Pattern Review, Sewing


When I saw that Deer & Doe had released a free t-shirt pattern, the Plantain Tee, I immediately downloaded it.  I’ve admired Deer & Doe patterns for quite awhile but haven’t purchased any.  Most of them were released when I was pregnant and I knew I wouldn’t be able to wear them for awhile.

May I first just say a giant thank you to Eleonore for checking out my blog and using my exact measurements when drafting this pattern?  Because seriously peoples, that must have been what happened.  There’s no other way this shirt could have been such a perfect fit!

Creative Counselor: Plantain Tee
Ohmmmmm. My first Plantain.

What’s that, you say?  It’s just an amazingly drafted pattern because it seems to fit everyone perfectly?  Nah, I really think it was designed specifically for me 🙂

Creative Counselor: Plantain Tee
Seriously, must have have been just for me.

As you can gather, I love this t-shirt.  In fact, as soon as I finished my first Plantain tee, I immediately cut out a second one, even though I rarely make the same pattern twice.  And after making 2, I really want to make more.  Like 10 more.  And I just might do it.  A few more long-sleeved Plantains would really round out my weekend winter wardrobe.  And then spring is just around the corner, so I definitely need one or two short sleeved Plantains.  And I’d love to lengthen it into a dress…  You get the idea.

Creative Counselor: Plantain Tee
And Plantain #2. Since this is pretty much what I wear at home, you get pictures of my kitchen, where I tend to spent a LOT of time on the weekends!

With a top like this, I knew that the fit across the shoulders was most important, so I cut a size 42 based on my high bust measurement.  My full bust measurement would have put me in a 44 or 46, which would have been swimming on me!  I was confident that the stretchy fabric would give me some wiggle room, so to speak, in the bust area.

That was a good choice because the 42 is an absolutely perfect fit with zero modifications!  The shoulders are great, the neckline is flattering, but not flashy, and there is plenty of room in the bust.

Plantain fits more snuggly through the shoulders and bust and then flares out around the waist and hips.  For me, this is a perfect casual weekend top.  The last thing I want to worry about when chasing my kids around on a weekend morning is having to suck it in or worry about showing off my post-baby-#3 belly.  I’d say the fit of this tee is akin to the Megan Nielsen Briar Top.  If you like that fit (which I do), you’ll probably like the fit of Plantain.  If Briar’s loose, swingy style isn’t your cup of tea, well, at least you didn’t pay anything for Plantain!

And if you’ve been lusting after Briar, but are unwilling to fork over the $12 AUD to purchase it, Plantain is probably a great alternative.  You could easily add a high-low hem to the Plantain tee and have the same effect as the Briar top.  Though personally, I love the Plantain hem as is.

Creative Counselor: Plantain Tee
More Plantain #2. Number 3 undoubtedly will follow.

My shirts are a mash-up of fabrics, all from Girl Charlee.  I only had 1 yard of the ohm fabric (currently on sale here) and the stripes (here), which would have been plenty for a tank top (my intention when purchasing), but wouldn’t cut it for a long-sleeved t-shirt.  So I paired each with a coordinating solid for the back, and I really like how they turned out!  The ohm in particular would have been pretty busy if I’d used it for the whole top, so pairing with a solid really tempered it.  This is a perfect way to use up those 1-yard knit pieces hanging out in my stash.

The ohm fabric is a very slinky burnout cotton jersey.  The ohm symbols are fairly transparent, though amazingly they aren’t see-through.  I can wear my regular bra with no problem.  The stripes are a cotton spandex blend and are ever-so-slightly heavier than the ohms, which I really like.  Both have a great drape and were pretty easy to work with.

These were also the first projects on which I used my SERGER!!!  That’s right, after staring at my serger for over a year and a half, I finally just turned it on and went at it.  It took me a little bit of fiddling with the tension and learning how to thread the darned thing, but I figured it out and now I’m a serging machine! Okay, so machine may be going a bit far.  I know how to do one of the myriad of stitches that my serger can do.  I’m learning, though.

In short (ha! too late!), I am totally a Deer & Doe convert now.  This is a beautifully drafted pattern and I’d love to throw some $$ Eleonore’s way and try a few more.  I’m particularly interested in the Reglisse dress and the Belledone dress.

Have you joined the Deer & Doe party yet?

Creative Counselor: Plantain Tee
Some details. Love those elbow patches!

Pattern: Plantain Tee by Deer & Doe Patterns

Size: 42

Fabric: A variety of knits from Girl Charlee.  See fabric discussion above for links.

Fit: Perfect straight out of the envelope. I made the long-sleeve version with no alterations.  Even the elbow patches were perfectly placed in the pattern.

Modifications: None.

Physical Pattern:   The Plantain Tee is a PDF pattern, but it’s free!  The other Deer & Doe patterns are paper patterns, and Eleonore even offers free shipping — what am I waiting for?!?


