Thursday, July 20, 2017

Merino Union St. Tee

If you know me in real life, you know that I'm a bit obsessed with wool. I'm a huge fan of using wool in cloth diapering (specifically from the company Sloomb) and that love has crept over into my wardrobe too. Lately, I've been crushing HARD on all the gorgeous posts from The Fabric Store on their IG. It seems like they're the current "it" fabric source, everybody is sewing with their stuff. I hopped my butt onto their bandwagon and placed my first order a few weeks ago. Today I'm showing off my first garment, a Union St. Tee from Hey June Patterns.

So boring! So basic! A black V-neck t-shirt. Yawn. That might be what you're thinking, but I'm not! I love black. I love V-necks. It seemed impossible that I didn't already own a shirt like this, but I didn't. A friend of mine alerted me to the Summer of Basics sewalong (more on this in a later post), and what's more basic than a black t-shirt?

The hardest thing for me was choosing fabric. As I said, The Fabric Store has SO many beauties. I desperately wanted to order some of their lightweight merino knit, but at $23/yard it was out of my price range. Instead, I ordered this rayon knit. I wanted a soft, drapey shirt and I knew rayon would give me that. Imagine my surprise when my fabric arrived and the black knit felt, well, wrong! It was not the silky smooth, liquid feeling of rayon that I was expecting. In fact, it felt like wool. I double-checked my email receipt and I did order rayon. Perhaps this was just a weird rayon. I prewashed the fabric in a gentle cycle with mild detergent (my standard practice these days for rayon) and hung to dry. A few short hours later and I had my new t-shirt.

This is my second Union and it's a size small. It's a bit too big, but it fits exactly how I wanted it to fit. I think I could easily go down to an extra small for a more fitted look. I made life harder on myself by making the narrow V-neck, but I love how feminine it is. V-necks definitely get easier the more that you make them, so if you're scared, just keep trying!

After wearing the shirt a few times, I could not get over the idea that it was wool. I finally got around to a burn test. The scrap was slow to catch fire, hard to burn, and produced a brittle, black ash.

Everything I read pointed to wool. I couldn't tell if it smelled like burning is not something I burn on a regular basis! After posting a photo on IG, The Fabric Store immediately reached out to me and we exchanged a few messages. They helped me determine that more than likely, I had been sent one of their merinos by mistake. Oh happy accident! They offered to send me the rayon I originally ordered, but I assured them that would not be necessary, since I wanted wool in the first place and it just wasn't in the budget at the time.

To tempt you even further, The Fabric Store is currently running a 20% off sale! I also want to clarify a bit because I was originally confused about the site. The Fabric Store has 4 locations in New Zealand, 3 in Australia, and 1 in Los Angeles. For anybody that can't make it to a physical location, they also have an online store. Fabrics from the online store ship out of New Zealand. I *think* that if you're in the US, you can call the LA store and discuss their selection at that particular location. Shipping from New Zealand to my home in Indiana was about $14, which isn't much more than I would pay for a domestic shipment. Orders over $150 NZD (about $110 USD) ship free. They shipped quickly via DHL and it wasn't much longer than a shipment from California. Do be aware that they will charge your credit card in NZD, meaning that it is a foreign transaction, subject to extra fees (a few dollars in my case). My shipment required a signature, but DHL sent me a text alert with a link to authorize them to leave it without one. And I miiiiight have just gotten a second shipment yesterday because of the sale...

In the end, I absolutely adore this shirt and I'm so happy I ended up with a merino knit! Who knew that basics could be so lovable?

P.S. The shorts I'm wearing are made from linen from The Fabric Store. More on those later!

This post contains affiliate links (for the Union St. Tee only).


  1. It's a great basic! I was just at the LA outpost of The Fabric Store, and wow, those merinos are beautiful. I was really tempted, but wool garments tend to get accidentally shrunk in our house!

    1. I'm so jealous! I'm dying to do some fabric shopping in LA. And we have so far avoided ruining things in the dryer, with the exception of some socks. We have a lot of wool floating around so both my husband and I tend to check the laundry very thoroughly!

  2. I made a bunch of v-necks this summer and I love them! Your black t-shirt sounds wonderful!

  3. Sweet! I will keep The Fabric Store in mind, I will be wanting merino. I have a v neck one used for backpacking I got a special deal on - $60 - so yeah, buying and sewing myself WILL save money in this case!

    1. I just bought a long sleeved shirt from a local store, it's from Ibex and was on clearance for about $60. Should've just made my own!


I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to comment below.

Newsletter sign up