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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Jalie's Dolman tops

I have had this pattern for a while and finally decided to test drive it.

I often think some of the most reliable pattern companies out there get overlooked because their basics don't have the hype.

Jalie for example has excellent drafting with a close to RTW fit and of course the incredible 20+ size range - truly family friendly patterns. 

They are also a company that tends to just let the quality of the patterns speak for themselves and they are short on the fancy word presentation. That said, those who try these patterns tend to end up making multiples and it is no accident that some of these patterns, like the bootleg jeans, have become sewers' classics.

Another quality company that often gets overlooked is KWIK SEW.

I also say that Kwik Sew has the best instructions and the worst illustrations/photos in the market, so often the covers just look dated to me. However no one does a better job of explaining how a garment should be constructed with contemporary methods among all the bigger pattern companies than they do. I always recommend their patterns for knits as lessons in an envelope for new sewers.

I of course myself often overlook these patterns and am on a campaign right now to sew up more of the patterns in my sometime pile this summer.

Back to Jalie's dolman.

Unlike many dolman patterns this one does not have a full cut-on sleeve but rather is a short sleeved dolman T shirt with the option to add on a longer sleeve section for a 3/4 sleeve if you want it.

This top also has a fairly subtle high low hem (I am so tired of the extreme versions of this style which I still think can look kind of messy) that is flattering as it breaks up that dreaded strong hip high horizontal line.

I made several versions of this top and tried a variety of neckline treatments, some as suggested by the pattern, and some out of my head and experience.

Here we go, with the usual high quality photos you have come to expect from me. I suspect that the bloggers with the wonderful photos designate more than 30 seconds for photo shoots. Maybe one day. Right now this summer I always have someone waiting for me to do something else.

Wearable muslin version from some cheap knit. This gives you an idea of how semi fitted this T shirt is, and how the longer sleeves fit into the shorter top. This time out I tried a twin needle hem, something I haven't done in a while, and is too wavy. I also tried  the fold under binding Jalie suggests. On my skinny shoulders I thought the necklline was too low so what you see later in other longer sleeve versions is the front neckline raised one inch.

Turned under and top-stitched, again with the twin needle as per the pattern. Again lots of folks have success with this but I feel this particular knit was too stretchy for it to work well. Doing this always makes me nervous, probably works better on a less bony chest.

The same fabric, neckline raised and the neck bound, better for me.

OK happy now. Raised neckline, nicer fabric (love this from Elliot Bermann) and threw out the instructions and did a simple ring of self fabric, like a ribbing application, cut 3/4 the size of the opening, stitched on and flipped up, no binding, no topstitching and IMO the neatest way to finish a neckline on a stretchy knit. Also the easiest. I went back to the cover hem for the hems too.

Side view, see how slight the high low is? Just enough to flatter but not enough to date. Jalie pull-on pants, previously reviewed.
 So now I have a future TNT T shirt that works for my particular body. Worth figuring this one out.


SewTypical said...

hi - thanks for all the great Tips in your posts. When you get a chance, can you explain how yo do the "cover hem"? (I sew a lot of knit tops.)
:-) Chris

Laceflower said...

Did you know that Simplicity has bought KwikSew? I recently bought a KS top and it turned out shapeless and awful; I'm blaming Simplicity and never buying another.
This is what I do when sewing twin needle on knits - attach a 1/2" strip of Steam a Seam to the hem edge and pressing the hem up into place and stitching. Keeps the hem stabilized, no pinning or waving.

Cherie said...

Cute set of tops! I agree with Laceflower above - I cheat and use steam-a-seam also! But that is a minor thing to fix with your wonderful TNT!

Barbara said...

Interesting. I have slways found steam a seam too heavy/stiif on thin stretchy fabrics, might try it again.

Julie said...

I like Wonder Tape for keeping hems from going wonky. And I'm glad I kept some of my old Kwik Sew patterns!

Anonymous said...

Summer is short and so very sweet with all guests and holiday fun, but I have missed you and am so glad you're blogging again. Thanks for the Jalie reviews and the photos of you and the grands are precious!