Here’s the fruits of one sewist who’s VERY happy to have her working overlocker back. Going Konmari on my wardrobe left me with a very clear idea of what I needed to make immediately to fill some gaps, and luckily I had all the fabrics I needed to fulfil a lot of my needs. Not the most exciting garments to share, but definitely what I wear 90% of the time both for work and weekends. In fact these photos were taken each morning this week as I started wearing my new garments right away.

First up two of Grainline Studio’s free Hemlock, made in wintry sweater knits. The lurvely lofty rust-melange knit is from Tissu Fabrics and the navy slinky knit was a freebie from a studio sale in Shoreditch. Two new sweaters for £6.99 total, score!


The rust one is a very loose/lacy knit so I was worried about it unravelling at the seams. I sewed it all with a zigzag on my normal machine then trimmed and finished the edges with the overlocker afterwards, which seemed more secure than using just the overlocker for construction. The hems are folded up once then stitched right over the raw edge with a zig zag. There’s clear elastic in the shoulder seams to reinforce them too, so I hope all those things will make it last a while.


The navy one was much easier to deal with, just overlocked all over and I added cuff bands to make the sleeves full length (though still nearly always wear them rolled up). One thing about the Hemlock is I can’t seem to get the fit at the top quite right- it tends to slip off my shoulders and pull backwards a little. I tried reducing the width of the front and back neckline/shoulder on the rust one but it didn’t really seem to help. I’m thinking next time I’ll bring the shoulder forward slightly and also try adding a curve along the shoulder seam to try and anchor it in place. No worry though, I’m still going to wear the hell out of both of these.


This is a Deer & Doe Plantain (another freebie!) made from some lush tissue-weight knit from Cloth House. I didn’t notice the sparkle running through it until I got it home – it’s subtle in real life. The fit is right off the pattern, except I raised the neckline a bit and cut a mid-upper-arm length sleeve edged with a wide band. The perfect tee pattern in my books.

Zippy top

Ah, my other go-to tee, the Zippy top, for when I can’t even be bothered to set in a sleeve. I especially like it with an added slouchy pocket in a drapey knit, like this lovely rust-coloured crepe jersey I got from Goldhawk Road. Obsessed with this colour right now, though I need to wear a different coat to avoid being orange all over, ha.

Up next, replenishing the lower half side of my wardrobe, which basically means more Gingers. If I can tear myself away from the overlocker for a bit…

28 thoughts on “Overlockfest

  1. AvatarCaroline

    Hi Katie – wow, you are really making up for lost time, wish I was a speedy sewer! Like them all, especially the gorgeous rust sweater, what a great colour and fabric!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      I honestly couldn’t cope without one – it was tough when it was in for repairs! It’s only a cheap one too.

  2. AvatarCourtney

    Not sure how it would work out with the shape of those sleeves on the first two…and I haven’t tried it really as a pattern alteration (just as a RTW alteration), but when necklines are too big and gapey like that, I always take in the back seam at the neck, and then taper out (depending on how the bust/waist fit). If you do something like that…slash the back pattern piece and taper it in an inch or two at the top..then re-draw the front neckline curve so it will meet up..you might be okay!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      That’s pretty much what I did on the rust one, and while it’s better it still wants to slip sideways rather than stay in the middle like a nice scoop neck. Bit of a tricky one, but I think the straight drop shoulder is the issue.

  3. AvatarMarill

    I run scared of sweater knits like your first one, so think you’ve done amazingly well to tame it. I have an irrational (or maybe not so) fear of it unravelling before I get to sew it. Great job!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Oh yeah it would have totally disintegrated given half a chance. I made sure to not handle it much or put any strain on it before the seams were safely sewn up.

  4. AvatarKatie

    I love all of these – yay for easy/quick serger sewing! I am totally stealing your Plantain version with the short sleeve cuff – so cute!

  5. Avatarlisa g.

    Love these tops! I would think that shifting the shoulder seam forward on the hemlock would fix the back pull you’re talking about. I’ve noticed the same thing but haven’t bothered to do anything about it!

  6. AvatarSarah - Fabric Tragic

    Oh you know I love a basic assembly line! Have you tried the Tessuti Mandy tee yet? Also free and it’s got a really great neckline that’s just a turn and top stitch. I took about a inch out of the centre from and centre back pieces (so a total inches across front and back) which narrowed both the boat neck and the total boxy width and it’s a great fit on me (34 inch bust, slightly narrow shoulders).

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      I was eyeing that up after seeing True Bias’ one, perhaps I’ll give it a go. It’d be a good basic style to have a TNT of so worth getting a good fit.

  7. AvatarTeresa

    You’re making me crave getting my overlocker out :-) Love all of these, and ditto all the comments above about the lovely, rust colour. Never tried any of these freebie patterns, so must take a look :-)

  8. AvatarCarolyn

    Congrats on the return of your overlocker! These tops are great, and I totally agree that basic wardrobe pieces like these tend to get the most wear. I really love the rust color of the last one – it’s so rich and looks great with your skin tone. Happy overlocking!

  9. AvatarGinger

    These are all SO wearable and so cool! I really, really, really like that orange color! So good! I need to revisit the Plantain tee, I think. I made one version in a fabric I hated and haven’t tried again. I think I need to reconsider after seeing yours!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      I love the Plantain so much, I’m going to gradually throw out all my ratty RTW tees and make new ones from lovely jerseys :)

  10. AvatarAmelia

    Oh, I love all of these! It’s so cool that you now know what you wear most often and can sew garments accordingly. I especially love the sparkly plaintain and the orange zippy top. I definitely need to have a go at making some basic knits!

  11. AvatarAli M

    OK – you’ve upped the Hemlock from the middle to the top of my to do list with those great cuffs on the blue one!

  12. AvatarAndrea

    Totally want to make all of these! Love wearing basics. Got the Konmari bug too after reading your post about it, such a great book and got rid of so much stuff already.
    I have made the Zippy top before but not in a stretch fabric. Did you go down a size for this or even more?
    Also, desperate to find some sweater knit like you have used and will check the website you listed. Do you know of any other places that sell similar?

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      I didn’t size down because I quite like an oversized slouchy look. Good sweater knits are tricky to come by but try fabric.com and girlcharlee.com (both in the US but ship to the UK) myfabrics.co.uk, eBay, or Cloth House’s shop if you are near London.

  13. AvatarAmy

    Yaaaay your baby is back and being put to good use! I really need to try the plantain. What size did you cut? I love that rust coloured zippy top. Perfect pairing of fabric and pattern

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