Today I’m here to wrap up what turned out to be a fantasist tshirt month! Click here to see all my posts and patterns that I used as well as different fabrics I tried.
I learned quite a bit this month about what style of tshirt I want to make and wear and it ended up being very different from what I thought I wanted. Turns out, I love a looser fit, a scooped neck, and a very soft fabric. Maybe some day I’ll prefer something else, but for right now, this is what feels good and is what I reach for over and over again.
I fell in love with Love Notions patterns and learned I really like a cotton jersey mixed with rayon or modal. I want to share a list of patterns that people mentioned, some of them over and over again, as well as a couple other helpful links. Bookmark this post for when you’re in the mood to sew some t-shirts!
Claire Shaeffers’ Fabric Sewing Guide was a book that was recommended and I thought I would share as the book I referred to is no longer in print. It’s extremely helpful to have reference books that can help you pin point specific fabrics that you can then go looking for online. Also having expert information on how to sew and care for the fabric is something that you can’t always assume you will find quickly through google.
I got a lot of unsolicited advice (!) and thought I would share a neckband tutorial with y’all. This one from Melly Sews is good and pretty comprehensive. Some of the shirts I ended up not liking I slapped on neckbands to finish and show you and tried to be clear about that. I and my sewing are never perfect and I realize I have a lot of experienced sewists that have a lot of great advice. I would just say, maybe unless someone says ‘hey I would like advice on this!’ know that it is not always needed? Food for thought? I am going to be more clear on what I am just sharing and what I want advice on in the future.
Ok and here is a grand list of tshirt patterns that followers have used and loved with links to all of them. Have fun sewing yourself the perfect t-shirts! Thanks for following along this month!
Today I have the final two makes of tshirt month and this weekend I’ll be posting all my final thoughts as well as all the great recommendations I’ve received this month! To see all the posts, click here.
Today I’m looking at two shirts with different styles of neckline (as opposed to the more classic options we’ve seen in the other shirts this month!) and both of them have options to be made into dresses. I had great success with one, not so much with the other. But I have learned a lot in the process so let’s dive in!
Pattern One is the Glenelly Top and Dress by Itch to Stitch Patterns
Pattern Details and Options: From the website, “The Glenelly features a modern square neckline, raglan short sleeves, and a figure-flattering fit. Designed for knit fabric, both the top and dress options could be dressed up or down. The dress option has gathers in the center front and center back waist, and a slightly-raised front waistline. The Glenelly also comes in a full-bust option.”
I made the top version in a size 4
Fabric used: I used a ponte from my stash. It was entirely the wrong fabric and I don’t want to go into detail about it because this is not a tshirt fabric! It was in my stash and stable and I used it without thinking!!
Thoughts on fit: This is a raglan style sleeve which, I have learned this month!!, is a style that I really, really don’t like on myself. I feel like it widens by shoulders and flattens my chest, two things I would really like the opposite to happen! That being said, the fit is more close fitting with a really lovely neckline.
Thoughts on style: This is great when you’re wanting more than a basic tee.
What I don’t like: Everything about this pattern is great except the style is just not for me. I consider this valuable information though, I now know to stay away from raglans. I’m just never happy with how they look! I also think only two variations, one just being a dress (which is easy to do to any tshirt pattern really) maybe isn’t a great value.
What I do like: The inclusive size range, the excellent instructions and drafting on the neckline, the fact that this is a great base pattern that you could easily build into something else!
Pattern Two: The Breckenridge Henley by Love Notions
Pattern Details and Options: From the website, “The Breckenridge Henley is an easy to wear top, tunic or dress. Meant for knit fabrics, this style will take you through all seasons. The neckline is an unconventional henley style that is easy to sew. No buttonholes required! Three body lengths are included: shirt, tunic and dress. Sew up this versatile style with short sleeves, roll tabbed long sleeve, or cuffed long sleeve.”
I made the long sleeve cuff version in a size medium
Fabric used: I used this white sand sedona mini stripe jersey and it is the comfiest, softest fabric ever. I have enough left over that I’m going to make some kind of bottoms with it and have a luxurious lounge/pajama outfit.
