Recently I decided to make a few new tops for the summer, and I wore them all on three days in a row.
(The two pairs of shorts you see are both altered/refashioned, so they get a place as me-made. The first was thrifted and I altered the fit and replaced the buttons. The second pair I made from cut off jeans. The cardigan in the third outfit is one I knitted.)
So let’s talk about the tops. All three are based on a free pattern, the Plantain Tee from Deer & Doe, available as a PDF. I fitted it and then used it as a base to alter for slightly different styles. Fitting this was a good lesson in why even a simple t-shirt can be hard to buy: I needed extra length overall, extra width in the shoulders, a narrower sleeve, and the neckline raised, and these all reflect common complaints I have with ready-to-wear clothing.
This turquoise version was my first, and I made it to test the fit of the pattern, which has short sleeves and an a-line hem. The fabric for this was a thrifted t-shirt, and I added a ruffle around the front neckline, a detail I’m quite pleased with. I am still uncertain about the shape of this top, and wonder if I might prefer to take it in at the sides, as you can see me pondering in the second photo. Most of my life I have preferred a slimmer fit in my clothes, and I can’t decide if this is just ‘me’, or if I would have fun branching out into more swingy or drapey styles. In theory I would, but whenever I do, I feel swamped by my clothes. Like – frumpy mom. But then, 30-something mom in too-tight sweaty clothes isn’t a good look either…
I modified the pattern to create this coral sleeveless version, which I also made from a thrifted top. I did cheat and use the gathered neckline of the existing top, sewing my new garment around it!
Finally, this striped version is from yet another thrifted top. I cut it slightly slimmer in fit and curved the hem. Like the coral version, I also kept the neckline of the original top, but threaded some elastic through the binding because it tended to stretch out through the day. I probably need to let the elastic out a little, because it’s bunching up a bit.
I’m sure you’ve noticed the ‘thrifted’ theme. The average cost for these was about $5 each. I’m not against buying new fabric, but lately I’ve been unsure of my style and wanting to experiment without feeling too guilty if my creations didn’t become favourites. So far, though, I’ve already worn these new t-shirts a lot!