Friday, September 5, 2014

Dos Plantains

My computer and camera seem to be having an on and off friendship lately and this was written when they definitely weren't speaking.  And we all know that a sewing blog + no pictures = no bueno.  The good news is that they've recently kissed and made up so yea photos!
I seem to be on a knits kick right now – with the exception of my most recent make, it’s been all knits all the time.  This time I’ve made Deer & Doe’s Plantain which is another free pattern.  Considering I seem to be a bit obsessed with this pattern line, there was no way I could skip this one.  Deer & Doe’s first PDF pattern, it includes options for short, ¾ or long sleeves plus super cute elbow patches.  Lucky you, this is a twofer post so you get to see how it looks in different fabrics.

I made my first version was way back from April or May and used a super drapey rayon jersey.  Not gonna lie, this was a pain to cut as the pattern is printed slightly off grain.  I debated which was more important, staying on grain or keeping the pattern lined up and figured it was a draw.  So I did a little bit of both and hoped for the best.  I.e. minimum twisting. I’m really glad my plan from the beginning was for short sleeves to avoid any awkward arm twisting.  Not 100% satisfied with my neck binding, but not enough to have another go at it.
The good news is that so far I haven’t noticed any twisting!  Even after going through the laundry several times!  At some point I do want to make another and not have to compromise on the grain situation.  If nothing else it’ll be more enjoyable to cut and make.
Version #2 is my more recent sporty version.  This time I went with a navy and white striped cotton/poly blend.  I know, poly… but I loved the stripe and chose to overlook its synthetic sins.  FYI, most of the poly seems s to be located in the white stripes.  I used more of my hoarded saved interlock scraps for the elbow patches on the ¾ length sleeves. 
A quick word on those elbow patches, the pattern is genius and shows the perfect placement.  Don’t be thrown off on the off-center pattern placement and pretend you know better.  As drafted they will fall smack dab over your elbows, although depending on arm length they may need to be adjusted up or down a bit.  I used a straight stitch to attach them and then ended up going back with a narrow zigzag right along the edge.

Initially I cut my band on the crossgrain but this jersey doesn’t have much stretch and it didn’t look that great.  Plus it didn’t look like I used a consistent stitching line.  So I ripped out the serging and debated if I could get a better result with a second try.  After deciding that was doubtful based on the fabric’s lack of stretch I remembered by previously mentioned interlock scraps that I used for the elbow patches would work perfectly.  After all, what is interlock other than baby ribbing?  So I recut the binding out of the interlock and attached it.  So if you ever have need ribbing and can’t find it in the right color, check out the interlocks.  As a bonus they tend to be softer than a lot of the interlocks I’ve come across.
Check out that smooth curve!
The result is sooooooo much better!  Even before any pressing it behaved and stayed nice and flat.  To keep up some consistency I trimmed some length off the sleeves and cut some bands out of the interlock.  I used the same measurement as the pattern piece but should’ve reduced the band length a bit.
I top stitched both neck and sleeves using navy thread with a wide stitch length and added this to my pile of shirts that needed the double needle treatment.  Which meant I got on a roll using white thread on two other shirts and forgot to switch to navy when hemming this one.  *sigh*

All in all I like both versions despite them coming out differently. This has a fair amount to do with the pattern as fleece is given as an option to use although it’s suggested you size up. While I don’t see myself succumbing to the siren song of the fleece half of most chain fabric stores I can totally see this in a cozy sweater knit come winter.  If you’re new to knits or want to see what all the hype about Deer & Doe is about, the Plantain is a great introduction.  Plus I’m a fan of plantains and am now craving some plantain tostones.

P.S. Those are navy Grainline Maritime shorts I'm wearing with the stripes and will be covered in the next post!

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