Mother Nature can be such a tease. One day the temps get up to 60 degrees, the next day the temperature is back down to a frigid 20 with snow blowing in every which way. I have hope though that Spring is just around the corner for us in the Northern Hemisphere. I'm not giving up hope people! This hope is what has coaxed me to put away the sweater knits in exchange for some more spring-friendly knits. I don't know how many of you got in on the big knit sale Fabric Mart had a couple weeks ago but I sure didn't miss it. Let's just say I may have went a little overboard. So what's easy to sew up and even easier to wear?? A basic tee. There are so many great patterns out there for tees I thought I'd highlight a few of my favorites.
First up is a new pattern from Maria Denmark, the Olivia Oversize Tee. This was an instant love affair. I immediately bought and printed out the pattern within 2.5 seconds of discovering it. This pattern is available as a pdf download and one of the more quicker ones I've come by when it comes to assembling. It's a super quick make, no pesky sleeves to set, and the oversized look makes it forgiving and easy to fit. Total time spent assembling the pattern, cutting fabric and sewing...approximately 2 hours. I made mine using this cream/black striped ponte knit from Fabric Mart.
I totally didn't pay attention when ordering this fabric but the stripes are vertical. I really wanted this shirt to have horizontal stripes, much like the pattern picture. There was very little stretch horizontally with this fabric so I opted to cut the main pieces on the bias. As if the print wasn't optical illusion enough I cut the neckline, sleeve cuffs and hem cuffs all in opposite directions. Please don't stare too hard, my husband said you might go cross-eyed. I do wish I would of paid more attention when cutting out the back piece because I accidentally cut it the opposite direction of the front. I guess that's adding to the optical illusion effect, oh well!
I only made one alteration which has become a pretty common alteration for me, shortening the upper back about an inch. It helped with the excess fabric I had pooling around the armpit area that I discovered in my muslin.
Should of drank a V-8!! No I'm not leaning because my shirt is making me all dizzy and woozy, my camera however was getting a little drunk!
In case your wondering those red pants I'm wearing are Simplicity 1696 Amazing Fit pants blogged here.
Next up is an oldie but goodie, Sewaholic's Renfrew. Did you know you can now purchase some Sewaholic pattern's from Fabric Mart? Well now you know so get on it! I love this top when I'm wanting to wear a more form fitting tee and also for it's comfort and versatility (so many options to be made!).
I used this beautiful seafoam green pique ponte knit. Trust me when I say these pictures don't quite do the color justice. The fabric is the same on both sides (so no worrying about right side/wrong side) and has a slight sheen to it. It's very comfortable to wear and was an absolute dream to sew with. I believe ponte knit is my all time favorite knit to work with.
Along with shortening the upper back I also made a sway back correction following this tutorial. Although I didn't really follow the pattern instructions (this ain't my first rodeo with the Renfrew) please know that Tasha's instructions are well written and the illustrations make the instructions even more clear to follow.
Last but not least is a totally FREE pattern for you, Deer & Doe's Plantain Tee.
If you go to Google and type in plantain tee your search will result hundreds of bloggers ecstatic about this free pattern. And rightly so! This just might be my perfect tee. It features a low u-shaped neckline and unlike the Renfrew, a more relaxed fit around the waistline which comes in great for that last cookie in the jar screaming your name. Geesh eat it already! My favorite part about the tee are those cutie elbow patches.
I made the long sleeve version and yes I purposely made my sleeves that long. I like a looong sleeve. I even lengthened the hemline about an inch. My fit alterations were the same as the Renfrew. I did think the neckline was a little too low for my liking so I raised it about a half inch. I know that doesn't seem like a lot but it did make a world of difference. For my elbow patches I used a gray light weight sweater knit from my stash and attached using a zigzag stitch. The main fabric was this light weight striped knit. It's super soft and perfect for Spring temperatures ahead. Because of the weight I did find it a little more finicky to cut and sew with but found steam-a-seam to be a godsend when it came to finishing the sleeve and bottom hem.
AHOY Spring!! ~Shannon