Thoughts on fit: I am fully aboard the Love Notions fan train. Their patterns fit me well (I think the attention to bust and sizing and full bust options makes a ton of difference) and their instructions and thoughtful designs mean you will have success with whatever it is you’re making.
Thoughts on style: A classic Henley with options for a dress or tunic and I love the sleeve variations. Can be very casual, think pjs, or made in a different fabric can be a great every day t shirt.
What I don’t like: I don’t think there’s anything negative for me to say about this one!
What I do like: Something really interesting and handy is that the button placket is just for show, so no button holes. That makes this a really quick make but the details elevate the shirt to look like more than a simple tee.
For the fabric today I’m just going to talk about the Jersey from Surge Fabrics. “This mini stripe jersey is a classic choice for t-shirts. It is soft and light-weight without being sheer.” It is composed of 64%rayon, 14% cotton, 18%poly, 4%spandex and has a 50% horizontal stretch and 25% vertical.
This fabric reminds me of ready to wear lounge wear and I will be keeping this fabric content in mind when looking for cozy t-shirts to make and wear. It is light weight and I wished I had used a tad heavier interfacing for the neck band, just to get a cleaner topstitching. Otherwise it was not too difficult to work with and I literally want to drape myself in it and curl up for a nap. That comfortable. It does feel more casual- a mix of the print and light weight-ness I think!
Thanks for following along as I tried out all these t-shirts! I learned a lot about what I like to wear and make and now have a closet full of great t-shirts to wear for the rest of the fall. Speaking of fall… Next weekend I’m going to start talking about fall sewing and plans and all things capsule. Be sure you’re following me to stay in the loop!!!
Today’s shirts both have the option of making a sweater or a t-shirt. I love the versatility of these patterns and that you can get different tops from one pattern. I would love to hear if you have any patterns like this- that can go sweater or t-shirt- in the comments!
Size Range: 0-20, 32″- 46″ Bust, I used an older version of this pattern with a different sizing system and made the straight size small.
Pattern Details and Options: From the Pattern Description, “The stylish alternative to a basic t-shirt or sweater. Pattern features a high scooped front hem, low curved back hem, and includes two lengths, two neckline finishes, three sleeve lengths and two patch pockets”
Fabric: This pattern can be made in jersey, sweater, and stable knits with at least 20% stretch. More than 40% stretch will give a looser fit. I used the same cotton modal jersey I used last week (fabric thoughts at the end of this post!)
Thoughts on fit: A nice fit that is body skimming but not too tight. I think the high low hem adds to the drape and helps make the fit look good.
Thoughts on style: A pretty classic t-shirt with added details in the hem line and pockets. Appreciate the fit and love that you can make a sweater and a t-shirt out of the same pattern.
What I don’t like: While there are technically 4 views, I don’t know that this is as versatile as the patterns we looked at last week. The sizing is also more limited than other indie patterns that are out there.
What I like: I like the look of this shirt and the instructions are really good. Megan Nielsen patterns tend to fit me pretty well.
I have made this pattern before, many years ago, and think it may have been one of my first times sewing with knits! I like this shirt ok, this version I had something wonky happening with the neck band and I’m not quite sure what went wrong. If I hadn’t found such a great pattern last week, I would attempt to fix and make it right, but I have to say I don’t love it enough to make that happen.
Pattern Two: The Elliot Sweater and Tee from Helen’s Closet
Size Range: 0/2-28/30, 31″-54″ Bust, I made the size 4/6
Pattern Details and Options: From the Pattern Description, “The Elliot Sweater is your go-to cozy layer for everyday wear. Dress it up with dark denim and boots, or keep it casual over leggings and sneakers. View A has a stylish high-low hem with a side slit that provides comfort around the hips. View B is slightly cropped, perfect for pairing with high-waisted pants and skirts. View C of Elliot makes a great, everyday t-shirt. All views feature a raglan sleeve and three neck options are provided: an extra tall version that can be scrunched down or folded over, a medium height version, and a classic knit band.”
Fabric: This pattern can be made in sweater knits with 20% stretch. Versions A and B need a more heavy weight knit while version C needs a lighter to medium weight jersey.
