Ginger Made: Sister Kniturday!

First of all, I hope that all of you guys in the eastern U.S. survived Hurricane Sandy without any damage or harm.  We’re just fine– some damage to our neighborhood, but none to our house or car, and our power (and more importantly, cable!) stayed on the whole time (just not the internet at home, so I’m a bit behind on my blogroll).  I feel so grateful and blessed, and my thoughts are with the folks who weren’t so lucky (and the millions of people who still don’t have power and probably won’t for several days).  And thank you so much to everyone who emailed to check in and make sure we were OK– that really meant the world to me.  THANK YOU!

I spent this weekend, before the hurricane struck (gosh, it feels like a month ago!), with my sister, who came up from Baltimore.  She has recently started sewing garments, in no small part due to my heavy peer pressure gentle encouragement, and has been really interested in, but afraid of, sewing with knits.  So I was pretty excited to sit down with her this weekend and have a little jersey sewing bootcamp (a Sister Kniturday, if you will)!

I thought that Cindy’s Dolman Sleeve Top pattern would be a nice pattern to start with, since you don’t need to set in any sleeves (AND IT’S A FREE DOWNLOAD, PEOPLE!).  I made a version first to test the fit on my sister and give her a chance to see how it goes together before cutting into her own fabric.  I used an organic bamboo/rayon knit that I picked up at Mood about a year ago with a Renfrew top in mind, but had set aside thinking it was too slinky and stretchy.

And hey, look, it IS too slinky and stretchy!  It was OK to sew with, but it’s so very drapey that anything you’re wearing underneath the top is outlined clearly.  Hello, bra!  Definitely didn’t realize how bad it was until I looked at these photos– I should wear a tank top underneath!  But hey, stash-bustin’ feels good even if the results aren’t picture-perfect, amirite?

Damage on the block courtesy of Hurricane Sandy… (sidenote: do you like my giant phone case?  safety first!)

The shirt is really comfy and easy to wear, so that’s a plus, and the pattern is BEYOND simple to put together (AND DID I MENTION IT’S A FREE DOWNLOAD?!?!  Thanks, Cindy!!!!!).  I flew through it!  I also really like the green color– it’s slightly more vibrant than a hunter green without veering into primary color territory (which is only OK if you’re dressed up like a crayon for Halloween).  [EDIT: I forgot to mention that I lengthened the sleeves by 6", so yours will be much shorter if you make it without alterations.  I also found it a bit too long, and the band a bit wider than I liked, so I just serged the waistband seam at 5/8" a second time and it was the perfect length.  My sister has a longer torso than I do, so we kept hers the original length.]

My sister made a version in a cotton jersey blend (also from Mood, picked out Saturday in what can only be described as a merciless raid on the Garment District).  Doesn’t it look cute on her?

Isn’t she cuuuuuute?

It’s kind of a perfect top for her– dressier than a tee, but still really easy to wear, perfect for her job as an elementary school teacher.  You have to be comfortable when you chase little kids around all day!

A side effect of a sister Kniturday is that now my sis reallllly wants a serger!  A second side effect is that now I wish (even more than usual!) that she lived in NYC so we could hole up like a couple of nerds and sew away every weekend!  :(  Well, Baltimore isn’t THAT far away, but we are popular, busy, lazy people who don’t get it together to see each other often enough.  But now that’s she succumbed to the siren song of my little Brother, I bet she’ll be tempted to Bolt Bus her way to NYC more often!

Side effect of dolman tees: instant mega-biceps! Raaaaawwwwwrrrr!

76 responses

  1. These look so comfy! I really wish I had remembered Cindy’s free pattern when I was making my tee last weekend–this would have been such a great pattern for the jersey I had. Oh well–an excuse to buy more jersey, I suppose!
    I’m glad you came through the hurricane okay!

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  2. Oh I looove it! Sister kniturday is a fantastic idea! I wish my sister was… oh less than 5,000 miles away so we could do this!
    Glad you guys weathered Sandy well enough!

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  3. super cute! I’ve got to try this. My first serger-only knit top this past weekend was a bit of a disaster – I think I had the tension wrong.

    glad to hear you got through the hurricane ok – scary stuff!

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    • I used to be too scared of the serger, so I would sew every seam on the machine first, then go over it with the serger– safe, but a waste of time and thread.

      Thanks for the good wishes– we were a little nervous, but everything turned out OK.

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  4. Both of those tops are really cute! And I’m glad to hear that you’re ok up there, I’ve been hearing both good and bad things, so I’m happy for more good news!

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    • Thanks, girl! I’m lucky in that I have power, and my work commute is pretty easy since I work in Brooklyn and have a car, but I’ve been hearing horror stories from friends that had to get from Brooklyn or Queens to Manhattan. It’s hard to get around in this town when the subway’s down!

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    • I hate hemming knits, so I like that this pattern is finished with bands instead of fussing with a hem. Knits aren’t the most fun to sew, although I find myself wearing them all the time, so I guess it makes sense to sew them.

