As you’ve probably seen from my more recent blog posts, I am trying to concentrate more on being sustainable with my sewing. Sewing in general is much more sustainable than purchasing new for many reasons: • You know the supply chain • You know know …
This month I have mostly been sewing, The Basic Instinct Tee. During lockdown I have started to realise that I need more relaxed comfy clothes. I realised that I always made more complicated clothing and hadn’t really tried any basics. I decided a good starting point would be a standard t-shirt, nothing fancy. It’s been a while since I’ve sewn with jersey, I just used to make myself bodycon dresses in my 20s. So, although a basic it felt like I was going to learning from scratch.
Selecting a Pattern
Usually I’m very picky when it comes to the fit of my t-shirts, so selecting the right pattern is important. I like the neck to be just right, not too low and gaping but not too high like a polo neck. I also don’t like a skin-tight fit on the body, but not overly loose either. So I’m not easy to please! As I guessed I would be trying a few different patterns before finding the perfect tee. So, I decided to start off with a free PDF pattern – The Basic Instinct Tee by Secondo Piano. You can download it if you sign up to her newsletter.
Basic Instinct Tee Process
The instructions on this pattern are really easy to follow and there is also info about matching stripes which was super helpful. This pattern is a nice simple one, just 4 pieces and available in sizes XS-XL. I chose to make a Small as I didn’t want it to be too fitted, just casual and comfy. I selected this amazing stripe cotton jersey from Minerva.
Its 95% cotton and 5% Lycra so it has the perfect amount of stretch to work for the Basic Instinct Tee. I really love the quality of the fabric, its medium weight so really feels great quality for making the tee. I hate it when you end up with thin flimsy jersey, or any fabric really.
As I was working with stretch, I decided to make the whole thing using my overlocker, although you can do the same with a zig zag stitch. If you just use straight stitch it will no longer stretch and you’ll probably end up snapping the stitches. I sewed up the tee shoulders, sleeves and side seams.
One of the last bits was adding the neckband which is more of a fiddle. Once you have a loop you carefully pin and stretch the neckband to fit onto the tee. I realised that I didn’t really think about seam allowances when sewing using the overlocker. Therefore, the neckband ended up being wider than it was supposed to be, and therefore didn’t lay perfectly flat.
I didn’t make any adjustments to the pattern, I wanted to start with the pattern as is and then see if I needed to make any changes. One did I did adjust was the way I sewed the sleeves. I folded them back on themselves and overlocked, then folded down to create a fake cuff style hem. I really like this finish and it ends up looking more professional as I don’t have a cover stitch machine.
Would I make the Basic Instinct Tee again?
Well, I started with a free pattern, the Basic Instinct Tee, to see how I got on sewing myself some basics. Turns out the pattern really is the perfect T shirt for me. The fit is perfect and its exactly what I wanted. I sewed it up in under 2 hours so I will definitely be making it again. I think I need some plain versions to go with my fun Pomona shorts.
Has anyone else got some favourite basics patterns I can try out? – send me links in the comments.
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I recently took part in the testing process for Sewing Patterns by Masin for the launch of her new pattern, the Tulia Tee. This is a unisex jersey t-shirt with an oversized fit. It only has one view in the pattern but is open for hacks and adjustments. Which is always something I look for in a pattern.
So, now I’m basically a pro at pattern testing, okay I’ve done it about 4 times. You can check out the last time I did it for Sewing Masin, Pattern Testing The Dayo Blouse. I’ve trained myself to actually read the pattern instructions and pay attention to every detail. Luckily these are really well put together and have a lovely conversational style. Which makes it feel like Jasmin, the design is talking directly to you.
Lockdown had just started when I agreed to start pattern testing. So with the current shop closures I decided to just “shop my stash” and use what I already had.
Tulia Tee Process
The thing about the Tulia Tee is it is made up of panels, 5 to be exact. This means you can be creative with your fabric choices. Make it all in one fabric or make each panel different. This is perfect as I already knew my Tulia Tee was going to be a scrap buster experiment. As it is oversized, I looked at the measurements to decide a size. Also the examples of the versions Jasmine, the designer had already made to help determine my size. I decided to make an XS, so it was still oversized, but not massive.
I love using Instagram to find out more about patterns, if you search the hashtag #tuliatee you’ll see everyone else’s lovely inspirational makes.
So with this pattern I looked through my stash fabric and realised I didn’t have any large measurements of any of my jerseys. Therefore I decided to mix it up a bit with plain red and a striped jersey. As the Tulia Tee is oversized it can be made on a standard machine or an overlocker. The only part that needs to really stretch it the neck hole. I used an overlocker for all the seams and neck hole and once cut it was a super quick sew. Just sew up the front panels and back, should seams and then the neckband. I pinned the neckband at 4 points and overlocked it place. Then just the side seams, topstitching and done. One thing I did was topstitch the hem and sleeves in black which I’m not a fan of and will at some point unpick and re-sew in red.
Tulia Tee Adjustments
After much fiddling with my jersey pieces I realised I just wasn’t going to have enough fabric, no matter I’ll just make a cropped version. I fiddled about trying to work out where to crop it, but for ease of use I just used the lengthen/shorten lines already marked on the panel. This ended up making it about 24cm/9 inches shorter.
Would I make it again?
This was a really quick sew and brilliant as a scrap buster project so I’ll definitely be making it again. Jasmin at Sewing Masin mentioned that one change she has made in the final pattern is to make the neck hole a little wider, which is a good adjustment and would like to try out.
I’ve seen this pattern hacked into a long sleeve version and a dress version, so I’m keen to have a go at those! The pattern is also unisex, so maybe my boyfriedn will be getting one too! The pattern is available now, you can purchase it on the Sewing Patterns by Masin website.
I’d love to here if any of you make the Tulia Tee – send me links in the comments
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