Straight Stitch Designs


linen split flutter sleeve tee

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.

linen split flutter sleeve tee

Linen knit

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.

linen split flutter sleeve tee

There are a couple of drawbacks to linen knit.

  1. They’re sheer.  You’re either lining this, wearing a cami, or showing more than is advisable.
  2. 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.

linen split flutter sleeve tee

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!

linen split flutter sleeve tee

Have you sewn with linen knits before?  How did it go?

mixed media tank

This lace mixed media tank is one of the projects I’ve made in the past couple months post baby that I haven’t got around to writing about.  It’s part refashion, part working with available materials, and a whole lotta pattern hacking in between.  The inspiration for this one was this Anthropologie tank:

Laced Montage Tank - anthropologie.com:

I love how Anthropologie uses fabric, but I don’t often often copy their stuff literally.  This tank was an exception.  I like the woven bottom together with the lace stitched on top of the side seams combined with the comfort of a knit top.  The resulting tunic is just the kind of flowy summer top that I was looking to make.

Lace Mixed Media Tank


In terms of patterns, I combined no less than 3 patterns to get to my final pattern.  The tank part is Straight Stitch Patterns’ Greenwood Tank.  I liked with that pattern how the shoulder hit well enough to cover my bra line (not necessarily a given with tank patterns), but the armholes were too big.  I used my trusty Jalie 2921 to modify the Greenwood armscye to the circumference I was looking for.  The woven part of the tank is a modified version of the high/low peplum piece from Blank Slate’s Marigold.


mixed media tank

For fabric, I used a cotton voile on the peplum leftover from this Mississsippi Ave dress.  I added a CF button placket to make it look like it’s the bottom of a men’s dress shirt.  I cut the same voile in bias strips to bind the neckline and armholes too.

The knit is from an old t-shirt that I’ve had for several years.  I originally bought it soon after my 2nd son was born.  I always liked the color, but not the poofy 3 layered flutter sleeves it had.  They were cumbersome to wear and I couldn’t wear a cardigan with the top because the sleeves were too bulky to fit inside the sweater sleeves.

mixed media tank


I carried a little bit of the green down into the sides of the peplum because…hips!  It also is a nice contrast under the lace.

The lace is vintage crochet lace that I picked up thrifting.  It is simply stitched down along the side seams.  I love this kind of lace for its softness and visual texture.  My Mom has always like prints that look like wallpaper.  It turns out I like lace and fabric that looks like (or came from) a tablecloth. 🙂

Project summary

mixed media tank


Proportionally the top is overall a bit too long on me.  If I repeat this design, I will definitely shorten the knit and the peplum as well as ditch the high/low element in favor of a straight hem.

Overall, I really love this top.  It was a good challenge to use multiple materials and patterns to get at the final top, and it’s super comfortable and lightweight for the summer heat.

My Monthly Stitch Post on this top is here.

My review of the Greenwood Tank is here.

What’s the max number of patterns and/or fabrics you’ve combined into a finished garment?

mixed media tank

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.