T-Shirt Month/// The Briar Tee and the Elliot Sweater

I’m back this week with two more t-shirt patterns and another fabric to discuss! For the month of September I’m trying out t-shirts, check out last week’s success here!

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!

Pattern One: The Briar Tee by Megan Nielsen

Pattern name and designer: Briar Sweater and T-shirt by Megan Nielsen Patterns

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

Pattern name and designer: Elliot Sweater and Tee by 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.

T-Shirt Month/// The Lark Tee and The Classic Tee

I’m back with my first two t-shirts to dive into for t-shirt month. Check out my post from last week to see my plans and what I’m trying to accomplish here!

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 One: The Lark Tee

Pattern name and designer: The Lark Tee from Grainline Studio

Size Range: 0-18, a 32″ bust to a 44″bust

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 Two: The Classic Tee

Pattern name and designer:The Classic Tee from Love Notions

Size Range: XS-5X, 33″ bust to 57.5″ bust

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.

Make That Look///January

I love looking at ready to wear clothes, either in stores or on the runway or even in movies, and seeing if I can recreate those looks myself. It always sparks my sew jo and is a fun creative challenge! I’m hoping to have one of these up on a monthly basis, January’s just took a little longer than expected due to shipping delays and then a huge blonde moment from myself! Let’s see what I got up to, shall we?

The Inspiration:

When I was looking for inspiration I was looking for something comfortable. Something that I would actually wear right now but maybe with a twist, but I wasn’t on the hunt for super inspirational or designer wear. I found this layered long dickey sweater dress from Tibi on Shopbop and thought it fit what I was picturing in my mind. I thought it looked chic and cool in the pictures but also would be easy enough to throw on with cosy leggings and use it as lounge wear.

The Fabric and Patterns:

I found this cotton sweater knit on Minerva in the color old green and thought I could start with the Linden sweatshirt as a base. I liked the color of the original just fine but I saw this color and fell in love! I love the new Minerva site that let’s you see other people’s projects with specific fabric. I knew this was a little heavier than the inspiration, but also would be warmer and more wearable for where I live.

I pulled out the Nikko dress by True Bias to use as a guide for length and where I wanted the splits in the side to be. In theory, this simple pattern mashing would have worked perfectly and should have been a very easy sew. However. I made a really stupid error that kind of changed the project completely.

Making It:

My Linden pattern is one of the very first patterns I ever bought. Now when I cut out a pattern, I just cut right into my size. I guess new sewist Whitney did not do that and traced the size she needed. I didn’t think about this at all and just used the pattern pieces as they were. I have no idea why I didn’t notice the number 18 as I was cutting. I have no idea why I didn’t stop and think about why the Nikko pattern was so much smaller than the Linden. And I have no idea why when I sewed it up and it was a giant sack on my body why I didn’t think- huh this is the wrong size- instead of hacking away and trying to fix it.

Once I had realized my mistake, the dress was much shorter than I intended. I went ahead and fixed it, finished the top, and honestly am happy to have it. It’s just nothing like the original that I intended it to be.

The Result:

Here is my finished make! It’s basically a tunic sweatshirt, but I do love this fabric and it’s very wearable. I styled it up with skinny jeans and booties, with my Pietra pants and thrifted loafers, and with warm leggings and thick socks to give you an idea of how I plan to be wearing this!

I wanted to share this make as a reminder that we all make goofy errors sometimes and projects don’t always turn out like we hoped. That’s just how it goes whenever human brains and hands are involved! Like I said, I am happy with my make, I just wish I hadn’t spent so much time and problem solving on what turned out to be a very simple error.

Winter Module Plans

I love sewing in modules, I got the idea from Whitney over at TomKat Stitchery this summer and have been running with it ever since. The idea is you make 1 topper, 2 bottoms, and 3 tops and they can all play nicely together and mix in with what is already in your closet. A mini capsule wardrobe if you will.

I am seeing a lot about spring fashion, but guys, I am not falling for it. Snow is in the forecast for tomorrow and I will not get excited about spring yet to only have my heart broken for at least 2 more months! So to embrace my new home, I decided to have fun and plan myself a winter module. To give myself a bit of a challenge, I am only going to be using patterns from Fibre Mood. I recently subscribed to this magazine and decided to jump in and try a bunch of their patterns at once. My hope is that when I show my full reveal, I can also give you a comprehensive review of what their patterns are like. I’m linking to all the patterns as you can purchase them individually as PDFs off of their website!

I hope to have a post up ever Wednesday sharing pieces from this module and showing how they work with things I already own. To begin, let’s plan it out!

The Dress:

I’m adding in a dress with my plans because I love a cozy sweater dress. This is the Daniella dress and I like how simple it is (re: very wearable) but the details of the sleeves feel fresh. I can wear it now with thick tights or leggings but then also wear it plenty in the spring too! I have this Cotton Modal Jersey in the color Desert Rose planned for this one. A soft, drapey knit that has enough weight to be worn as a dress, I think this will be like wearing pajamas and I love the color.

The Tops:

This print is where I started in shopping for fabric in this collection. I knew I wanted to bring in some more blues and greens into my wardrobe and I love this color, especially mixed with the coppers and blush pinks. This is the Atelier Brunette Rayon Moonstone in the green color way. I think I’m going to make it into a Glory Top. This blouse has some feminine details that I think will be nice but also let the print on the fabric shine. I love those gathers at the yoke and the sleeve detail and the little button placket on the shoulder is a nice touch.

This washed crinkle cotton in copper is soft with some drape but enough crispness to look really nice made up as the Bonnie top. I think the simplicity of the neckline and shape of this top is really nice and I love those box pleat sleeves. The inspiration photos showed it layered over a turtleneck, which looks cool, and also tucked and untucked for completely different vibes. Basically a woven t-shirt with a few more options!

Ok, it looks like the color Dusty Jade is no longer available at Blackbird Fabrics but I’m going to link to their Bamboo French terry because it is so lovely. I’m going to turn mine into the Alice Pullover. Basically a sweatshirt, but with a v neck line that can be worn in the back and that makes it look a little more chic. I’m really loving this color right now (you might see it show up again soon in a different garment!) and like that it will be a great weight for cooler spring and summer days as well.

The Bottoms:

I keep changing my mind on which of these fabrics will go with which pattern, but here is where I’m settled right now! This Slub Texture Linen in the color Spruce is going to be a pair of Benita Trousers. These are an elasticated waist trouser but I love the fit of the leg and the option for that tie belt. These will be so comfortable to wear around the house but can look a bit more dressed up should I need to go somewhere. I’ve been wearing quite a few linen pants this winter and like the weight of them. If it’s really cold out it’s easy to layer thermals underneath!

This stretch cotton corduroy in the color teak is going to be made up into the Bea Culotte. I think the construction on these pants looks interesting (there’s no zip) and the pleats are cool. I will be lengthening these to full, wide leg trousers and I keep going back and forth between the linen for drape or the corduroys for more structure. I think both fabrics work for both patterns, I just can’t decide what looks I’m going for quite yet!

The Topper:

And finally, to top off this collection as well as to play along with my coat making challenge, I’m going to sew up this teddy faux fur in rose as the Frida Jacket. This looks like a classic bomber style jacket, which I do not own!, and I may be late to the teddy bear jacket trend but I’m finally going to jump on board. I think the texture will be fun and the color will be great going into spring.

Those are my plans! What do you think? Have you made anything from Fibre Mood before? Please let me know if you have any questions about sewing with patterns from a magazine, I’d be happy to answer them for you.

Are you done with winter and jumping head first into spring or are you still making/buying warmer clothes? I hope to see you back next week with my first make!

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