Deer&Doe Plantain t-shirt (free pattern)

Pattern: Plantain t-shirt by Deer and Doe
Size: size 38, graded up to a 40 at the waist
Alterations: for the striped version, the sleeve length is inbetween the short and the 3/4 length.

Fabric: a striped cotton jersey and an unidentified knit, both purchased locally.

Happy New Year, guys! I hope everyone is well and ready to resume regular life after the Holidays (I know I'm not).

Today I'm very happy to present to you Deer and Doe's latest fatigue: the Plantain t-shirt! Oh, and it's a free pattern, yay! I mean, who doesn't love a free pattern?

I love the story behind the creation of this pattern, simple but powerful: Eléonore "just" wanted to create the perfect t-shirt for her body shape, flattering but comfortable. You can read the whole thing here (yeah, the Deer and Doe blog is now in English too!).

I usually like my t-shirts a little more fitted at the waist, because I don't have a problem with my stomach area, but I must say this style feels a little more relaxed and forgiving, and I like it a lot.
The low neckline (but not too low) is extremely flattering on curvier ladies like myself.
For my first couple attempts at this pattern I went stash bustin'.
This striped cotton jersey was perfect for the job, but I had a very small piece of it, so my sleeves ended up mismatched. Did you notice before I told you? I don't mind the effect at all, in fact I think it's cute.

The only alteration I did was to lengthen the short sleeves (or shorten the 3/4 sleeves, as you prefer) to elbow length, which as I mentioned before, is the one I wear the most and find most flattering on me.
In this photo, it looks like I have a huge sway back adjustment to do, but it's really just a combination of the hem being caught in my jeans pockets and me standing more straight than usual for photos.

For my second attempt I used this mystery knit (I don't know the composition) which I'm not really sure why I bought. I was probably attracted by the bird print, but it's just too crazy for me. It will probably go to my mum or be worn as a pajama top.
Anyways, it served its purpose, which was to test the longer sleeves version... with elbow patches! Ah, those elbow patches... I want to add them to everything! I didn't follow the instructions and made them in a woven and it works fine. They're definitely easier to sew this way.

For construction, I used my serger and a twin needle, but this pattern is very beginner-friendly and includes tips for those who are unfamiliar with knits and might not have a serger.

I hope many of you are going to try this pattern, especially those who are still unfamiliar with Deer and Doe. I'm definitely going to sew many more of these and try a few variations as well!


Chambray and Stripes Mariposa tee

Pattern: Mariposa Tee by Sew Liberated. I purchased mine from Backstitch.

Size: size 8/10 from top to bottom

Alterations: None! Although next time, I'll raise the armhole by about 1,5cm.

Fabric: locally purchased striped jersey and chambray leftover from my Bleuet dress.

What I liked: I've had this pattern for almost 2 years (!!!) but I was always very intimidated by it, because of my irrational fear of knits (which I'm slowly conquering). I also never seemed to find some decent jersey in my fabric shopping adventures, but when I saw this striped one I knew it was perfect for this project.
I couldn't be happier with the color and texture combo of this t-shirt: chambray + black and white fit seamlessly in my wardrobe.
The fit was very good on me, especially considering this is straight out the envelope (I didn't make a muslin). I love how drapey and effortless it looks: the gathered sleeves and the gathers at the center front and back create a beautiful effect.

Another big plus of this project is that it requires very little fabric, so it's a great scrap-buster. Because the t-shirt is so blousey, I think you could also get away with using a woven fabric for the main bodice, as long as it's very lightweight and drapey (for example, a voile).

What I did not like: Now, the not-so-great part... The construction of this t-shirt was a pain in the butt, to put it mildly. I thought it was a one-afternoon project, and it turned out to be more of a two-days-with-lots-of-swearing one.
All those nice yoke pieces were the death of me. They have a 1/4" seam allowance and the instructions have you cut a cardboard template without the seam allowance so that you can press the fabric over them (does that make sense? I hope so). This process alone took FOREVER, so next time I'm going to thread mark the seam allowances, clip them and sew them without pressing them. I think this will speed things up by a lot and it will avoid accidents when clipping the seam allowance (see the curve at the center of neckline, looking like crap).

Another thing I hated with all my heart were the sleeves. You have two sleeve pieces that you are supposed to join using steam-a-seam tape on the edge and then topstitch. WHY? Why breaking up the beautiful drape of these sleeves? I didn't take the time to read the instructions carefully before cutting and after sewing my messy sleeves I just wanted to get it over with this t-shirt, so I didn't recut them. Next time, I'll definitely redraft them as one piece.
The armhole is also quite low (you can spy a bit of my bra from the side), so I'm going to raise it by 1,5cm for my next version.

Finally, I should also mention that the pattern sheets are kinda crappy. They're made of flimsy paper and there are almost no markings to help you find and follow the lines corresponding to your size. All the lines are plain and there are no little numbers at the corners to help you out, so the tracing process can be quite frustrating. 


All in all, construction and pattern sheets aside, I'm in love with this t-shirt. I've been wearing it with the black capris you see in this photo or with jeans. I have yet to try it with a high-waisted skirt, but I don't think it would be the best look for it.
I definitely plan to make more with a few improvements, as soon as I find some more cute jersey.