Sunday, January 19, 2014


Why, hello there, new favorite t-shirt!

Plantain version 2 - much better

This is the "Plantain," of course - the new free pattern from Deer and Doe. It was love at first sight for me - the neckline, the slight swinginess ... and of course, the price! Haha.

Plantain version 2 - much better

But it wasn't all dreamy and singing "Kumbaya" holding hands by the campfire with the Plaintain. My first version, made in a cheap knit that has been in the stash for a while, was way too big. That's what I get for cutting out a pattern based on my bust measurement (here, a 44) - a shirt that is baggy everywhere else. Check it out.

Practice Plaintain - Too big!

Ugh! I look about ten pounds heavier! Shudder.

Oh well, I guess I needed a new long-sleeved pajama top. It is certainly comfortable and nursing friendly.

I am trying to get used to the idea that sewing for myself means making "muslins." It takes more time, but it does take away some of the sting of "wasting" really nice fabric. Instead, I used a cheap mystery-content knit that I ordered online last year and was pretty disappointed in, so no big whoop.

Thus educated, I cut out my second version two sizes smaller (size 40). This time, I took the plunge and used a beautiful, heavy rayon knit I bought at Britex a while ago and have been saving for "something special." This knit has a really nice weight and drape - it skims but doesn't cling. It was (cough cough) a lot more expensive than my muslin knit, but you get what you pay for! My favorite Briar top was made from knit I got on that same trip, and it was my favorite t-shirt until this one came along (sorry, paisley Briar! we had a great run!). Both knits are heavy, opaque, and not nearly as difficult to handle as the more common "tissue weight" rayon jerseys.

In a less stretchy fabric, a small full-bust-adjustment might be necessary for me to get the fit I want in the shoulders without being too tight in the bust. But in this drapey, stretchy fabric, I could probably go down another size and still have plenty of ease in the chest and waist.

Mama and Maggie

Maggie approves of the scooped neckline, which provides easy access to her favorite beverage.

This is my first time working with a Deer & Doe pattern, and it was lovely. At this point I have quite a bit of practice making t-shirts for both me and the kids, and that experience really helped, especially with applying the neckband. I've learned to stretch the band less over straighter sections of the neckline, and a lot more in the more curved parts (the scoop of this neckline). This trick really makes a difference. I also stabilized the shoulder seams of this top with some knit fusible interfacing, to keep them from stretching out too much. (One of my goals for the upcoming year is to finally figure out how to work with clear elastic on knits.)

My only (minor) criticism is that the 5/8th inch seam allowances are just too big! Especially for the neckband. Applying a neckband like this is tricky at the best times, but it's basically impossible to do it well with a large seam allowance. So I trimmed down the seam allowances on both sides to about 1/4-3/8" before serging the neckband on, and that worked well. If this had been my first time making a t-shirt with a neckband, that large seam allowance might have been a disaster. That said, the cut of this t-shirt is really perfect and once I figured out my size, the pattern required zero modification.

Mama and Maggie

Maggie is such a ham!

So while the rest of the sewing blogging world is talking about their fabric diets, I'm busy planning my post tax-return visit to Britex for more beautiful knits to turn into Plantains ...


  1. It looks great, Inder and the fabric is lovely! I love this pattern as well, I've made two already and have one more in mind.

  2. Oh my goodness, Inder. Look at you! {whistle whistle} You look awesome! I love the shirt and I love the photo of you and M together. All the photos are great, but that one belongs in a frame! Did your photog husband take these or did you do them with a self timer? I love them! Great job on the top. It makes me want to sew for myself!

  3. Yes that last photo is a killer! Awwww! I love this top, I love the shape on you, I love the fabric you used. What a pretty print. And gosh yes what a difference the sizing makes. Thanks for the tip on the seam allowance, too. This top is definitely on my to-sew list.

  4. Hey that happens to be my favorite price too! :)
    And that last picture of you and Maggie is freaking adorable!
    And nice work on the shirt! It looks fantastic on you. I need to get around to printing out this pattern...although I'm one of those people hoping to sew more from my stash thus year (our tax return is going to paying off student loans...this might be the year that they're finally paid I hear angels singing???)

  5. Free is the best! The top looks great on you. Love that fabric!

  6. This post has come at the perfect time! I've just downloaded this pattern, and have been debating size. .Yours turned out lovely and fits perfectly. I love the last pic too, and I agree that it should be framed!

  7. That shirt is great! I should search out some good fabric and give it a try. Or I guess some cheaper fabric for the first try and then something nicer for a second version :)

  8. Ooh, that looks comfy! Your last picture is so sweet- Maggie looks a lot like her papa in this shot!


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