Yesterday I posted a rundown comparing the pros and cons of my favourite t-shirt patterns. I was feeling stuck about which style to make for spring – happily through the process of writing, I remember how much I like ALL the patterns!
I stopped overthinking it and cut out 4 different patterns that night: Plantain, Comino, Kristen Kimono Tee, and Jalie Dolman. Now that they are sewn up, I thought it would be fun to look at a side by side comparison!
Ta da! It’s clear they are all quite similar! Scooped neck, same length, with moderate ease. All four are rayon jersey, though there’s quite a range in weight and texture, as I’ll describe later.
*Don’t worry, I’m not going monochromatic with my wardrobe – I just love how a neutral graphic print mixes with bright colours and florals!*
Here’s a bit more on each pattern:
Dear and Doe Plantain:
This knit is the most stable of the four, so I avoided patterns with cut-on kimono sleeves. I took a bit of a wedge off the bottom side seams to make the hem less flared, because I thought the fabric would hang awkwardly with the swingy hem as drafted. I straightened the front hem to match the strip, but kept the gentle curve in the back. (It’s hard to see in these photos, but the fabric has a really cool 3-d scallop that forms the stripe! It’s really cute and reminds me of Japanese clothes, which love creamy cotton lace details!)
Maria Denmark Kristen Kimono Tee
This fabric is the lightest and sheerest, so I chose a loose and breezy pattern and fit. This would have looked slopy as a Plantain or more structured shirt. The neckband is a bit tight, which is making the neck a smidge higher than I’d like… but with a scarf or necklace, I doubt I’ll notice!
Kitschy Koo Comino Cap Tee
Remember this fabric from this dress? I saved all the awkward shaped scraps, and JUST managed to make a tee form the leftovers! I had enough to cut the front on the fold, but had to piece the back… then I cut two left sides for the back, and had to piece even more! In the end, the back is made of 5 seamed pieces, plus there’s a neckband, hemband and arm band finishes because I forgot to cut extra room to fold and coverstitch the edges! Thank goodness for busy prints that hide everything.
This rayon jersey is a bit scratchy, and stretches less than the other knits. I chose Comino Cap because I know it is trim enough to work in stable knits. I also used wider-than-normal bands to finish the arms, because I wanted to mimic the slightly longer sleeves of the Kristen Kimono tee.
Jalie Dolman Top
Recognise this fabric, too? I’ve made a dress and a tank with it before – so when I saw it in the remnant bin, it had to be mine. I managed to get this out of 90cm, which is less than the 1.5m I’d usually figure for a 3/4 sleeve tee. That’s the nice thing about this drop shoulder shape with tiny wee sleeve pieces!
This fabric is on the light end of mid-weight, and it falls into a drape effortlessly. (As opposed to fabric you have to pull on to stretch, if you know what I mean! This fabric WANTS to drape and stretch.) It’s quite similar to the fabric I last used for this pattern, so I knew it would work. I also chose a busy print on purpose to camouflage the dropped shoulder seams – I’ve tried this style in a stripe, and personally, I though it made my rounded shoulders unflatteringly pronounced.
There you have it – comparison complete! I’m happy with all four tops, and I know they’ll get worn a lot. Making these up help me realise the value of have a range of TNT t-shirt patterns: it lets you match the fabric and the pattern more successfully! My favourite squishy, mid-weight rayon knit (like I waxed poetic about here) would have worked for any of these patterns, but not all these fabrics are interchangeable.
If you are looking to up your t-shirt game, may I suggest my Lazy Tips for Sewing Knits series? It’s and oldie, but a goodie, I think – lots of posts including easy ways to find the grain, sew sleeves, and my tricks for doing cuffs and neckbands.
I had a lot of fun sewing these tops and comparing them – hope it was fun for you too! I’d love to hear how you match fabric to pattern when you are sewing knits – and let me know if you think any of my shirts is the clear winner!