I was attracted to the pattern because the sizing goes up to size 6X, and it's basic styling can serve as a good starting point for my own design details. There are three "cuts" to the pattern - close fit, natural fit, and loose fit. I used the natural fit, and I cut on the 3X lines. The front and back shoulder widths and the sleeve widths of that size fit me very well. It was really strange for me to not trace out the largest size of the pattern, and add more width at the side seams. What a pleasure, to use a pattern that didn't require lots of adjustment! I don't recall if I lengthened the pattern or not, but I do recall the pattern is cut quite long.
My first version of this top was sewn in a cotton/lycra jersey from Sawyer Brook. I'm hesitant to wear prints, but this one has a lot of movement, and good all-over patterning, so I went for it.
An aside: I love cotton/lycra knits. They don't pill, and they're comfortable to wear. This photo was taken today, after about 10 washings, and the fabric still looks very good:
I like the sophistication of this print. It's black and white, with small touches of blue (upper left) and taupe (lower right). I'm really glad I used it for this top. It was fun to wear with white capris in the summer, and carried well into early autumn with black pants.
The pattern description defines the neckline as a scoop, but it's really a crew neck. I lowered it several inches for warm weather wear. The instructions call for cutting the neckband on the bias. I didn't understand why, as I never do this with knits, but once I tried to apply the band to the neckline, I got the picture.
This fabric does not have good stretch recovery, and the neckband sagged. If I stretched the shirt enough to make the band lay flat, the shirt ended up gathered. I could have recut a bias band, but I chose to create a vee neck instead. It's a flattering style for me, and I really like the result.
(Sorry for the difference in skin tones in these photos. They were taken on different days, in different settings, with different cameras!)
One disappointment with this pattern is the lack of bust darts. I prefer to dart my tees, to avoid those unseemly horizontal folds that appear between the bust point and the armscye. I added two small darts in the armhole seams on my draft of the pattern.
On this top, I lowered the neckline and used Marcy Tilton's twisted neckband:
My fall version is made from a lightweight organic cotton jersey from Marcy:
To sew this neckband seam, I carefully overlapped the band on the neckedge, pinned it securely, and stitched it 1/2" from the edge. The raw edge of the band curls over the stitching, echoing the other curled raw edge. To keep the seam allowance of the top flat, I pressed it toward the top and stitched 1/8" away from the edge. I like this look, and wish I had used it on the sleeve hems, as it would have given the top more interest. The sleeve hems are simply turned under and stitched, as is the hem. But I was tired of fussing with this top, and wanted to move on!
I'm not totally happy with the sleeve on this top. The pattern instructions say to ease the sleeve cap before setting it into the armhole. I didn't think this needed to be done in a knit, and I really didn't want to have to set them in. I didn't think I needed the extra fabric in the top of the sleeve, so I lowered the sleeve head by about 1/2" to eliminate the need to ease it. Then I sewed the sleeves into the armscyes before stitching the side seams. Now that I see my upper arm in the photo, I realize I did need that extra fabric in the sleeve cap area. That little bit of extra fabric would prevent the wrinkling of the sleeve above my elbow. I hate to set in sleeves, especially in a knit, so I'll have to contemplate how to deal with this issue in future versions of this tee.
I'm not crazy about how this thinner jersey drapes around my belly. The print jersey is heavier. The royal blue jersey is droopier, so the drape lines fall more smoothly. If I run into this problem again, I'll look into taking the top in at the sides.
I like the fit of this top, and I expect to continue to use it as my basic tee pattern. Since it's a simple style, I'll probably play with other design elements - and paint! - at some point. Even though it's plain, it beats wearing store-bought tops anytime!