Kennis Wong's done it again! She's come out with another fantastic wardrobe staple pattern and I was lucky enough to be one of the testers for it! The Arenal Top* features two versions - one with long sleeves and a handkerchief hemline, and the one I tested, a straight hem, 3/4 length sleeve. Both versions have a front shoulder yoke that you can really play around with colour and texture to add interest to your top. Of course, as always with Itch to Stitch patterns, it comes in sizes 00-20.
Construction is really easy with this tee - the hardest part would be the v-neck, but I'm going to go out on a limb and promise you that Kennis has the easiest construction method ever for getting a perfect looking V. I haven't willingly done a v-neck on a knit in about 20 years since an unfortunate mishap with a Kwik Sew pattern, that was so darn hard to do I ended up with a off centre v and scarred for the next two decades. LOL
Arenal has changed all that. I whipped up my second top yesterday from cutting to hemming in an hour and a half and part of that time was taken up with a serger that kept snapping the lower looper thread and a combination of my tension dial and twin needle that were pitching a fit over the fact I was using a spool and a bobbin instead of two spools of thread when I was doing the hem. That's the first time my old workhorse Pfaff has ever given me a spot of trouble. (turned out I just needed to switch spots around for the spool and the bobbin and everything went fine. Picky, picky machine. Grrrr).
For my first version I used a really soft drapey jersey of unknown fibre content and a rigid lace for the contrast yoke. I did the lace as an overlay rather than on it's own. I was a bit worried about the fact there was no stretch in my lace - I actually hadn't even thought of it until I had already sewed it in - but there was no problem with the fit at all! My only modification to the pattern was to add 3/4" to the length of it as I prefer my tees to hit a bit lower than the Itch to Stitch patterns usually come to on me as drafted.
For my second version, the only change I made from the first was to add just a bit more length. I felt that my first one was still a bit on the short side for my preferences so added another 3/4" to make the pattern a total of 1 1/2" longer than drafted. I also shaved a wee bit off the hips to make it a bit more fitted through that area. Otherwise it's basically sewn as drafted. My fabric was a cotton/spandex t-shirt knit and the contrast is a non-stretch crochet style lace. ('scuze the wrinkles... probably shouldn't have worn it before taking photos!)
I highly recommend the Arenal Top pdf pattern as a great addition to your handmade wardrobe. You can get your copy of it for 20% off right now on the Itch to Stitch website!