Sunday, November 8, 2015

Basic Gray Staples: Mesa Tunic, Aurora Tank and Hemlock Tee

Back in August, I caught the garment sewing bug again. I happened to have a bunch of gray Robert Kaufman Laguna Jersey knit fabric laying around, so I grabbed a few new-to-me patterns and went to town, with varying degrees of success.

Mesa Tunic

I really enjoy the patterns from Seamwork and look forward to the new offerings each month. The Mesa Dress was an instant favorite. However, I’m trying to sew clothes that I’ll actually wear, and I knew that I wouldn’t wear a dress without pockets very often. Instead of adding pockets, I decided to shorten it and make a shirt instead. After reading comments on Instagram about the pattern running small, I cut out a size larger than normal, complete with grading out to an even larger size at the waist and hips. The end result was too big in the shoulders and somehow still too tight around my middle. It was worth a shot, but this shirt will be relegated to the pile of layering shirts that I wear under sweaters during the winter and never see the light of day.

Aurora Tank

I’ve been looking for a knit tank pattern, and the Seamwork Aurora Tank seemed like a good choice. It has a couple cute details: gathers on the straps and a pleat in the back. Also, I really like how the yoke is assembled. Even though I graded out a size at the waist and hips, it’s just a little bit too snug for my taste. I can see the potential though, so I look forward to trying it again sometime, grading out an additional size. This version is good enough that I wore it in public when it was just too hot to wear sleeves this summer. It also works nicely as a layering piece.

Hemlock Tee

After making two patterns that ended up being too tight, I decided to try a pattern that was one-size-fits-all: the free Hemlock Tee from Grainline Patterns. It was everything I needed it to be: quick to sew, loose and comfortable. For my first try, I omitted the sleeves, but I’m looking forward to making a few long sleeved Hemlock Tees now that the weather has cooled down.

Even though not every pattern turned out to be a winner for me, I’m really happy with my garment sewing efforts in August. I tried three new patterns and found two that I liked. Pretty good results, if you ask me.


  1. 2/3 is good! I love that you just keep trying new patterns and their variations. Just keep building the skills! Love the detailing on #2 btw!

  2. Cut tops! I love basics and have been wanting to try the Mesa and Hemlock. I had to grade out for the Aurora too and still had to add side slits for it to fit.