The basics are often the hardest thing to get right. In my wardrobe I have plenty of normal t-shirts and some fancy tops but not much in-between, and whenever I look at high street options there’s always one thing I don’t like about them - like if the length and sleeves are good I don't like the neckline.
I wanted a simple woven t-shirt that was easy to wear and ideally easy to make - something I could pull on without a zip or fastening. I also knew I wanted:
- a slight boatneck neckline
- proper short sleeves, not tiny cap sleeves
- a boxy shape rather than very fitted
This is what I’ve come up with so far, though I think it’ll probably go through a few more iterations before I’m happy to make loads in different colours (my eventual aim). It’s a big mish-mash of a couple of different patterns plus my own alterations - I started off with the body of the Merchant & Mills Bantam Vest, which is sleeveless, and the armhole / sleeve of my Bootstrap button-down shirt pattern. Then it sort of mutated from there.
The mauve-ish one is made of a mystery synthetic fabric I bought on holiday in Madeira. It’s fairly light and drapey and has a sheen without being obnoxiously shiny.
I made that one first, then the red one - I took a wedge out of the front pattern piece at the neckline as I thought it was a little large, and obviously did a different sleeve style, but that’s the only difference between the two.
I tried to keep the curved hem from the original vest pattern but had to redraw it - not sure I got the proportions of the curve quite as pleasing as they could be.
The red is some leftover poly crepe I had from another project. It’s slightly heavier, hangs well and the finish is fairly crisp. Unfortunately, a major downside is after one day’s wear this thing smelled like a Year 10 P.E. changing room. I don’t think I’m sweatier than the average woman, but this fabric is one of those polyesters that clings on for dear life to any hint of perspiration. I do not do laundry enough to have tops I can’t wear for two days in a row so this one may not be kept for long.
I did a facing for both the front and back neckline, and really like the clean finish it gives. It does have a tendency to flip up a little at the back even though I understitched it. I think it may need to be deeper/wider, or perhaps clipped more thoroughly?
I’m in two minds as to whether I should take a bit off the side seams. I don’t really want to curve it in at the waist as that will change the silhouette, but think it might be a bit wide on me.
But overall I’m pretty pleased with the pattern and have already worn the mauve one a lot.