girl charlee jersey tophandmade jersey topplantain tshirt jersey and liberty liberty elbow patches liberty collar jersey knit plantain t-shirt

Here’s my latest top, the Plantain T-shirt by Deer and Doe.  I thought you might like a break from holiday photos (and I really couldn’t wait to share the top as I’m very pleased with it)!  I have been on a bit of a hunt for a knit top in a shape that really works for me.  I tried the Brigitte Top by Tessuti recently and, while I’m fairly happy with the results (and will share it also as I learnt a big lesson while sewing the top), it wasn’t really what I have been looking for……I guess what I want is a long-sleeve fairly close fitting top which will work under cardigans, under some of my me-made woven fabric tops and on it’s own too.

I think this may be the one.  What do you think?  I wonder if it is a little tight across the shoulders?  Apart from that one query I really do love it – helped, most definitely, by the lovely striped jersey and the Liberty neckline and elbow patches!

I had a good hunt around before deciding to try the Plantain tshirt (which is, incidentally, a free pattern) and the one aspect I wasn’t sure about was the neckline.  The pattern neckline looked too low for me, but otherwsie the shape looked good, so I thought I’d have a go at adjusting the pattern.

plantain tshirt neck adjustment

deer and doe plantain cutting out

I thought you might like to know how I did it – but although it worked for me I can’t promise it is a fool-proof method! Once I had the Plantain pattern taped together (it is a digital download) I compared it with my traced pattern-piece for the Scout Tee…..the Plantain is much lower.  To adjust it I aligned the shoulders of the two pattern pieces and copied the Scout neckline onto the Plantain.  My photo shows the new neckline in pencil, I have moved the Scout pattern down so that you can see the new neckline with the Plantain’s printed line showing faintly underneath – quite an adjustment isn’t it?

Having seen this wonderful combination of Liberty neckline with striped jersey I couldn’t resist trying for myself.  I was wary about whether I could get it to work – the woven Liberty obviously doesn’t have the stretch that the recommended jersey neckline would have.  I decided to start with cutting the Liberty, on the bias, at the length in the Plantain pattern – which would have been too long if I was using jersey because my adjustment had made the neckline much shorter.

plantain checking in mirror woven fabric neckline tutorial

To play safe I sewed the neckline on first with quite a long straight stitch and then tried it on (hopefully sinewy neck and large hand aren’t too scary!)… looked pretty okay, I thought, and with the side seams pinned outside-in the overall shape seemed good too.  Next step was to sew the Liberty on properly with my machine’s overlocker stitch, closely following the straight-stitch line.  Then I cropped the excess Liberty inside the neckline and finally finished with a straight stitch to hold the seam in place.

I used the same Liberty for the elbow patches.  And the result is a top I’m very happy with and which I’m sure will get lots of use.

Let me know if you have any questions or if any of the above needs clarifying. How are things with you?  We have had a lovely spell of relatively warm and dry weather – I got three loads of washing dried on the line today.  A small thing really but it makes me very happy!


Pattern:: Plantain T-shirt, modified with a) neckline from Scout Tee, b) woven fabric Liberty bias binding neckline and c) longer sleeves (around 3cm)

Fabric:: Knit jersey from Girl Charlee -this is a light to mid weight fabric with a really nice drape

Size:: 40, a little bigger than I would normally make but my printer wouldn’t cooperate and was printing off-scale slightly on the small side…….the resulting pattern pieces are pretty spot-on I think except for the shoulder query

Sewing::  I used my walking foot (I think I would have found the fabric tricky otherwise as it is very drapey) and chose the interlock stitch on my sewing machine.  I didn’t hem the bottom or sleeves….I like the unfinished look this gives