Maria Denmark – Kirsten Kimono Tee

Kirsten Kimono Tee 2

Am I the last to know about the Kirsten Kimono Tee?!! Seriously it’s the most awesome summer top ever. And it’s free. Get the pattern here.


Blogger Kick in the Booty

I first saw this pattern on Crafted by Carrie.  Carrie made not one but four great versions. I particularly loved the striped versions. I downloaded and printed the pattern and there it sat on my sewing table. Then it popped up again on No Time to Sew.  Aleah made a great color blocked version. If Aleah, who has “no time to sew” found time to make this top, what was my excuse?

Sewing room clocks says it sew o' clock.

Sewing room clocks says it sew o’ clock.


This Top Sew Up Fast

I’m always curious on how some people sew up something in one night. That’s never the case for me… until now! I grabbed the pattern and cut a straight XS. I’m a pear shape so I usually go a size larger in the hips but I was throwing caution to the wind. The fabric is from my stash, originally from ML Loft. I spent a few extra minutes lining up the stripes and cut away.  I eliminated the neck binding and just folded over and cover stitched. I was done in no time. I threw it on and it fits great.  Could use a little more room in the hips as I suspected but it’s totally wearable. In fact it’s already in my weekly rotation.

Neckline Cover Stitch

Cover stitched neck line instead of neck band.


Matched stripes

They’re Multiplying

I recently had a great day of fabric shopping downtown with my IRL sewing friends Sandra, Aleah and Julianne.   Printed knits were plentiful and I scored all of these goodies.

FIDM ML Loft Haul

My second Kirsten Kimono Tees is the 4th fabric from the bottom in the stack.  I think it came from Michael Levine’s Loft.  I definitely have enough fabric to make a dozen of these to replace my 4+ year old, holey, ill-fitting RTW tees.  If you haven’t sewn up this top, get to it. You won’t regret it.

Kirsten Kimono Tee 2


Bonus Content – Working with stripes

This top looks fab in stripes.  To line up the stripes for the front and back pieces, I just made sure the center of the hem started on the same spot on the pattern.  The back piece is longer than the front so you can only match stripes part of the way up the side seams.

The second tip is to match stripes left to right.  I cut half to the pattern, chalk or clip the CF/CB and fold over the half, line up the stripes and then cut the second half.  This is similar to those who cut on the fold but this way you only have to line up a small section.  The problem with cutting on the fold with a large amount of fabric is that the bottom layer can shift without you noticing.

Cutting Stripes

Edited to add my Pattern Review.

Happy Sewing,

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Deer and Doe Plantain Tee

It’s Got Elbow Patches!!

Who knew that elbow patches on a tee would get me this excited.  I’ve been seeing lots of Deer & Doe Plantain tees in the blog-o-sphere.  I needed some basics in my wardrobe as it has been 3 years since I swore off RTW and the last of my RTW tees are wearing thin.  This shirt was perfect and it never hurts that the pattern is also free.  For the fabric I reached for a comfy, fuzzy grey fabric from my stash to replace a grey tee that has an embarrassing number of little holes.  With my newly folded stash it was super easy to find.  For the elbow patch I used leftovers from making this shirt.  It’s a plumy color and looks great with the grey.

Deer and Doe Plantain

Pattern Alterations

The tee fit well for the most part.  I made some of my usual changes.

  • Shoulder slope adjustment
  • Cheater back curve adjustment
  • Petite adjustments
  • Shortening sleeves.  I ended up cutting it too short and adding a cuff to add the length back.  This also meant I had to adjust the elbow patch to match my elbow.

 Uncommon adjustments for me

  • Raising the neckline by 3 inches.  Yes, three.  My petite proportion would account for about 1-1.5” of this.  But surprisingly I didn’t need to do the petite adjustment through the sleeves.  I think for the non-petite person this armhole would be too high and sleeve too tight.


Elbow Patch Placement Tip

To easily place the elbow patch I cut the patch placement out of the sleeve pattern.  Then I laid the pattern over the sleeve and put the patch in the hole.  Pin in place and remove the pattern and you’re ready to sew.

Elbow Patch Placement

Fit Stops

I don’t muslin but I do some pre-cutting changes mentioned above and the rest I fit as I go.  I call these Fit Stops, like pit stops without the crew that works while you sit around.  Where does one get one of these…

Fit Stop #1

When I sewed the shoulder seams, I tried it on to check

  • my shoulder adjustments were right
  • my head would fit through the now smaller neck hole
  • back curve cheater adjustment was right
  • arm hole was where I wanted it
  • the length of the shirt was right
  • the shirt would fit around me

Some of these changes I may not be able to fix on the fly but at least I know now vs after hours of sewing.  Wadder prevention is the goal.

Fit Stop

Fit Stop #2

Once the sleeves are on I tried it on again to check

  • the sleeve length was right
  • the sleeves weren’t too tight
  • the elbow patch was in the right place
  • anything that you may have missed at Fit Stop #1

This is where I saw that the sleeves are too short.  Oops.  I could have cut another sleeve but instead opted to add a cuff.  My mis-measurement also meant my elbow patch was too low.  I unpicked and resewed.  Since the sleeves are still flat this much easier than it would have been had the underarm seams had been sewn.

Final Fit Stop

The last fit stop was to try on the finished shirt.  My shirt didn’t need any changes so this stop was just to stop and bask in my own glory.  I loved it so much; I ended up keeping it on for the rest of the night.

Just for laughs.  Here are some awkward model poses I tried to show off the elbow patch.

Awkward PosesEdited to add:  Link to Pattern Review

Happy Sewing,

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