It's late, summer's almost done, and I should be thinking of autumn wearables, but I just couldn't resist one more summer tee. The fabric is a rayon/Lycra blend from Emma One Sock. I'm late to the party as far as working with rayon knits, but once I discovered them I haven't looked back. They are lighter than cotton, and to my mind seem just a bit dressier -- not that they're fussy -- just a bit more refined for those times you want to look a little more polished.
This was another of my 'traced from ready-to-wear' instead of sewn from a commercial pattern. It's a nice technique for duplicating simple styles -- not sure I'd try it with anything too intricate, but it's ideal for tanks and tees. Basically I just fold each garment segment in half, line it up along a line on my 1" graphed paper and carefully trace around each piece, smoothing things out where needed. After I finish my half tracing of each piece I make any adjustments I think I need -- for example, the RTW top had a too wide neckline which I corrected on my pattern pieces -- then I add seam allowances and hem allowances where needed. Voila, a pattern piece. I generally use self binding on necklines, and often on sleeve edges, so for those pieces I just cut strips in the width I need across the total width of my fabric with a handy-dandy rotary cutter. So simple.
Of course, the value of this method depends on you actually having a RTW item that you like and that fits with only minor adjustment, but if you do, I highly recommend trying it.
I'm hoping to duplicate a favorite pair of slacks from J.Jill next. This time though, I'm going to attempt a pattern steal by using painter's tape to shape each pattern piece. I'll be following tips in an article from the Fall 2008 issue of SewStylish magazine, which itself is an extract of an article from Issue 120 of Threads magazine. They are a no-pocket, side zip, faced waist (i.e., no waistband) style, so they should be a good candidate for this -- we'll see!