If there’s anything I love more than a good sewing pattern, it’s a FREE good sewing pattern! The Plantain T-Shirt pattern by Deer & Doe is one of these. Perfectly flattering, simple to sew and FREE! And, as simple patterns often do, it lends itself to infinite hacks. I made these three versions in just 2 evenings!
Check it out…
First I decided I needed a long sleeve T-shirt…after all, it DOES dip below 60 here in the Valley of the Sun…occasionally. Alas, I didn’t have enough fabric for the full long-sleeved version (story of my life) so I added a solid black knit to the sleeves to give it a layered look. I LOVE it!
This was really super simple: I just cut the sleeve pattern in half, right above the elbow. Then I cut out the top sleeve portion in plaid, added 1″ (2.5cm) to the bottom sleeve pattern and cut it out of the black knit. That gave me two 1/2″ seam allowances to sew the plaid to the black.
The only thing I’ll change next time is width of the sleeve at the wrist. I’ll taper it in a bit more because I like my sleeves nice and fitted.
All fabrics from Girl Charlee (black from regular line, plaid from Knit Fix).
Then I decided to try the 3/4 sleeved option…
Also had more scraps to use up here, so some contrasting prints were on the the menu! I just love stripes and florals so, so, SO much. I need an intervention. When this combo goes out of style, I’m gonna be that nerdy homeless-looking lady who’s still dressing like it’s 2015. #whocares
I can’t really remember where these scraps came from – so sorry! They were long-term residents of The Stash.
I really have no complaints about this version, except for the above-mentioned sleeve width. Oh, and for a couple of these versions, I had to shorten the neckband. I recently read a great tip for getting a knit neckband to fit correctly: baste it on with a regular machine first! If it fits well and lays flat, then use your regular stretch stitch or overlock. But if it doesn’t, you just saved yourself half an eternity of seam ripping! Holla.
The BEST thing about this pattern, is the way the top just skims your middle without hugging unwanted curves or adding excess bulk. You just don’t find that every day!
Annnnnd, lastly – I decided I had to try to make a dress out of this thing! Once again, I wanted to use remnants of some super fun fabrics so I went for a contrast yoke and pocket.
Another super simple hack: I just cut the bodice pattern piece a few inches under the armscye (arm curve) and added 2 seam allowances (one for the burgundy fabric and one for the cheetah print). I also had to shorten the sleeves a bit because I was running reeeeally low on that fabric. Hey, waste not, want not, eh?!
This one was a bit trickier to get the fit just right because it was going to be covering my bottom half. I wanted fitted and flattering, but not tight. Since the plantain pattern naturally cruves outward at the hips, I straightened this curve out and pretty much went straight down from there. But, even after taking it in several inches, I still think it’s a bit too baggy. Great for the comfort factor, but not the most flattering dress I’ve owned.
The plan is to lose 10 pounds and then take it in some more. Ha! I’ll let you know how that goes…
I do LOVE the ease of wear of this little number. Also the little pocket, which I think was the perfect addition to help the two fabrics work well together.
And, surprisingly, the yoke seam helps minimize my bust! Woo-hoo!! Learning to dress “the girls” during the nursing months has always been a struggle for me. I just never knew it could be this hard to be well-endowed! I pretty much hate it, all the time (although I can’t let that opinion slip in front of the husband. He wants me to stay chubby forever. Which reminds me of that one Malcolm in the Middle episode where Hal (the dad) keeps sneaking cream into Lois’s (his wife’s) coffee when she’s on a diet cause he likes her better with a little junk in the trunk…have you ever see that one?? HILARIOUS!!)
Well, that’s it folks! One free pattern, three ways. Head on over to Deer & Doe’s website and download a copy! The options for making this sucker unique are just endless!
KathleenJanuary 22, 2016 at 10:06 pm
So cute! I love them all, but my favorite it the top shirt. I’m going to download this right now! I need some new shirts and I have so much fabric!
BonnieJanuary 22, 2016 at 11:45 pm
Thanks Kathleen! DO it! It’s an awesome pattern. I’m making one into a maternity tee for my sister right now!
KatiJanuary 24, 2016 at 1:12 pm
These are great! I really need to use my sewing machine to make me some clothes again, I’ve been using it mostly for home projects and the kids.
BonnieJanuary 27, 2016 at 2:34 pm
Yes! Selfish sewing is so gratifying! 😉