Full disclosure- I am still trying to get my deep dives for turtlenecks done, but two of my fabric orders have been delayed (I’m assuming due to weather!) and I am having to work around that. But hopefully soon I will be able to continue my series on turtle neck patterns. Until then, please enjoy my latest make for my Cozy Capsule, the Bert Knit Top from Style Arc Patterns.
I have been wanting a rugby style, oversized sweater for awhile. I have a fleece one I stole from Chris that I love and wear on the regular, it’s just not the cutest thing. So when I saw the Bert Top I knew it was exactly what I was wanting.
This pattern is described as “Stylish button front polo collar elevates this comfy easy fit style featuring drop shoulder line, deep armhole and slight balloon sleeve.” It comes in sizes 4-30 which seems pretty standard for Style Arc pattern.s
Style Arc recommends fleece, unbrushed fleece, and Rugby with optional rib trim for fabric choices. I think any stable, thick knit would work well. I used the Banff waffle knit from Surge fabrics in the color All Spice and it’s so good. It’s a perfect mix of stability and drape and is incredibly comfortable to wear.
I made a straight size 8. I’m technically a size 6 in tops for Style Arc, but I sized up one to get that slouchy, oversized look I’m loving. If you want this to look more like the line drawings I think making your true size will give you just that.
This is rated a medium level by Style Arc and the collar and tabs would be the trickiest parts for newer sewists. The instructions are pretty clear, I will say the tab construction could be a little clearer. If you’ve never done a placket or something similar I could see this being very confusing.
As you can see in my photos, I don’t have buttons on my top. That is only because I didn’t have them and the ones I ordered online will be here (they’re with the fabric I’m waiting on!) I think putting on the buttons will help a bit with how floppy the neckline of this looks and just make it look more finished. It’s not supposed to all be open like it is, so those will make this sweater match the line drawings that much more.
One final note about this pattern is the beautiful finish of the collar. They have you bind the seam and it’s a really professional look. You may notice I did not do this, but only because the first time around I used self fabric and it was extremely bulky. If I had something on hand that I could use I would, but instead I’m just leaving it as this fabric doesn’t fray and trimmed down I don’t think it’s noticeable.
If I made this again I would absolutely highlight this detail. A fun contrast would be fun and I think these kind of finishes are what make Style Arc so good. They really take what we sew for ourselves and give us ready to wear finishes to take our clothes to the next level.
I love this sweater and have been wearing it with jeans. It’s cute, a color that I love, and is exactly what I had in mind when I bought this pattern. Highly recommend if you’re looking for this style of top to take you through the end of winter.
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!!!
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.