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  5. You two are so cute! Now that it’s finally cold around here, I’m going to have to adapt my tracing of this pattern to make some long-sleeved ones like you guys!

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  6. Jeez… I didn’t realise how close you were to hurricane-land! I’m so glad you’re all okay!

    I love this dolman sleeve pattern! I keep seeing it crop up in places, but I have a weird feeling that it’s going to make me look like a rugby player (BEEFCAKE!) so I haven’t plucked up the courage to give it a go. But, hey, I do have some black jersey lying around here somewhere…. and black is slimming amirite?

    So glad your sis is getting into sewing too! Good work on the peer pressure… I mean encouragement!

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    • Thanks, Alexandra! I feel so lucky to have gotten off easy!

      I feel a little like an upside-down triangle in this– I definitely feel a little self-conscious about how big it makes my shoulders look.

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  7. Both your tops are fantastic! I wish I could get my sister interested in sewing! I’m glad you’re ok after the hurricane, but the photo of your street is scarey! I hope there isn’t too much damage. :)

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    • Thanks, Lynne! Just keep pressuring, err, I mean, encouraging! Heeheehee…

      We lucked out as far as damage goes– a couple of my neighbors got their cars smashed, which stinks, and there’s some damage to the facades of the buildings. Everyone north of us has no power, so I feel pretty lucky!

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  8. Hehe Sonja, you make me giggle so much! I love yours and your sister’s version of this sweater, very cute indeed and so wearable! And as you say, stash-busting feels excellent even if it’s not the best fitting item. On a serious note too, so glad you guys are ok – my aunt and uncle live in Westport, Connecticut and they were lucky only to get their basement flooded. They were also lucky enough to be in the 15% of Westport who didn’t lose their power. Compared to so many people, they got very lucky!

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    • Thanks, lady! It’s such a simple and sweet pattern! Thanks for the concern! I’m really glad to hear that your aunt and uncle are OK. That’s really scary! I’m at my office right now looking out at the skyline– it’s so strange to see it all dark when it’s usually lit up like crazy. :(

      PS. Come visit your aunt & uncle soon! We need to meet! :)

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  9. Those are both great tops! I’ve toyed with the idea of making this shirt, since Cindy was so lovely to make it free and all…but I’m a n00b, I’ve never sewn knits, and I don’t have a serger. What’s a girl to do?!?

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  10. That’s so cool that you two can bond over sewing. I wish my sister and I had something in common, but we are complete opposites to the point that we don’t get along! :(

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  11. How cool is it that you get to sew with your sister? Even if only every so often I still think that’s awesome. Speaking of awesome, so are both your versions of this shirt. I must confess I’m a bit smitten with the pattern and already plotting to make version two.

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  12. Super cute!!!
    And I am so glad you are okay, I saw ur IG pic of your neighbourhood :(
    I’m almost finished with my first jersey project and I am getting used to jersey so I should go buy more jersey and experiment with tops!! I;m inspired by yours and your sisters!

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  13. glad to hear that you are safe and sound:) I love that you got to sew with your sis. I look forward to going home to Aus to show my sister a thing or two on the sewing machine. Cute tops!

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  14. lol! Instant biceps, I could use those…. I’m so glad your sister had such a great result from her project. That’s so great! :D Both looks so comfy and cute!

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  15. I’m so so glad to hear that you’re okay. I’m from Florida so I’ve experienced my fair share of hurricanes (Katrina, Andrew, Wilma) and I have to admit – this one was bad. Not because of the winds – it was only a category 1 – but because of the flooding! The pictures from Atlantic City blow me away.

    Love this top! This is definitely a Sonja top. And I like the sleeve alteration – I don’t think I would like this top as a short sleeve.

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  16. So glad you weathered Sandy safely! And so jealous of your Kniturday! You gals both look so great in your new tops. I’ve seen that pattern popping up all over the place lately- I think I better go download it so I can get my copycat on!

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  17. Those are both totally lovely and wearable tops! Major props to your sister for just picking up and sewing a cute top…and yes, I agree that it’s a great thing for wrangling children in. I like extending my sleeves, too, but that would have required printing out more paper for the pattern, so I figured people could just do that on their own :)

    So glad to hear you are safe — I’ve been realizing just how many sewing blogger friends I know in the storm’s path, and hoping that they’re doing okay!

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    • Thanks so much for sharing the pattern! It’s so fun, and everyone has had such cute results! You’re the coolest!

      And thanks so much for the concern– I really appreciate it. I’m really thinking about and praying for the people who’ve been hit the hardest by the storm.

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  18. Good to see you are ok, and what a sweater! Actually what two sweaters, both look awesome, same but different. Sewing with special people is such fun isn’t it….I do know what you mean. How lovely to have shared a Saturday like this with your sis!

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  19. Ooh! Two cute tops! I’m really jealous that your sister sews too! You’d think that at least ONE of my FOUR sisters would have caved to my peer pressure by now. LOL

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  20. Pingback: Me-Made-May 2014 Round-Up! | Ginger Makes...

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