My favorite woven top (Megan Nielsen River)

Recently I was struck by the all-consuming "need" to track down and purchase The Ultimate Woven Tee pattern. For a long time, the online sewing community was allll about the Grainline Scout, but recently, there haven't been a lot of woven tee patterns that take over the blogosphere in the same way that one did. I don't know if it's because people are getting into knits, or less interested in woven tops in general, or some other reason (I'd love to hear your guesses as to why). But for someone as knit-averse as I am, a simple woven tee pattern sounded like the perfect way to use up some stash materials and broaden my handmade wardrobe.

After looking at a bunch of woven tee patterns, I realize I already had one that I like in my stash--the River from Megan Nielsen. I was actually a tester for this pattern, approximately 100 years ago, so I have made the top in both a knit and woven. The knit one never made it to the blog--I wore it a ton but it was still in testing when I spilled on it and stained it. RIP white knit River tee! The woven one you can read about here. For this third one, I pulled a piece of rayon/linen from my stash, left over from this dress. The tee version requires 1 1/4" of 60" fabric, but I squeezed this out of under a yard by cutting the back piece in two and shortening the sleeve pattern piece--the short sleeve pattern pieces are really long as drafted so that you can cuff them.

The other change I made is to draft a facing for the neckline finish instead of using the bias bound finish. It is hard to get that point in the V neckline sewn crisply, and with a v-neck there is a lot of bias cut edge that is prone to stretch out if not properly stabilized, so I think a facing is a bit easier to deal with. In this case, a topstitched facing is no more casual than the original bias finish, so it doesn't much affect the dressiness of the top, and is easier to sew.

The next tweak I'd like to make is to put a  little dart in the top of the sleeve to allow the sleeve to lay better from the neckline to the em. Currently it sticks out, and I think I should be able to add a dart somewhere to smooth it over the shoulder (like in many other raglan pattterns). You can see in the photo the fold in the sleeve that I could rotate into the neckline... I haven't quite figured out this alteration yet, though, so you may or may not see it on my next River!


ps: i have a few more piece in my stash that may turn into rivers as well--it's such a simple pattern to knock out!

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  1. I'm like you - I'd love to have a go-to woven tee staple pattern, but I've never been interested in Grainline patterns (any company that's size chart would require me to grade across 4 sizes or more is just not worth the effort to me), so the Scout wasn't even on my radar back when everyone was nuts about it. The pattern I have that I really need to use is the Belcarra blouse by Sewaholic. I made a couple of tees from this pattern a few years ago, but I shortened the pattern (I'm 4'10" so I usually need to take 4" out of tops and 4" out of bottoms) and I really should have left it the regular length, as I prefer longer tops. My Belcarras' hems hit me at about the spot where your River tee hits you.

    And I love how you pair pale pink with black! It's a wonderful combination that I don't see very often, but it works wonderfully with your coloring. =)

  2. what a nice shirt you got.. soo beautiful. well, to answer your question, knit does not require ironning before wear. i lately realised, i wear clothes not requiring ironing more than clothes that require them. things that require it is only worn on special occasions no matter how much they are loved ��.

  3. Hey! I love your casual look. You are looking so pretty in these pictures. I'm obsessed with your fashion style and I just fall in love with this shirt this looks so beautiful. I"m a jewelry lover and I love to wear my simple Cartilage Earrings with my outfits. Because jewelry gives you a different style statement. Thanks for sharing such a lovely post.



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