A Trio of Tee-Shirts

This year I’ll have plenty of me-made tees.

This is me making up all that jersey bought in March!  One of my not-New Years Resolutions for this year is to make fabric up when I buy it, and not let it disappear into the stash, only to be found years later when I either no longer like it, or no longer need/want what I’d originally bought the fabric for!

So here we have 3 tees, two using Maria Denmark’s Birgitte tee and one a Burdastyle pattern.  The first was hard on the eyes to make!  I had seen an IG post by Wendy Ward of a black and white tee shirt, stripes, of course, where she’d used two stripes, one black and white & one white and black, in the one shirt.  There is a diagonal seam across the front of the tee and all the stripes appear to line up because of the single use of colour.  This gave me a good idea to use for the black and white viscose stripe jersey I’d picked up at the NEC.

Using the v-neck version of the Birgitte, I drew a line across the front from the right shoulder point to the left seam, about 10-15 cm from the hem.  Then I gave that line a slight downwards curve, because we’re not flat.  I added a line marking the top of a black stripe on the right front, and another on the left front to I’d be sure to cut the pieces on different stripe.

Collage staggered stripe tee
Stripe details

When it came to getting the stripes to match nicely along that diagonal line, I questioned my sanity a bit!  I marked the seamlines with chalk and pinned each and every black-to-white stripe all the way down.  Then I basted by hand and checked from the front.  There were a few strpes that had moved, so I unpicked and re-basted those areas.  Then I used a long stitch on the sewing machine and stitched with a narrow, long zig zag stitch.  I had to shift a few lines again after they’d don a little walking, but overall the method seemd to work!  Then I used the overlocker and went over the seam again, but overlocked slightly away from the stitched seam

Collage staggered stripe tee 2

I love the way the line jumps down the front, the lines on the right side seam have the same jump as on the front line, and they match perfectly on the left.  I’m really happy with how this turned out, it could have been a plain stripey tee, but now its something that makes your eyes blink!

Staggered stripe tee

The second is much more straight forward.  Again, it’s a piece from the purchase at the NEC but I can’t remember which stall I got this fabric from!  I just used the v-neck version of the Birgitte tee and it was made with no fuss in a couple of hours.

Maria Denmark Birgitte tee in blue and white viscose jersey.

The last of the quick makes was really a toile, now I guess it’s a wearable toile!  I have a lovely piece of pale grey marl viscose jersey from Croft Mill Fabrics and I didn’t want to waste it on a pattern I decided I didn’t like in the end.  I got this pale pink-silver viscose jersey at fancy silk Stores during the Easter hols to use as toile fabric, but as I kinda like the resulting garment, I might dye it a little darker.

The pattern is the top of Dress 105 in the March 2016 Burdastyle magazine.  There are various versions in the magazine, different lengths, neckline treatments and fabric uses.  I wanted a slightly longer, tummy covering version!  This looked good in the photos, so I thought I’d give it a go, but lengthened the front a bit, just in case!

105-032016 burdastyle
Dress 105 03/2016. Image from Burdastyle

I’m in two minds about the outcome.  I think the sleeves aren’t narrow enough, certainly not the last 10cm as they end up flapping around my elbows by the end of a day.  It’s maybe a little too long and wide for my shape.  I can see a slimmer person looking fabulous in it, just as it is.  Or maybe this jersey is just too drapey.  Or maybe the colour is just too pale, perhaps a quick spin in the washing machine with some grey dye would make it better.

Burdastyle top 105 03/2016 – a wearable toile

I have worn this top twice now, and I don’t mind it, but it’s not a piece I’d be desperate to wear as soon as it was back in the wardrobe either.  At the end of the day, it’s a decent wearable toile, I’m just not convinced I’ll use my lovely Croft Mill jersey to make another.


I skipped the instruction that said to stitch the pleat on the inside… Perhaps my pleat would have looked better if I’d done what I was told instead of steaming ahead!

