woven chai tee

Back when I first started developing our Liesl + Co. Chai Tee pattern, I tested it in a woven fabric to see what would happen. But you know how muslins (or toiles) are. They’re usually not very pretty, and I didn’t even bother to finish mine once I had the information I needed. (That’s the beauty of a muslin, really.) At the time I made a size small, which is what I usually wear in a knit, because I wanted to see how a woven would fit compared to a knit.

That test version wasn’t really something to show off (too small, not a surprise), so I’ve finally finished a proper Chai Tee to show you what it looks like in a woven fabric. In fact, I made two!

Chai Tee in a woven fabric

This first one I made in a size medium, just to see if there was anything I wanted to adjust before cutting into my good fabric. This is a wool challis I had left over from this Creativebug class. It has a really interesting seersucker effect due to the little moon-like circles in the weave, but it also had some moth holes and I knew I wouldn’t use it for anything else. I picked it because it had the right drape to help me envision how my double gauze would look. I didn’t make any adjustments to the pattern except to add 1″ to the length, the way I usually do for my long torso.

My mom started sewing this for me when she was visiting last month, and she sewed the pleats closed. I sort of liked the way it looked that way, so I left it and did it the same when I sewed mine in the double gauze I had chosen.

This double gauze version is my new favorite top! I’ve been saving this fabric for a special project, and I know that as the fabric softens I’m going to like it more and more.

Chai Tee in a woven fabric

I had an idea as I was finishing this one: if you cut the sleeves on the bias it will be easier to cuff them and they’ll have a nice drape. I’m going to do it on future woven Chai Tee tops, for sure.

If you want to sew a woven Chai Tee for yourself, I would suggest looking for drapey woven fabrics like challis or double gauze. Handkerchief linen would work well, as would rayon. Certain sateens and silks could be really pretty, too.

One more tip for you: If you haven’t tried this pattern yet, don’t make it too small! It’s designed to have some ease, and the pleats look better if it’s not too tight as well.

You can pick up your own copy of the Chai Tee pattern right here. I can’t wait to see what you make with it! And don’t forget that we have a Chai Tee sew-along to guide you and to give a few extra tips.

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15 Comments

  1. Lucinda Poel

    Thanks so much for sharing your experiment with wovens! I think both look lovely, but that Nani Iro especially is just beautiful! And you’re right – with a little bit of washing, it will become the coziest tee in your closet! Also, gotta love sewing moms:)

    1. Sewing moms are the best! I wouldn’t be doing what I do if it weren’t for mine. She helped me get started, for sure. xoxo

  2. Erica Yao

    I love the double-gauze! I might have to raid my stash to try making a woven Chai tee, too! I assume you cut the neckline tape on the bias, but I’m wondering if you added any length to that neckline piece. I find the length needs to be just right if I hope for it to lay flat and smooth. Thanks for sharing your lovely examples in two different woven fabrics!

    1. Yes, I think I mentioned that in the sew-along. I’ll add a link to that so it’s easy to find. I cut the binding on the bias and added length. Then I just sewed it to the neckline without stretching–just using a little bit of natural stretch in the bias–and cut it to length when I reached the end. Glad you like it!

  3. Liesl I love this pattern I just have to say! I haven’t tried it though in a woven but I DO have some silk calling out for just the right pattern 🙂

    1. I hope you’ll show us if you make it, Kathleen!

  4. Sandy Gammage

    I have the pattern and am just searching for fabric. I have some fennel that might work as it should drape well. Of course I have made the tencil in my mind in about 4 different patterns.

    My upper arms are not the prettiest (at all). Would it be hard to make the sleeve a little longer?

    So anxious to try it.

    1. Flannel would be great, I think! I really designed this pattern with a short sleeve in mind, but if you feel strongly about adding a long sleeve I would suggest borrowing a sleeve and armhole from another pattern.

  5. Linda Caldwell

    Love both these views. Will there be a hack to make the sleeves longer – maybe to 3/4 for us that are cold natured? Thanks for your comment.

    1. Glad you like them, Linda! Like I said to Sandy, above, I really designed this pattern with a short sleeve in mind. But if you feel strongly about adding a long sleeve I would suggest borrowing a sleeve and armhole from another pattern.

      1. Lyn

        the short sleeves are also preventing me from buying this pattern (thin aged arms!!), could you recommend a sleeve from one of your other patterns to use? I have many Lisette and Liesl and Co patterns (not that I’ve been able to sew many yet but I’m working on one now). tia.

  6. Marcy

    I love this pattern and am so glad to see this work in a woven! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Marcy!

  7. Ava

    wow actually love it more in the woven than the knit

  8. Justine

    I love this and have some silk I’d like to try . I wonder how the top would look if you cut the whole thing on the bias? If love to try
    Try

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