For Christmas last month I received an overlock machine, and so I decided to embark on my virgin voyage with a Singer serger. I had bought some jersey knit a few months back from Imagine Gnats, a gray with a sort of eyelet lace inset stripe that I knew would be a cute tee, along with another complementary floral print. I just needed a T-shirt pattern that incorporated two different fabrics into the design.
And then I discovered the Aurora Tee by Hey June on Indiesew, and I knew it had to be. The Aurora Tee is a slouchy top with dolman sleeves and an optional contrasting inset at the sides. It has a curved hem (more on that in a bit) and was the perfect pattern to try out Sergio, my new serger. So I got to work threading the damn thing and drinking wine and doing about a million test runs to figure out the tension.
Eighty years later, I was ready to get started. The only thing I found a bit perplexing about the Aurora Tee pattern was its use of an interfaced neck facing… for a knit top. You’ll know, if you’ve followed me for any length of time, that I categorically hate necklines, and this one posed a particular challenge. A lot of the photos I’d seen of the Aurora had stiffer necklines that kind of stood out from the body, and I didn’t want that. I figured that the interfacing was part of the problem there, and so I opted to use knit hem tape instead of interfacing to reduce the bulk. The top still has the neck facings — I’m not yet advanced enough to figure out an alternative — but it does do a much better job of lying flat. It could be the tape, or it could be luck.
Hey June’s pattern was overall very well written and easy to follow. It’s illustrated but very clear, and I LOVE that the PDF includes the sizes in different layers so that I could print only what I needed. The instructions do assume the sewist has a fair amount of familiarity with sewing knits; you won’t find much in the way of extra tips or tricks to get your tricky curved hem to lie flat, for example. (I did appreciate the suggestion to sew the curved insets by machine and then finish them with the serger. Sewing curves can be tricky, and I’m glad I didn’t try to do that on the serger alone. There would have been much more swearing than is becoming from a woman who makes her own adorable clothes.)
I decided to use the flatlock stitch on the serger to hem the sleeves and the curved hem. I don’t know if this was a wise choice; I had a lot of trouble getting the hem even and probably should have just used the hem tape and the double needle on my sewing machine as the pattern advised. But I think it turned out fine after a good press, and I’m really loving this new tee. Now I just need a warm spring day to wear it! (Forecast for this weekend: a foot of snow. Nuts.)
As an Indiesew blogger team member, I am provided with patterns in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.