Thoughts on fit: A closer fitting t-shirt with a higher neck, this one was much more body skimming on me.
Thoughts on style: Raglan style sleeves make this a different look than the other shirts I’ve made. Hits at a great length, didn’t love the length of the sleeves.
What I don’t like: I don’t like this shirt but mainly because I realized I don’t like raglan sleeves on me! With the crew neck it makes me feel like my shoulders look really wide while making my bust look smaller.
What I Like: Helen’s Closet always has a great size range and her drafting and instructions are great. I love the wide turtleneck view as a tunic and may try that sometime this winter.
Ok, real talk, I didn’t finish this shirt and slapped on that neck band really sloppily because as I was sewing it up I realized I really don’t like this style. This is not a note on the design and pattern itself, some of y’all will love this!, but I put on the shirt for fit and immediately disliked the raglan sleeve with the higher neck line. Please ignore the pulling on the band as I don’t think that is an indication of the pattern, just an indication of my impatience to get it on to show you the shirt properly!
Part of trying so many shirts this month was to weed out styles that don’t suit me so while these two shirts feel a bit like fails, the outcome is still a win!
Thoughts on Fabric:
The Cotton Modal Jersey is the same that I shared last week and I love it more the more I work with it. It’s incredibly soft and is washing really well.
The Cotton Lycra Jersey was about $20 a meter from Minerva and is 95% cotton, 5% Lycra with a 30% stretch. This fabric comes in beautiful colors and is soft with some drape but is thicker than the previous fabrics I’ve been using. I think it works well for patterns that need a little more stability- something like the raglan sleeves or a more detailed neckline.
I hope even seeing my not so great makes is helpful to you in determining what t-shirt patterns you want to try! Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll see you next week with two more patterns that can also be dresses and have unique necklines.
I’m going to be looking at the Lark Tee and the Classic Tee. I put these two together specifically to compare what would probably be called a ‘classic t-shirt.’ Later in the month the patterns I show won’t really be for side by side comparison, but these two are definitely close enough to examine and compare a bit. I’ll talk about the pattern, the versions I made, and then I will talk a bit more about fabric towards the end of this post. Please let me know if you have any questions about the patterns or fabric and I will try to answer them in a later post! Let’s get going!
Pattern Details and Options: From the Pattern Description, “With a modern, slim fit ideal for layering, the Lark Tee is your closet’s new best friend. It’s great on its own or under your favorite button up, sweater, or blazer. All four sleeves are interchangeable with each of the necklines resulting in 16 potential different tees in one pattern!”
There are options for a crew, scoop, V, and boat neckline and cap, short, 3/4, and long sleeves.
Fabric used: This pattern recommends using knit fabrics with at least 20% stretch. I made two versions, one in a luxury viscose and one in an Amsterdam jersey (details and links at the end of the post)
Thoughts on fit: This tee is closer fitting with a small size range.
Thoughts on style: Classic t-shirt styles that you can mix and match, basic but with options.
What I don’t like: I don’t like the more form fitting look of this shirt. For a t-shirt to wear every day with jeans I think I prefer a looser fit. I wish the size range were bigger and that there were cup sizes.
What I do like: I do think the snug fit would work well for layering. I also like all the options and that each neckline has a completely separate pattern piece.
Here is my first version in the luxury viscose. I went with the crew neck version in the size 6. I had to shorten it but only due to the fact that this was the amount of fabric I had. I chose to make a version of both tees out of this fabric after the fact so had to make it work! I shorted the sleeve length about half an inch because I thought the short sleeve hit me at a weird spot, especially with the tighter fit.
This is an incredibly simple make and the instructions are clear and easy to understand. I was able to get a nice finish using a zig zag stitch and my regular sewing machine. I did have a little pulling around the neck band.
For the second version I used the Amsterdam jersey and made the boat neck with long sleeves in a size 8. I prefer the fit on this one and appreciate the length of the top and the sleeves. I don’t know that I love the wide neck line and was a little bummed that the finishing was simply to turn under the neckline. I think a facing would have given a more professional finish.