  • The price — free!.
  • This is one of those amazing patterns that seems to fit everyone perfectly so long as you choose the proper size.  Big bust, small bust, it fits us all.
  • Three sleeve options for lots of variation.
  • Elbow patches — need I say more?
  • I love that this top is looser around the waist and hips.  Makes it really comfy and universally flattering.
  • The neckline is cut low enough that I could easily pull it down for nursing (though I want to wear these for a long time and not stretch out the neckband so I try not to).


  • I really love the elbow patches, but sewing patches on knit fabric can be a real pain in the rear.  The patches on my first shirt, the ohm shirt, are less than perfect.  I used some stay tape on the second one to hold the fabric in place while I sewed and the result is much nicer.
  • The neckline might be a little low for some people’s taste.  I love it, though — I think it’s super flattering.
  • I’ve read some blogs comment that the 5/8″ seam allowance gave them some problems getting a nice neckband finish.  I did not have that problem.

Overall Grade: A+.  The perfect casual top.  A universally flattering top that seems to fit just about everybody perfectly without alteration gets top marks in my book.

20 thoughts on “Namaste

  1. Ooo la la! Very nice, and absolutely perfect fit! Although, I think she drafted it just for ME, haha. She is some kind of t-shirt drafting wizard, that Eleonore. I have made one and have cut out four more & sewn the elbow patches on, sewing them up the rest of the way tonight (hopefully). I used wash away wonder tape to keep the elbow patches in place while I sewed them, it worked great. I also changed the seam allowances to 3/8″ to make it easy to sew them all on my serger- so glad you started using yours, I looooooove my serger- couldn’t live without it!

    1. Oh my goodness, you must be a crazy fast sewer to finish sewing 4 of them in one night! I really want to cut a couple of more and I think I will. I think my next one needs to have some hot pink on it, so long as I have enough scraps! I love that the serger gives my stuff such a nice, professional look. Eventually I’ll get to the point where I can sew something entirely with my serger, but right now I’m not quite comfortable enough with it!

  2. They look fabulous! I like the contrasting fabric on the back and elbows. The shoulders looks like they sit far out — do you have problems with a bra peeping out?

    Free + Comfortable + Great fit = Awesome

    1. I thought the same thing about the shoulders when I finished my first one and I kind of worried about that. But amazingly I have almost no problem with bra peekage on these shirts. Well, unless the baby starts pulling on the neckline of my shirt, which is not an uncommon occurrence, but I think any shirt would shift when that happens!

      I’d hightly recommend this one!

  3. these look great! i love the contrasting bits, such a great way to use up those odds and ends. i may have to try out this pattern… i haven’t tried any other deer & doe, but i’d like to!

    1. Thanks! I’m intrigued now and I’d love to try a few of her other patterns. Maybe for summer — there are a few that would make great lightweight summer dresses!

  4. These t-shirts are great! I’ve had great success in the past with the Scoop Neck Tee free pattern from Skirt As Top but with the kimono sleeves it can’t be easy lengthened into a long-sleeved t-shirt, so I will definitely have to try this one!

    As for the elbow patches, I’ve had success in the past using Pellon adhesive web to basically make iron-on elbow patch appliques, then went around the edge with zig-zag (you can see the elbow patches I put on my husband’s sweater this way here – Keeps the patches stuck down and in place for stitching.

    Thanks for the heads up on this pattern!

    1. Hmm, I might have to try the Pellon on one of these, especially if the knit is particularly slinky. For my second one, i just used iron-on stay tape to hold the patch in place and it worked great. I like that I still kept the stretchiness of the knit fabric too.

      If you like the Scoop Top, you’ll probably really like this pattern too. The formatting and finishing is just amazing for a free pattern — fully graded and with 3 different sleeve lengths!

  5. Your Plantain looks great! I made this tee last week in a solid royal blue and love it too. As a matter of fact I thought she had drafted it for me!! 😉 I had trouble with the elbow patches too. Mine look less than spectacular- I may try the Pellon next time!

    1. Go for it! I love sewing clothes, and I really love sewing clothes for me 🙂 I actually think sewing adult clothes has made me a much, much better seamstress. There is so much I’ve learned since I started making my own clothes and so many techniques that I never even knew to try when I sewed only children’s clothes!

  6. I printed this one out weeks ago, but have yet to tape it together! Might have to get to that now! I really like both your tops, and that you used your serger – woohoooo!

    I also wanted to tell you that I love the pattern summaries you do – makes it so easy to find the pertinent information!

    1. Thank you! There are great Plantains all over the blogosphere right now — it’s really an amazing pattern! If you join the party, I doubt you will be disappointed 🙂

  7. Ooh, lovely Plantains 🙂 I have sewed up one for myself too (in red with teal&olive striped armes and a little patch pocket) and already dream about dozens more… I have also sewed one other pattern from Deer&Doe (the Surreau Dress) and loved the fit. Although for the next Plantain I will use a smaller seam allowance to give it more ease in the tummy area as my first one is a bit snug (not terribly but still) but the fit in the shoulders was spot on. Hope to see more fun versions from you 🙂

  8. Great tees! I just tried the Plantain myself and am looking forward to smashing out a few more! It’s too hot here at the moment for long sleeved, but I can’t wait till it cools down….elbow patches!

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