Two more Hemlock Tees

Warning: contains GIFs

I went on a knit-sewing session a while back, resulting in my ponte skirt and a couple of long-sleeve tees. I actually meant to blog them together, but the weather has been so offensively hot this Autumn that I’ve had to wait until it cooled down enough that I could wear long sleeves without swooning like a 20s film star.

Woman faints backwards.
Or Alba. I’m kinda obsessed with Jane the Virgin right now.

The pattern is the Grainline Hemlock Tee – my fifth and sixth versions, if you’d believe. Like all my previous tops, the shoulder seams were shifted forward 1/2″ to address the symmetry in the pattern that would result in a backwards-sliding top on me.

A woman stands in front of a hibiscus plant. She wears a burgundy drop shoulder, long sleeve knit tee with blue white stripe skirt. A cat walks around her.
A wild Patty appeared. Wearing with my self drafted ponte skirt.

I added some length to the body and sleeves, but couldn’t tell you how much – it was really dependant on how much fabric I had then hemmed to my liking. The neckbands were a 5cm strip, pressed in half and basted to fit.


A woman stands in front of a hibiscus plant. She wears a burgundy drop shoulder, long sleeve knit tee with blue white stripe skirt.

It’s the fabrics that are the stars here, and the Hemlock tee is a perfect vehicle for showcasing all manner of knits. The burgundy stripe was a generous gift from Jen, who has the knack of choosing exactly what I like in fabric. I’m assuming it has some rayon content, as it’s very soft and drapey while still being thick enough for winter wear. It is such a beautiful fabric that I’m excited to wear this winter.

I actually cut and half sewed a Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee from this fabric before remembering exactly why I never wear my other Mandy – the neck is too high and wide to be comfortable, and the excess fabric through the body doesn’t do me any favours. Luckily, there was enough fabric in the body to cut the Hemlock pieces (I wasn’t joking about the volume!), and I had leftover scraps for the sleeves and neckband.

A woman stands in front of a hibiscus plant. She wears a burgundy drop shoulder, long sleeve knit tee with blue white stripe skirt.

This meant that I didn’t have a lot of wiggle room for adding length. The unhemmed length of the body turned out to be just right, so I trimmed the sleeves to length to match the style.

A woman stands in front of a hibiscus plant. She wears a drop shoulder, long sleeve red tee and black skinny pants.

The red fabric is viscose/elastane jersey that I bought from The Remnant Warehouse some time ago to make a Maria Denmark Kimono Tee. That project was an absolute failure, and the remnants have lingered in my fabric store for some time since. I originally intended to make a sleeveless Hemlock from this fabric, but it was so much nicer than I remembered that I felt it would be a waste to not use as much of it as possible.

I used water-soluble stabiliser under the hems to stop any rippling when zig-zagging (which I tend to rely on when hemming any kind of knit these days – my machine is so prone to stretching them out, walking foot or no).

A woman stands in front of a hibiscus plant. She wears a drop shoulder, long sleeve red tee and black skinny pants.
Let’s just say I’m still getting used to my new phone camera, but the colour of the fabric is closest in this picture.


It’s interesting to observe how variably this pattern performs in different fabrics. In the soft and drapey viscose knits, the neck hangs open and the body drapes more like the pattern photographs. My previous versions in ponte and French terry hung more like sweaters, and the stable cotton like a boxy tee.

After a week of wear, the open (bra strap revealing) neckline on the red version bugged me so much that I donated it to the op shop – shame as it was perfect in every other way. The burgundy fabric was just that more stable to form a closer neck, and I’m sure it will get a lot of wear this winter.

A woman stands in front of a hibiscus plant. She wears a drop shoulder, long sleeve red tee and black skinny pants.
When you realise the gutter has a leak and has been dripping on you this whole time.

