Woolly Pattern Fantastique Aeolian Tee
It’s the last week of October and I’ve made myself a WOOLLEN tee! Who makes a chunky black wool top in spring? Anyone living in Melbourne 2016 – that’s who. The weather around here is SO not behaving – there’s not even a hint of ‘transeasonal’ going down, just endless shivery, grey, rainy days. So with a dramatic flourish I cast aside my drapey viscose and paper thin linens because I realised I wasn’t going to make it through this ordeal without another layering top. Tops like this are my comfort blankets: the sleeves are already rolled up and you have a warm torso with arms free for the daily grind.
I made this tee with a scrap of wool gifted from a friend-of-a-friend in another state. Its origin and type is unknown so let’s just pretend it’s a VERY expensive Italian wool from some obscure but applauded designer. Super thick with a loose, twisty weave. The one downside to this mystery wool is it’s like a magnet to tiny lint particles – they stick to it like a fuzzy felt kit. Fortunately I have no lint in my life and am immaculately clean. Cough. Well, truthfully – my love for this top overrides the lint-factor. And the rabbit fur. And the cat fur. Etc.
I took a while to settle on a pattern for this fabric: I wanted to make an old favourite, the Nani Iro Recipe No 5, but my fabric scrap was too small – I’m talking half a metre of fabric here tops. So it sat on my sewing table most of winter. Then I wondered if a raglan might be more fabric-efficient and turned to another tried and true, the Pattern Fantastique Aeolian Tee. After some dodgy maths I worked out it was just possible if I shortened the bodice and sleeves.
Aside from shortening, I did a few tiny hacks on this one. I lifted the front neckline and omitted the facing piece at the back – which is a shame because it’s one of my favourite pattern details (like this one from the Drapery, we’ve been loving their spring top reviews and hoping the weather is slightly more tee-worthy over in Adelaide!?). Next time…when I have more fabric! I also reduced the sleeve volume a touch because I knew the wool wouldn’t drape and the sleeves would stand to attention – I’m slightly scared of wings.
To finish the top I hemmed the sleeve and bodice with a wide facing made from a light wool, and used a black knit for the neckband. My clever sewing friend Justine has been experimenting recently with mixing woven tops with knit necks, and I was keen to give it a try. It worked surprisingly well and I much prefer it to a faced neckline. Next time I’d make the neckband piece a little shorter/tighter as it’s borderline loose. I think I was too cautious about puckering the wool with a too-tight neckband, as always – live and learn.
Weather gods I’ll have you know I’ve already made a breezy linen dress for…err, spring. But there’ll be no show and tell any time soon – I’m frightened I might turn blue. Then again I could always layer it with my great big woolly tee!