My sewing time has been sporadic and unfocused lately, so those grandiose plans I had to fill the gaps in my freshly purged closet kind of froze up with the ridiculous layers of snow on the ground. In these last weeks of winter, my impatience for spring has my mind trapped in fantasies of picnics, twirly frocks, and other reasons for shaved legs.
Much of that daydreaming happened in my Polyvore app (which posted a few inspiration sets here inadvertently last week, doh!), but by the 5th winter weather advisory, my creativity was on the couch watching Netflix.
My mojo has recently been rejuvenated, however, by one simple little sewing pattern: Butterick 5215. A basic, knit t-shirt that fit me straight out of the pattern thanks to its Jedi designer, Connie Crawford. She claims its made “especially to fit the needs of today’s woman.”
Indeed, I am a woman on this earth today with needs. Among them is the need for a well-fitting t-shirt. A near impossibility for the short and curvy woman who buys off the earthly rack. Armholes are too long, there’s either too much or not enough room for the girls, sleeves never sit at my shoulder point, and the length between the waist and the hem is never right for my proportions. I have NEVER owned a knit t-shirt I loved.
That is until Ms. Crawford’s envelope of wrinkled tissue came into my life.
The pattern comes already adjusted for a narrow shoulder and fuller bust. There’s a petite adjustment line below the bust. I used it and made no other changes to the fit. I did lengthen the sleeves though. I made view A, the fitted tee with cap sleeves. The other two styles were semi-fitted and relaxed with short sleeves, so I borrowed the long sleeve of another pattern for the shaping and used my shoulder to wrist measurement to draft the right length.
I don’t have any experience with success out of the pattern envelope (my peacock print woven tee was close, but even that required clever size blending). So, I stood in the mirror for several minutes trying to fathom the awesome fit I was witnessing on my original test garment. This rayon floral stretch jersey had been begging me to be a t-shirt, but allowing my torso to be engulfed in a vortex of bright floral meant the fit had to be spot on. And, dear, dear Connie hooked a seamstress up!
My favorite thing about this pattern is how the side seams curve at the bustline. It’s the best drafting I’ve ever seen on a knit pattern. It’s like a built-in FBA. And, the way it curves at the waist is just art. With the petite adjustment, the waistline and hip curve ends up sitting in just the right spot for me. I’ve already started using it as a fit sloper to improve the fit of other knit patterns.
The speed with which I can make this t-shirt is somewhere between quick as hell and lightning fast. This one took a week because I was fooling around, but with focus, I think I could cut, coverstitch, and serge another one in a few hours – maybe less if I’m making it while my daughter’s napping and get that added boost of beat-the-clock adrenaline.
Speaking of construction, I need to mention that I did all of my hemming with the garment flat vs. after sewing the side or sleeve seams. This is mostly because I have a convertible serger/coverstitch machine and try to streamline things to avoid more than one conversion. It’s also because I’m too lazy to perfect my coverstitching in the round (the overlap stitching hardly ever matches and I don’t quite have that pull-the-threads-to-the back trick down yet.)
I also used this genius method for neckline binding on YouTube that doesn’t require any measuring. Because, really…who has time for that?
So, let’s see. We have the best fitting t-shirt pattern EVER, construction shortcuts, and my torso dipped in flowers. I think that’s everything I need to warm up my mojo for spring sewing. Now if some of that warmth would just reach the Eastern United States.
Does the weather ever affect your creativity?
16 thoughts on “Winter Blooms (on Me!)”
“Indeed, I am a woman on this earth today with needs.” haha, some of these lines they use to sell products are pretty ridiculous.
I love the shirt and am happy for you that you got a fit right out of the packet, woohoo!
Thanks! It’s like the pattern had a movie tagline! I can’t make too much fun though, the pattern was an instant TNT!
The fit is awesome! And think of all the variations you can make by changing sleeve length and necklines. This is a gem with endless possibilities!
Thanks, Marianne! I’m SO excited about the variations I can try. Been thinking a lot about twinsets (tee with matching cardigan).
hell yeah it does! i range from IT’S DISGUSTING OUTSIDE I QUIT to IT’S DISGUSTING OUTSIDE I QUIT AND I GET TO SEW ALL DAY. the former is the better choice.
um i love your perfectly fitted shirt, and those flowers! so, this jedi connie, does she work for petite but broad shoulders too? and have you tried the nettie (CCF)? that’s a narrow shoulder too, tho i’m of the itty bitty persuasion so i’m not sure about the gals :))
There’s a new hashtag for winter right there, #sewalldamnday. Not sure if Miss Connie drafts for broad shoulders – “today’s woman” (whatever that means) might not have them. As for the Nettie. It is definitely on my list. I don’t know how much longer I can live without a snap crotch top!
I love the fit. Coni certainly is a jedi when it comes to understanding fit. I have many of her patterns.
Thanks! This was my first pattern by CC. I like all of the built in fit changes. Might have to check out another style of hers.
As a lady of similar stature and proportion, I thank you! Totally bookmarked!
Awesome! You are welcome. A fellow curvy petite! Go get B5215. It was made for us it seems!
Look at that waist! On you and the pattern. What a great fit. I didn’t think t-shirt patterns could be all that different from each other. But here this one is proving me wrong.
Love the floral. Everyone seems to be sewing springy stuff lately. Maybe if you sew it Spring will come! Fingers crossed.
That’s exactly why I sewed it, to beckon spring. It is playing hard to get! And, thank you for acknowledging the waist that is normally lost on other patterns. I am blown away by how well B5215 is drafted.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Great winter t-shirt! We women who sew can have flowers any time of the year.
Wow, great fit and you look so springy!
Thanks! I feel like spring when I wear it.
Comments are closed.