All of my t-shirts have been slowly wearing out, so at the moment, I have t-shirts on the brain. You know what that means, right? It’s time to dust off my Pinterest boards and get to hacking. This linen split flutter sleeve tee started as a search for something to do with linen knit, and it’s become one of my favorite hacks I’ve ever done. It’s a simple hack, but I think it’s really effective, plus it has a Romantic sort of style that’s airy and perfect for summer.
I’m so excited about this, that I decided to dive headlong into the notion of video tutorials. I’m working on editing a video featuring a tutorial for this top. Look for it here on Thursday!
Linen Split Flutter Sleeve Tee
I went searching for linen tees, and this J Crew one was one of the first that popped up. I love the idea of a flutter sleeve.
The J Crew sleeve is constructed much differently than what I settled on, but I like the overall effect. I chose to change up my sleeve like this Whistles’ top but with an added split in the sleeve.
My pattern of choice
I chose to start with Straight Stitch Design’s Greenwood Tank. I like the shoulder width on this tank, and after I altered it to have the same armhole as my favorite Jalie 2921 tee, it’s become a favorite tank pattern. Because it has the same armhole as the Jalie tee, I can freely pop in Jalie sleeves. For this tee, I started with the cap sleeve from the Jalie 2921. A few quick changes, and the cap became a flutter sleeve with a split.
I have a couple of linen knits in my stash that I’ve been saving. Linen is my #1 favorite summer fiber to work with, and when I started seeing linen knits pop up in RTW stores like Madewell and J Crew a few years back, I decided to try and find some of my own linen knits. I’ve picked up mine from Fabric Mart and Cali Fabrics‘ San Francisco store, but I know I’ve seen them at Harts’ Fabric and Mood.
What’s lovely about linen knit is the breathability. It’s so light, and I daresay that it’d still remain cool in the sweatiest of summer climes.
There are a couple of drawbacks to linen knit.
- They’re sheer. You’re either lining this, wearing a cami, or showing more than is advisable.
- They don’t recover well. This fabric does not bounce back well. It’ll require special handling and good pattern choice so that it doesn’t stretch out into a pile of falling off your shoulders.
The lining that I added helped with both of these problems. I can wear the tee without worry of showing too much, and the lining fabric (a very bouncy poly spandex with superhero recovery) helps support the linen.
A growing binding
I opted for a simpler neckline finish than the Greenwood. In the original pattern, the folded bindings are stitched on, then flipped over the stitch line and stitched down. It makes for a really clean finish, but again, I wanted to avoid overworking the linen.
As it was, I had to baste the binding on 3 times because it was too long and kept stretching out more every time I touched it.
Once I got the correct length, I stitched the folded binding just once, serged the raw edge and then stitched it down below the neck seam.
Watch this space for the video tutorial on this top!