Friday, 19 June 2015

Third time lucky Plantain


As I realised during Me Made May, I'm a Repeat Pattern Offender, and if I needed proof of RPO benefits then the Plantain tee provides it! The Plantain is a free pattern from Deer & Doe and is a firm favourite among sewing bloggers (there are so many gorgeous versions, as a start I'd check out Elena's versions and Laurence's, posted on the Curvy Sewing Collective).  I don't know much about drafting but this t-shirt just looks so good in every version I've seen that it must be very well drafted.  The instructions are easy to follow and I love the method of inserting the sleeves flat - I'd never tried this before.  It's also an easy pattern to adapt into a dress - see What Katie Sews for a lovely example, or a cardigan - as Dandelion Drift did, I'm seriously going to have to copy that idea!


For my first version I stuck to the pattern and made the long-sleeved version but without the elbow patches.  I used a cheap bright pink jersey I got in Walthamstow, either at Saeeds or from the Man outside Sainsbury's. I cut a size 38 at the bust grading out to a 40 at the waist and 42 at the hips and it fits really well.  The fabric has started to show signs of pilling/bobbling already and I was never that happy with my twin needle on the sleeves and hem, however, saying all that, I wore this loads, tucked-in, over the winter and I'm sure will continue to wear it until it gets so bobbly I need to make another!

First version of my Plantain t-shirt dress in Teal textured jersey.
Moving on quickly to version 2 - my first attempt at a dress version. Once again cheap fabric, from a shop on Walthamstow High Street (can't remember which one).  It turned out ok in terms of fit, and I do like the colour but the fabric just looks cheap to me which puts me off a bit.  I'm sure I'll wear it in the winter with tights but I didn't like the look of it with bare legs so it's been consigned to the back of the wardrobe until autumn rolls around. There is a dress tutorial by Anna on the Deer & Doe blog but I wanted to stick to a t-shirt dress style rather than adding any volume to the skirt.  My solution was to lay an old favourite t-shirt dress from H&M (so bobbly and worn looking it has now been shipped off to the textile recycling bin) under the pattern piece and tracing paper and draw round it, adding length and copying the shape.

First outing of my second Plantain dress, in a red jersey fabric
But version 3, oh version 3 I love it!!  The fabric is from the Man outside Sainsbury's and it is a gorgeous soft jersey which feels really good quality and was a dream to sew with.  I also had a couple of revelations with this make. First off when talking to a friend about the tunnelling I had been getting with my twin needle, she asked if it was a stretch twin needle, to which I had to reply I have no idea! The twin needles I have belonged to my mum and as she used the machine for her art work I doubt she had a stretch twin needle. So I 'splashed out' and got a stretch twin needle - what a difference! This time, no tunnelling and as a result a much more professional looking hem on the bottom and the sleeves.  My other revelation actually following the instructions properly and top-stitching down the neckline. I'd never done this before, not quite sure why, but it makes such a difference. It lies much flatter, and again looks more professional.  I am so pleased with this version and I'll definitely be making more! I have some nice John Kaldor fabric (from TMOS yet again) which I'm going to use to make a version for winter and I'd love to make another long-sleeved t-shirt and a cardigan for the winter.

The sleeves are perfect for a summer dress

Top-stitched neckline

Flat twin-needle stitching - yay!!

14 comments:

  1. These all look great, but I love the red one best. You just look amazing in it!!

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    1. Thank you! I'd really recommend this pattern if you've not tried it. It seems like it would fit in with your wardrobe perfectly!

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  2. Fabulous. I've never used a twin needle so I am in awe. Well done you look fantastic in the dress and your topstitching is lovely.

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    1. Thank you Louise. And do you know, a twin needle really wasn't scary at all. Yes I got a lot of tunnelling till I got the proper stretch one, but actually threading & using a twin needle is really simple, I'd recommend it!

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  3. Ooh, the red dress looks lovely, great colour. Stretch twin needles ...I definitely need those!

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    1. Thank you, I think I need more red now! I really hadn't considered there would be stretch twin needle till a friend mentioned it, then I realised, of course! What a difference it makes!

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  4. Wow you've been stitching up a T-shirt storm! xx

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    1. Ha thanks Zoe! T-shirts are about all my brain can handle right now!

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  5. Thanks so much for the shot out! So sweet. I LOVE your red version.

    I never knew that about twin needles. Must check mine to see if it's for stretch. Such a great tip!

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    1. Thanks Elena! I wish I'd bought more of that red fabric as I'd love to make a tshirt out of it too. Think I've enough for a toddler tshirt but not one for me sadly!
      Yes, check your twin needle. I'm so glad my friend suggested it!

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  6. Oh I love the plantain dress on you. What a perfect summer outfit!

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    1. Thanks Kirsty! I've definitely got plans for a few more!

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  7. Plantain dress, yeah!! You rock! You must be the coolest mum of the whole wide park! ;)

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