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!
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 🙂
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.
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.
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?
Pattern: Plantain Tee by Deer & Doe Patterns
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.
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.