally, I finished off the neckline with a simple neckband folded double then overlocked and stitched down. The shape I chose is a cross between a scoop and a square (a squoop??)

Long Sleeved Tee With A Twist.
Neckline detail
Long Sleeved Tee With A Twist

I’ll be wearing this top with so many pieces from my wardrobe and it’ll be a perfect layering piece under jackets and cardis. You can’t beat a great everyday basic 🙂

So tell me what have you been sewing lately? I’d love to know…has your sewjo been coming and going like mine? Tell me in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by to read my short-but-sweet post and I hope to be back soon. Take care.

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  1. October 18, 2020 / 2:30 pm

    This is a classic example of you showcasing your brilliant creative flair Di; love it!!

    • diane
      October 18, 2020 / 5:05 pm

      Aww, you’re too kind. Thanks, Sarah!xx

  2. Clare Cash
    October 19, 2020 / 11:42 am

    The ‘Squoop’ is an attractive design detail, too. Round necklines really don’t suit me, so I can see myself borrowing it, Di! Thank you.

    • diane
      October 19, 2020 / 3:25 pm

      That’s Brilliant Clare, glad you like it. I do love a square neck and with the rounded corners, it’s a bit different.

  3. Karen
    October 19, 2020 / 12:38 pm

    This is lovely. A basic that has definitely been elevated to another level. The bands are genius. And the sqoop is a great neck shape!

    • diane
      October 19, 2020 / 3:26 pm

      Thanks ever so much, Karen! I reckon the Squoop is going to take the sewing community by storm…lol!

  4. October 19, 2020 / 3:13 pm

    What a brilliant idea! Love your top and those bands of “modesty” as you say work like a charm. A clever top that you’ll undoubtedly wear as you say often. I have a duster (The Cambria by Friday Co) sitting on my sewing table half done which is frustrating – my eyes have taken a turn for the worse (cataracts) and now I’m on a crazy long waiting list (COVID) for surgery which may take up to a year. I’m hoping not that long! I miss my sewing so much especially now 🙁

    • diane
      October 19, 2020 / 3:28 pm

      Thank you, Kathleen. Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear that. Covid has so much to answer for and the waiting game os horrid. I hope your op comes sooner rather than later.x

  5. Joan
    October 19, 2020 / 4:05 pm

    Elegant top, Diane! Interesting, yet not “busy”, as you said, an “elevated” basic!

    Can you please clarify what you chose to hand-sew?

    Also, I am always worrying about certain seaming techniques being less-strong, in this case, the rolled hem. Will you hand-wash this, or would this hold up to machine wash on gentle (possibly in a mesh bag)?


    • diane
      October 19, 2020 / 4:11 pm

      Thank you, Joan!
      So I handstitched the bands onto the fabric by using a backstitch just above the roll hemming that goes along the upper and lower edge of each band. I tried a slight zig-zag on the machine but I wasn’t as keen on how it looked. I found the backstitch to have a surprising amount of elasticity and I was careful to make small short stitches. So far I’ve popped the top on and off several times and none of the stitching has burst. As for washing, I’ll most likely use a cool wash and a mesh bag.

      • Joan
        November 9, 2020 / 4:44 am

        Thank you for the details, Diane.

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