Pattern Details and Options: From the website, “The Classic Tee sewing pattern is a semi-relaxed tee with just the right amount of ease where you need it. Choose from three neckline options: crew, scoop and v-neck. Also included are four sleeve lengths: short, elbow, 3/4 and long. This tee is a great beginner project, especially for an introduction to sewing with knits. A full bust piece is also included.”
A basic tee with options in a big size range.
Fabric used: This pattern recommends light to medium weight knit, jersey, rayon/spandex, modal, cotton jersey, and recommends that for more stable knits to size up. I used a luxury viscose, rayon spandex, and cotton modal in my versions
Thoughts on fit: Really enjoy the looser fit of this t-shirt and after playing around with the necklines I found that the scoop neck hits me at the perfect spot.
Thoughts on style: Basic style that you can make over and over again.
What I don’t like: Would like a couple more neckline options (boat neck maybe?) but otherwise no complaints.
What I do like: The size range, the price, the ease of fit right out of the gate.
My first version is the crew neck in a size medium from that same luxury viscose as earlier. I immediately loved the fit on the body and sleeves. There was again some pulling at the neckline (possible user error, possible it was the fabric) and I didn’t love the crew neck on me. After trying other versions I ended up cutting this one into a scoop neck and I much prefer that.
Version two is the scoop neck, long sleeve in a size medium sewn out of rayon spandex jersey. This may be my idea of a perfect t-shirt. I love the fit, I love the neckline on me and where it hits, and this fabric is incredibly soft with a perfect amount of drape.
My last version is again a medium, this time scoop neck with short sleeves in a cotton modal. I think this is my perfect t-shirt! I love the fit and can see myself making up as many versions as I need throughout the seasons.
Thoughts on Fabric.
The Luxury Viscose is from Minerva and is about $24 a meter. It’s 94% viscose, 6% elastane with a 35% stretch. It has a lovely drape and is very soft. It can go a bit clingy and was the most slippery fabric I used. I love that they sell this in so many colors and for a drapey t-shirt I think it’s a good fit!
The Amsterdam Jersey was from Surge Fabric and was $7.99 for a half yard. This is a 86% poly, 10% Rayon, and 4% spandex with a 50% stretch one way. It was lightweight, soft but not as soft as the others, and is a rich saturated color. This was my least favorite fabric to work with. The polyester makes if feel less breathable and the texture of it makes me wonder how it will hold up in the wash. The weight is great for t-shirts though and reminds me of some RTW shirts.
The 2 Tone Choarcoal Rayon Spandex Jersey is from Surge and is $7.49 for a half yard. This is 96% Rayon, 4% Spandex with a 50% stretch. Soft, light weight, and with a beautiful drape, I loved working with this fabric and because it is breathable and cool to the touch, I have enjoyed wearing it as well. One of my favorites from the bunch.
And finally, the Cotton Modal Jersey from Stylemaker Fabrics is $18.99 yard. There wasn’t a percentage make up on the website, only that it is cotton, modal, and spandex. It comes in a wide range of saturated colors and is a bit thicker than the others but still has drape to it. Modal is touted as being more sustainable since it comes from Beech trees and used 10-20x less water than cotton. It is breathable and biodegradable and feels so good on the skin. I loved working with this one.
I have four more patterns and at least 3 more fabrics to make shirts out of so stay tuned for more next week! I will compile final thoughts and comparisons at the end of the month. I hope this was helpful for you, I know I am very excited to have found the t-shirt pattern I was looking for.
I have my first summery make to share today! I love collecting vintage patterns but really try and only get things that I would actually make and wear today. I found this wrap top, Simplicity 7351, on Etsy (I found another one here!) and thought it worked well with some of the trends I’m seeing in stores right now.
A wrap top with two different views, one with a forward yoke and peplum style bottom and one with an interesting curved yoke that wraps and hits at the natural waist. Also options to leave sleeves loose and fluttery or add elastic for that blouson effect.
I went with view two and kept the sleeves open. I used a gingham linen from D&H Fabrics (my color isn’t available but I’ve linked to another fun summery color!) and it’s a perfect match for this pattern.
