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Hunting out the perfect T
Written by Pippa
Category: reviews, sewing

Hunting out the perfect T

I think we all long for the perfect t-shirt, don’t we.  I have 2 shapes that I like to wear.  A close fit for under jumpers and a looser fit for summer wear and when I want something that hugs me less.  As we’ve progressed through lockdowns and winter, things need a little adjustment…measurements need to be re-evaluated.

This is how things now stand.

  • High bust 34
  • full bust 38
  • Waist 32
  • Hip 391/2″

Favorite relaxed T.

The Hey June Lane raglan works for the relaxed fit t-shirt and hoody for me.  It’s raglan sleeve gives it a chilled out feel.  Cosy and yet loose enough for when a spring day turns warm. I’ve made this several times and can whip them up quite quickly now.  For my next I’ll use the full bust front as the pulls do bother me a bit.  Especially as the curves are now a little… curvier.

 

The fitted T

I’ve been looking for a fitted pattern for under jumpers and for work.  Smarter than the raglan fit but still less of a compression top.  Many of my rtw t-shirts have come into that zone and I can no-longer bare to wear them.

I tried the plantain tee from Dear and Doe last year and it fitted nicely.  I sized up rather than do an fba because I like to see how a pattern will work before I start to fiddle with it.  It turns out I needed to size up because now with a little lockdown weight, it fits.  Not a slim fit due to the shaping of the style but as a smooth fit it’s nice. This tee doesn’t come in at the waist, I feel it could come  in a little at the hip so it’s not so swingy but it’s ok.  I think I might try one sized down next time just to see how it fits as a slimmer version.  This fabric from Jelly fabrics is just adorable and I had to have it.  A little fun for zoom calls.

For my second plantain I did full length sleeves as I wanted to wear it under jumpers in cooler weather.  As soon as I saw this from Fabrics Galore on their site I had to have a little jungle madness in my draw.  (Speaking of which, I made jungle knickers!  That might be for another blog post.) This time I did the fba.  I didn’t need a lot, just 1/2″ but it’s meant less under arm wrinklage. The fabric still has one or two pulls/drapes.  I could adjust it a bit more but it’s more level around the hem and smoother overall.  This is definitly a contender for a working tee.  I kept it the same size as before but it could be a closer fit.  Now I’ve altered it I might just see how the smaller size works, though I’m enjoying the room to move rather than the watch me wobble scenario.  I love the length of this.  Just sitting at the hip so will tuck in nicely or look ok left out.

A surprise contender

I watched Jenny from Cashmerette do a video all about the Concord T-shirt 5th birthday.  I do love to listen to Jenny.  She talks such sense when it comes to sizing and figures.  Being on the hunt for the perfect tee for me and having recently altered the Plantain to accommodate my bosoooms  I decided to take the plunge and try it out.  Using her size calculator I entered my measurements.  Hat’s off, that is some wonderous piece of engineering.  So many variables.  The joy of Cashmerette patterns is all of the fba faffing has been done for you so time if nothing else is saved. Turns out I’m a size 8 E/F 12 waist and 8 hip.  So I needed to buy the 0-16 range.  Do read about the differences in the sizing range if you think you’re verging on both.  The fit is slightly different.

Soap box moment

I’m with Jenny on not catering to everyone.  Fitting curves is what Cashmerette does best, as some other companies work to other shapes and sizes.  Find a company that works for you.  Pattern companies can’t be everything to everyone without loosing some of thier initial identity.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for sizing to be more inclusive.  Everyone should have the right to make what ever they feel like  as long as the company standards and shaping keeps it’s integrity.

Consider those companies that might cater to your specific issues.  Do you have curves? Are you Petit? Tall? Pear shaped? Hourglass? Plus size?  Those pattern companies are out there but maybe they don’t shout about it.  Maybe they should…Just my personal opinion.

Back to the Tee

This has several views and to give a true comparison I cut the scoop neck.  I also only went out to a 10 on the waist.  Simply because the shaping looked odd when I was grading through sizes.  Try to keep a smooth line when grading between sizes. I checked against my measurements and would still have some room.  There are three neck variations as well as lengths.  I cut the short sleeves due to only working with a metre of fabric.

Result!

Well.  This. Is. Wonderful.  Straight out of the box!  I tried it in a bronze glitter jersey I’d picked up from the last sewing weekender in the fabric swap.  One womans fabric trash really is another’s treasure.  No Idea what it’s made of.  Possibly a cotton or maybe a bamboo, it’s so soft and going to be lovely to wear once the weather warms up regularly.  It just fits.  As with most close t-shirts it works with a negative ease but not so much that you feel squished.  (technical term)  The stretch guide is clear so that you can make sure the fabric of choice has enough stretch and recovery to work.

I’m going to be making more of these.  I’m lining up the stash to see what I’ve got to use.  I think I’ve found my perfect T.  Now I’m wondering about a dress hack… I do love a t-shirt dress.

Up next…

There are other things on the list first though.  I reassess my lists every time I finish something, to work out if anything can wait for next season or no longer feels quite as urgent.  New under wear I think.  Some things can’t wait and I’ve had a bra kit and pattern waiting in the wings for a while now.  Also more knickers!  I wonder if I can squeeze a pair out of the sparkly jersey scraps…

 

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