I made a fancy tee shirt!
I’m really happy about this project, but not for the best reasons. I bought this pattern to make a different feather print top, but chickened out (I’m in love with the fabric, and am still waiting for the right pattern). But hey, I had a different feather print knit sitting around, so why not try it?
This is Vogue 1503, a Rachel Comey design. The babydoll-ish ruffle is so not my style, but I kind of dig this whole look anyway. The overlapping shoulders (or as I think of them, onesie shoulders) are a cute detail, as well as the cuffed sleeve.
This is a pretty easy garment to sew, and I can see beginners being comfortable dipping their toes into the “OMG Vogue designer” pool successfully with this one (view A, at least). Of course, I used a knit fabric which makes things easier, but I don’t think a woven fabric would’ve been any harder. The fit is so generous and boxy that there’s room for error on fitting. In fact, I sized down from my usual 10 to an 8, and I wish I could’ve gone down another size or two. (Eight is the smallest size offered.)
I didn’t make any changes to the pattern pieces, but I did edit out a few steps along the way. I serged all the seams instead of using French seams as directed. (For the record, I like Vogue’s French seam directions and recommend trying them out if you’ve been nervous about adding this skill to your repetoire). I also skipped a few steps on the cuffs; instead of slipstitching, stitching again, and then topstitching, I went straight to topstitching to hold it all together. Since I was going for “fancy tee shirt” instead of designer quality, this approach functioned well and saved me some needless work. If you’re hoping to make a special garment, perhaps stick with the directions.
If I were to make this again (and oddly, I might — it was fun to make!), I would cut the back on the fold and consider removing the back darts. I’m not sure why the back isn’t on a fold anyway. Unless you’re trying to save on yardage, skip the back seam (and I’m not even sure you save any yardage to be honest). As far as the darts, the shape is so boxy that they’re kind of useless. They’re not bad, but they’re so small that they don’t really accomplish much, and give you an extra opportunity to chew up your fabric.
I’d also consider removing some width in the front. The shoulders on this top are very wide — like, I’m-going-to-be-fussing-with-my-bra-straps-all-day kind of wide. If I removed an inch or two from the center front when cutting, this whole top might work better. (But seriously, I have no idea what I’m doing, so that might be a TERRIBLE idea.)
All in all, this is a happy meh. It’s not the cutest thing I’ve ever worn, but it was fun and frustration-free to make. It certainly accomplishes what I set out to do: make a slightly fancy tee-shirt for my casual wardrobe. I actually think I’ll wear this a lot because it doesn’t seem too “special” or “perfect” to just thrown on any old day, but still feels like I have an outfit on instead of just a boring tee and jeans.
Welcome to the closet, my Feathered Tee of Happy Mediocrity!