Wardrobe Staple: Knit Tops

I have been working on different wardrobe pieces recently (mostly will a Fall/Winter theme). I realized I needed to, and wanted to, improve my look and style but without changing who I am or what I like to wear. Since I’m at home during the day, I don’t need fancy clothes or the typical work wardrobe. But, I also realized that my usual outfit of jeans and T-shirts (or shorts and T-shirts during the summer) needed some serious updating. So, I decided to sew myself a few pieces to begin. In this blog post I’ll discuss the  two patterns I used for these tops: 1) Vogue 9205 and 2) Patterns for Pirates Women’s Henley PDF.


I have a substantial fabric stash that includes a lot of knits, so I was happy to give these patterns a try. The Vogue pattern is basically a classic that includes darts at the neckline and topstitching.






One of the things that I really like about this shirt is the length. It can be tucked in (although made to worn out) but it provides good coverage.



As you can see, there are sleeve options with this shirt which is great as I’m trying to prepare some items for Fall weather.

The henley top (it’s a PDF from Patterns for Pirates) I didn’t have but purchased when I saw it. I’ve been looking for a henley-style T-shirt pattern for a while and never found anything that was even close. I came across this pattern (thank you Google) when I threw out some I had for years that were worn so often the edges were all worn out.

Patterns for Pirates Henley - gray



Patterns for Pirates Henley

The gray was made with a light-weight cotton knit while the others are all ponte knits. I added snaps on the gray shirt but kind of wish I hadn’t. I love the snaps, but I forgot how time-consuming it can be to add snaps when you haven’t done them in a long time. It took me almost as long to get then on as it did for me to actually make the shirt. The placement could have been better also, but so it goes. The blue top has buttons!

This pattern is terrific though. It has sleeve and hem variations as well as a hood and banded waist. This is definitely one that I’ll be making more of.

That’s all for now. I would recommend both of these patterns to anyone out there. They are both terrific!


T-shirt and Craftsy Class

I took advantage of one of the Craftsy sales last year and bought a bunch of classes. One of those was “The Ultimate T-Shirt” class given by Marcy and Katherine Tilton. The pattern for the class is Vogue 8793. In the class you’re told how to make simple alterations to the pattern and given some options for how to finish the neck seam.

I made the shirt from a reversible cotton knit I bought at Jo-Ann’s last year.

I thought the class was great. I got some ideas for finishing and fitting that I probably wouldn’t have considered had I not taken the class. 

In all honesty, the pattern itself is not one that I would have chosen had it not come with the class. There is nothing wrong with it, it’s just not my style. I’m much more the “traditional” T-shirt person. I think this shirt could use some more alteration at the bottom so that it doesn’t flare out (I don’t like that. I might have inadvertently stretched the fabric).

Anyway, the shirt is VERY comfortable and I like that I was able to use the pattern of the material in the shirt. But, I do like the idea of creating a T-shirt as art concept that the Tilton’s have.

Having said all that, I could see myself using the pattern again. I would just take more time for fitting.

Jenny T (again) with a twist…

I made another of my favorite T-shirt patterns, but this time it’s a little different. First of all, this is the first time I made the long-sleeve version. I made a number of the short-sleeve tees a while back here. But with Fall and cooler weather on the way, I wanted to try the long sleeve. If you’re not familiar, this Jenny T, by In House Patterns, is a PDF pattern so you get both the long and short sleeve versions.

For this particular one, I took the front pattern and split it. Then added seam allowance to the newly created seams. I had rounded the neck on this one also (the pattern is actually a V neck shirt). I used contrasting fabric for the center and created a new neckband.

I kept the back and sides solid. I’m fairly happy with the result, although the neckband is a bit wonky. I think I need to make the band shorter so that it fits tighter. But I just wanted to try this and see how it would look.

Overall, I think my experiment was a success and I will definitely wear it. Next time I will cut the sleeves a bit wider from the elbow down. It’s very fitted and I think I would like a little bit more room (maybe just an inch).

Anyway, that’s all for now. I’m almost done with my next project so I hope to show that to you next week.

Thanks for reading!

New T-shirt pattern

I love a good T-shirt. You would think that finding a good pattern to make one would be easy, but not necessarily… I’m pretty particular about how I want it to fit. I don’t want anything too tight or too low-cut in the front. I have found a source of RTW tees that I really like, but since I joined the RTW fast this year, I don’t want to buy any. So, I decided to try this new pattern I found on Pattern Review. It’s called the Jenny from In-House Patterns. It’s very basic, but that’s what I like.

First, what I love about the pattern is the fit. It fits just the way I want it to – not too loose, not too tight. And I really like the length.

Now, what I wasn’t crazy about is the V-neck was too low for me. So, I raised the neckline by about 2 1/2″. With doing this, it was a bit difficult to get the neckband to fit correctly. I had to keep shortening it until I got it right. I also had never attached a V-neck neckband the way the instructions say to do it. After trying it their way and trying it my way (which is the way that the Vogue 8536 T-shirt pattern instructs), I like my way better. I get a better fit and a more defined V. I also think it’s easier. 

As you can see, I made this in a variety of colors. The solids are cotton interlock (my personal fav for tees). The print is a rayon/poly blend that’s very stretchy. Best of all, I had all of these in my stash!

Overall, this is a great pattern. I may still do some minor adjustments to the neck, but the sleeves and everything fits well. This is definitely a keeper!

And by the way, this is a PDF pattern which is something I don’t normally do. But it was very easy to print correctly (do the test page first).

Vogue 8879

This is one of the patterns I bought on one of my pattern-buying binges. It’s a pullover top with different variations (it’s a nice T-shirt pattern). There are several things I really like about this. It’s very easy and quick to sew (like, a couple hours start to finish even if you’re slow). I made mine almost entirely on the serger. I made View A which has the 3/4 sleeves; then I made A with shorter sleeves. I like that the shirt is longer in the back which makes it visually interesting, but also covers the rear if you make it long enough. I like that because it can be worn as a tunic.
This is the first one I made from a lightweight cotton knit (bought at Hobby Lobby, of all places). As you can see, the neckline is low (too low for me). I figured it would be, but wanted to make it anyway. So the next one I made, I raised the neckline by a couple of inches. That worked out really well. This one is a cotton knit fabric.

You can also see the length of the top. Then I made a short-sleeve top from a rayon poly knit fabric (I’ve had the fabric so long, I can’t remember the exact name of it) Anyway, the short-sleeve is nice as well.
I basically made all of these in a weekend which is a record for me. I figured I had the pattern out and had already made the alterations, I might as well keep going! I’d like to make a couple more from a lightweight cotton knit, because when it gets hot here in the summer, it gets very humid as well.
That’s all for now. Happy sewing everyone!