So the Birgitte Basic tee is turning out to be a very good basic tee-shirt pattern to use, I like the fit, it’s so quick to make up & it doesn’t require too much fabric!  I bought the Lark Tee PDF (copy shop version, of course) to compare, but I haven’t got round to making anything up just yet.  Perhaps when I’m back from my holiday with some fresh jersey.

Enjoy your Spring (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere), my garden is looking all green and pretty!


Author: Anne W

I love fabric, and sewing. And I could do nothing else but sew, all day, every day, if I could!

30 thoughts on “A Trio of Tee-Shirts”

    1. It’s good to have a little play every now and then! It’s certainly taken an ordinary tee to a different level!

  1. With the 3rd top, I wonder if the back would look better with the pleats released higher up & the horizontal stitches not visible from the outside. The catalogue shop on burdastyle.com looks as if the pleat release is about cross-back height near the top of the shoulder blades. Maybe this will give more visual emphasis to the vertical styleline & be more flattering. The sleeves on the model looks loose throughout. So maybe they look off because they seem more fitted on your upper arms. Maybe fitted throughout would work better & balance the looser bodice. And I think you’re right looser fit in darker shades is definitely easier to wear!

    But good work stopping those new acquisitions in their track towards the Stash! Enjoy your well deserved holiday!

    1. You are on the right track I think. 🙂 The stitching on the pleats wasn’t supposed to be visible on the outside, I skipped that step! The weight of the pleats has an affect too, the back pulls down slightly when wearing, making the front ride up and crowding my neck. I will definitely be taking the sleeves in from the last 10-15 cm and possibly taking some width off the bodice at the sides too. It’s just too wide… I do feel like I’m in a bit of a tent, but there are things I like about it too. I’m sure a different colour would feel better, so after the changes, it’ll be dyed! Then I will think about getting another piece of fabric and starting again, with adjustments! Maybe not making the FBA as large either.

      1. Interesting that this T is tilting backward. It doesn’t look like there’s that much more fabric in the back than in the front! We so under-estimate the power of gravity! Come to think of it, my own draft of a looser-fitting dartless tunic also has a tendency to tilt backward. I wonder if it’s at all possible to keep a looser top sitting properly for us ladies with larger cup sizes. Have you got any looser top that do fit well? Or is it only the extra fabric in the pleats that’s tipping the balance?

      2. I have an altered Birgitte that doesn’t shift backwards. I wonder if it’s the shape of the neckline. The Mandy tee from Tessuti also tries to strangle me. 🙂

      3. But Birgitte looks more fitted through the bodice. Is Mandy the strangler also a fitted T or a looser T? 😉

      4. Your looser Birgittes still look more fitted than this Burda number. If you like these boxy Ts enough maybe it’s worth testing with a fabric that comes with natural guidelines – eg stripes, checks – to see what’s happening? (Stripes & checks seem to be my theoretical answer du jour to all fitting challenges! 🙂 )

  2. There is nothing like a good t and these look great. I love that diagonal effect. It really lifts your t to designer status. I like the style and shape of the third t but agree that the colour could be stronger.

  3. Great job on this collection! You’re right about that first one – quite an effect! Do like that back pleat & that you made the gray just a tad differently as it’s a nice variation. 😉 Have a wonderful trip!

  4. They’re all great and look good on, I like the diagnol detail that’s a nice touch. the back of the last top is fab although if it were a darker colour you’d probably like it more. I prefer to wear saturated colour, pastels are not my friend. Enjoy your hols.

  5. All three tops are great (the first inspired by IG: top, the second is beautiful fabric), but the last make from the Burda is my favorite.

  6. Sometimes it’s just nice to let stripes do their thing and your T-shirt proves how interesting and effective that can be.

  7. Particularly like the pleated back tee-shirt. And thank you for the cherry blossom image. I’ve just come back from three weeks in Japan with the sakura in full bloom. Sydney is glooming its way towards winter, so I needed that picture.

  8. Nice work! That stripy one really got my eyes confused, haha I love it! I’m just coming to realise the value of making simple basics for my wardrobe and it looks like you’ve nailed it!

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