My copy of the pattern was a size medium and I did have to take it in a little but otherwise made the pattern as is. I love how it turned out! I’ve styled it up with some bottoms from my spring capsule and look forward to trying it with shorts as well.
As always, let me know if you have any questions and here’s to the weather warming up and breaking out our summer looks!
This week has been a little crazy (and listen, I wrote this out before the crumbling of democracy yesterday…) The kids are home for a buffer week before going back to school and most of my days have been spent helping them with science fair projects (note to self; I never ever ever want to be a science teacher). I did get to slip in a few hours for some sewing, look at me actually making my resolutions happen!, and I’m happy to share my first make of 2021 with you.
This fabric has been in my stash for a few years now and I could just never commit to a project. It’s a gorgeous floral print, but the fabric was really narrow and that limited what it could be. I got in my head that it would make a beautiful Wilder Gown so I started cutting it out and realized I didn’t have near enough fabric (so maybe I haven’t changed much in the new year?) I decided to push ahead though and see what it would look like at a tunic length.
I… kind of love it? And I actually think I might wear it more than a full length dress?
This is the size medium and basically it’s the bodice from the dress with long sleeves and whatever was left of my fabric. It’s very loose and flowy (read comfortable) but the beautiful fabric makes it feel like I dressed up a little bit. I have it paired here with skinny jeans and I imagine that is how it will probably get worn. Easy for getting on the ground and playing with Sam but cute enough to run out and…. do whatever it is that people did in the before times?!
This pattern is hugely popular in the sewing world and I feel like the last person to make it! It is a really easy sew and I get why people are obsessed with it. You know I love nightgown adjacent, and this feels like exactly that. If you were newer to sewing and looking at this pattern, I would highly recommend it. If I can get something cute out of it with way less fabric than it calls for, I have all the faith in the world that you could make something cute for yourself! Plus fitting is easy and drama level is high. What more could you ask for?
I have my final piece of my fall module to show you today and it may be my favorite! To see everything I’ve made as a part of this collection, click here!
The idea for this top absolutely started with this amazing Atelier Brunette Autumn Posey Rayon Dobby in Chestnut. I’ve had my eye on it for months and when I was planning this module, decided this was the print I wanted to go with. In working through The Conscious Closet (you can see my whole series on the book here!) I realized that I am more of a solids gal. I like color and playing around with color mixing, but find I wear less prints in general. So when I kept thinking about this fabric, I knew it was one worth throwing in the mix!
I am absolutely loving the seventies fashion inspiration right now and this pattern B6378 felt like a modern take on a seventies blouse. I made version B in a size 12 and it has turned out to be one of my best made garments yet. The finishes are beautiful and the fit is pretty perfect. I didn’t make any alterations and I found the instructions and construction of the neck facing and neck tie to be really well done.
I’ve paired it here with my pink Pietra pants. I don’t know if this is too much pink, but I kind of dig these two pieces together and feel like Harry Styles might approve of this outfit!
I love that I was able to fall in love with a print and imagine it made up as something lovely and then create exactly what I wanted. Sometimes sewing really does feel like magic.
I’m sharing my second top that I made for my fall module today, if you want to see all my other pieces, click here!
I rarely make patterns over and over again. I’m not sure why? There are just so many great designs out there and I love variety in my closet, it’s just not something I do. So when I tell you that this is the fourth time I’ve sewn up this pattern, I hope you understand that means I truly love it!
This is the Toaster Sweater #1 by Sew House Seven . It is a classic sweater and I love both versions. I’ve made them both and hacked version #2 into a sweater dress that I wear all the time. It is an easy make, easy to fit, and it’s one of those basic tops that you will pull out again and again in the colder months.
I love this rich green color and I had fun playing with the ribbing texture, making it go in different directions on the bands and neck. I think in the past I’ve sewn the small, but I went for the medium here because I’m gravitating towards the slouchy, oversized look. I like that this doesn’t drown me but still gives me that same feeling.
This sweater is going to be one I wear year after year. I love how it looks with the other things I’ve made in this module and how well it works with clothes I already own!