The deets:
Pattern: Grainline Hemlock Tee
Pattern details: “The Hemlock is an oversized tee that was designed with knits in mind. This tee is just the right amount of slouchy. With its bracelet length sleeves, dropped shoulder seams, and a hem hits below the hip it’s the perfect comfy top to pair with jeans, skinny leg trousers, shorts, and straight cut skirts!” Available as a free PDF download.
Fabric: 1.6m square soft striped plum knit, gift. Scraps of 150cm wide Sundried Tomato Jersey #752, viscose/elastane, from The Remnant Warehouse.
Other materials: Clear elastic, to stabilise shoulders.
– 1/2″ forward head adjustment, same done to sleeve cap
– Lengthened sleeves and body hem somewhat (unsure how much)
– Cut own neckband, 5cm wide (6mm SA), and stretched to fit when sewing

Author: Siobhan S

20 something, living in country Australia. Spoonie profile: ME/CFS, dysautonomia, anxiety. All about sewing, knitting and food. Unapologetic disability advocate.

5 thoughts on “Two more Hemlock Tees”

  1. Very nice! I especially like the stripe-on-stripe look of the first one with your skirt. 😀 Shame about the neckline on the red one though, that’s a bummer. (Also, hooray for another person who does neckbands without the pattern piece as a length guide! I always wonder how anyone gets good results that way…) I do like that it’s oversized but not comically so, and it lends itself very nicely to stripes! Repeat-worthy for sure.

    I’ve made one Hemlock for myself, but recently have used it as the base for some adaptive t-shirts for a friend. It has been the perfect starting point, plus it’s a freebie! I have the Mandy pattern too but haven’t made it; honestly, I doubt I ever will because I’m salty about how they have you form the “boatneck” on the pattern, LOL. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m pretty chill about the neckline as it’s just part of the fabric variation, and if you look at Jen’s pics on the Grainline blog the neck is really loose. 5/6 isn’t bad!

      Yeh, I thought I was the worst knit sewist ever when I tried to use pattern pieces and insert neckbands in the round. It’s so much hard work for such a poor result. And yeh…..I’m a bit suss on Tessuti pattern methods myself.

      I’m interested in the adaptive tees! Could you tell me more?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I’m sure the drapier the knit, the bigger the neckline gets! 5/6 is damn fine, indeed!

        The tees are for a good friend who has very recently undergone a bilateral mastectomy as part of their treatment for breast cancer. Basically, the tee is loose-fitting with grown-on sleeves (yay, Hemlock!) that opens in the front; there are internal pockets from waist(ish) to hem for drains as well, 2 on each side at the front. I based the functional elements on existing retail garments, which can be bought for the princely sum of $70USD each, give or take. (And don’t even get me started on how gross that whole thing is; I’ve even seen smaller outfitters selling these who use “Designed by a cancer SURVIVOR!!!!!!1111omg!!!!!” to cynically make a tidy profit selling these things to cancer patients. As far as I’m concerned, patients should be *given* these shirts as part of their treatment at no cost. But this is ‘Murica, and our society believes that people in need of medical care are simply a new and exciting opportunity for more revenue. God, even my friend’s nurse said “You could totally sell these!!!” when she was told someone made them for my friend. >:-( ) Oops, sorry, guess I got myself going! I will pat myself on the back for thinking to use athletic mesh to construct the pockets though: they’re lighter AND more breathable that way. 😉 I used snaps for the closures on the first few, but switched to buttons after some stabby insertion issues. O_o

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re a good friend! You’ve touched on a issue of interest for me, as sadly the inaccessibility (inc. cost) of medical garments and gear isn’t limited to the Land of the Free. I pay through the nose for my compression stockings, even though I shop online to get the best deal possible. If I was buying at the hospital, it would be at least $250AUD+ each waist high pair in a fetching shade of tan or black. I know of others who have undergone surgery and required specific garments which can’t really be made at home and break the budget in buying them. So accessible clothing is a definite passion of mine!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I remember your post(s?) about trying out stockings; I am really sorry that access to necessary garments is an obstacle for you. (That was one thing I was hoping we hadn’t exported…) Obviously my “experience” in that area is very, very peripheral, but it’s maddening to me that the medical system makes things like that harder for people instead of making things *more* accessible. It’s not a crime for a business (garment manufacturers) to make money, but it’s appalling that profit so often comes before the dignity of patients. :-/

            Liked by 1 person

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