The Sunlight Top is a personal favorite of mine from the SS17 Collection. It is light-weight, cotton and perfect for just throwing on during these hot, summer months. And yes, the fact it's bra-optional is an added bonus. With its over-sized fit and easy drape, this piece gives off an air of effortlessness. However, just like achieving that perfect "bed head / I just woke up like this" look, its simplicity is the product of a great deal of effort. Knitting its panels takes about four hours of active work to complete, and the finishing process (hems, seams, ect) takes about another four. Here is a brief overview of the process for creating the Sunlight Top from start to finish, one row at a time.
1. KNITTING PANELS
Knit, knit, knit. Literally. Each row of fabric is a push of the carriage. Every lace detail is a transfer of stitches. As you can image, this part of the process keeps my arms toned and my fingers nimble. This step also requires the most concentration. I need to be vigilant of what row I am on, what I need to do on that row, and on how the knitting on a whole is coming out.
2. WASHING + DRYING PANELS
The panels are horizontally stretched when they are knit on the machine. So I give each a quick rinse after they are completed. This bounces the panels into their natural, resting shape. Since many fibers are weaker or less flexible when wet, I wait for everything to dry before continuing. It is very demoralizing when a yarn snaps during the finishing process, and hours of work unravel. Trust me. Rushing is not worth it.
3. SEAMING SHOULDERS
Now that I have all of the panels I need, the finishing process can begin! For the Sunlight Top, I start connecting panels, working from top to bottom. Stitch by stitch, I re-hang the front and back shoulder panels on the machine and seam them together. Then I repeat for the other shoulder.
4. KNITTING HEMS
As panels come together, I add hems to the open edges (the neck hole, armholes, ect). If it seems like things are getting more complicated on the machine as this finishing process continues, you are right. This top gets much more messy before it starts looking like its final form, but I promise we are almost there.
5. SEAMING THE SIDES
Finally, we come to the victory lap! The last step in creating the Sunlight Top is seaming up the sides and center front. Using both hand seaming and machine techniques, I close up this beauty and weave in any remaining loose ends of yarn.
6. ALL DONE!
The Sunlight Top is complete! It is all in a day's work and a full one at that. However, with an outcome like this, it is so worth it! Each piece is made-to-order for the person who will wear it, and only fifteen will be made of this design (as is the case with every RSPNSV piece). In keeping with the mission of RESPONSIVE TEXTILES, the handmade, limited edition production ensures that each piece will be as unique and human as you are.