I haven’t been purchasing many big four patterns this summer as I’ve been trying to support and promote indie companies that are outspoken allies. However I really liked a lot of things in the McCalls and Vogue fall release so when they went on sale I made a couple of purchases.
This top, M8145 , looked like a fun one to add to my stash. It’s a knit faux wrap top with a thick band around the waist and very dramatic sleeves. I am in need of more separates and liked the idea of view B in a sweater knit for the fall. I like that it’s comfortable and easy to wear but is still a little extra.
I sewed up the size 12 in this Plush sweater knit in solid paprika from Stylemaker Fabrics. I admit I’m not one hundred percent impressed with this fabric. It has a synthetic feel to it and after working with all the other fabrics in this module, I can really tell a difference. I do love the color however, I will just make note that this specific fabric isn’t for me in the future.
This was a really simple sew, I filmed my process here!, and I like the end result. I’m going to make note that if I sew it again I would like to lengthen the bodice a bit and maybe take in the band some too. I find that it does ride up and as it’s already right at my natural waist, it can show more skin than I want if I’m not careful.
I do love where the wrap hits though. Sometimes wrap tops can be really low cut or feel like they are gaping open. This one stays closed and I like how high up it is. I feel covered up (and warm!) but it’s still cute.
And these sleeves! I love these sleeves so much. The cuff is nice and thick so everything is secure and out of your way but you still get all the draaaahhhmmmaa of the sleeves. There is a version with the sleeves uncuffed but I don’t understand how that would be even remotely practical as this is a lot of fabric! Just something to note if you’re thinking of making this up.
This top is a little out of my style comfort zone, but I think making it in such a rich solid fabric means it will get a lot of wear. I loved making this top from start to finish and am really pleased with how it turned out!
I am loving the concept of matching sets I’ve been seeing around (I mean, online. I haven’t seen anyone in person rocking these- ha) this summer. I think they are so cute together, whether matching tops and skirts or pants, and that you can have a lot of fun mixing them with other pieces in your wardrobe. It feels like a lot of bang for your buck!
I bought this beautiful viscose linen crepe knowing it would become a set of some kind. I had a drapey short and a cropped top in my head and I think I found patterns that matched my vision!
The top is the Ashton top by Helen’s Closet. I saw this on so many people in so many fabrics throughout Me Made May and it made my list of patterns I wanted to try. I’m so happy I did because it is a pretty perfect pattern. Boxy with two different length options, this top is simple but a great building block for hacks or just to play around with different fabrics. The instructions are wonderful (lots of tips added in alongside the step by step construction) and I liked that there were two finishing options. There is an option for bias bound finishes (with pattern pieces) and also an all in one facing. I went for the facing because I thought it would help keep the drapey, breezy look of the fabric. I can’t wait to make a few more of these.
These shorts were a less enjoyable sewing experience, but I have to say I don’t hate them. These are the Dorian shorts from Seamwork and I love the lines and cut of them. I like how they are longer (I actually shortened them a bit) and that they fall away from your body. I think it ups the sophistication level of them and in this fabric they look more elegant while still being cool and easy to wear.
I bought them because I loved the pocket detail and I liked the elastic added in with the side panels. There is a zip fly as well which now I’m not sure that one pattern needs both. I can slip these on and off without undoing the fly and I’m not in love with how messy the waistband turned out. I redid the waistband three times and I think the skinnier elastic just doesn’t do it for me. I think I would prefer a wider waistband and possibly wider elastic too.
I will be trying the Closet Core Pietra pants soon and am interested to compare the construction and design of these two patterns. All together, I do love how this little set turned out! I’m learning to trust my instincts with sewing a bit more and I think these shorts have taught me that when I try a design feature and I don’t like it, maybe it’s ok to change it up. The pattern makers aren’t going to come for my head! I am learning that ‘breaking rules’ while sewing is ok. I know what I like and I can change things for myself. I am building the confidence and knowledge to make that happen!
Additional Thoughts: Installing the elastic and making it look neat was a huge challenge and in the end I think I may just dislike this particular design feature. I like that there is a bonus pattern to turn them into pants and Seamwork always has great instructions as well as all the resources to help with the pattern.