Pattern Review – HotPatterns Cabana Tee

Description: From the HotPatterns Site, “Super-chic but oh-so-simple T-Shirts are designed for T-Shirt or sweater knits with a little stretch: perfect for mixing prints for a funky look! Relaxed-fit T-Shirts have a very slightly A-line shape, with a scooped neckline. Short-sleeved T-Shirt has center front & back seams; 3/4 sleeved T-Shirt has a bias-cut breast pocket. Both styles feature a bias-cut neckband, deep hems and optional cover-stitch trim.”

Sizing: 6-26

Did it look like the drawing? Yes

How were the instructions? Good. This is a super simple pattern to put together. There is one place that needs extra care: the neckband. It requires either a lot of stretching or a lot of easing. See more about that below.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?I really like the CF seaming of this pattern. It makes it very easy to make fitting adjustments. This pattern is described as an easy (read ‘kinda loose’) fit. I may tweak that and make it more fitted in my next iteration.

Fabric Used: More stash reduction – YAY! I had bought some black and some white Italian knit a couple of years ago. When I got this pattern I decided that it would make a fun, harlequin-like effect, so I used white for one front piece and one sleeve, and black for the rest. I have enough left over that I may do it again with the opposite. Kind of like that old Star Trek episode with Frank Gorshin playing the guy with black on one side of his face and white on the other. But I digress…

Did you make any changes to the pattern? I did a FBA, but I think I could get away without it. I made this in a size 12, because those measurements match mine pretty well. I think I could actually go down to a size 10, especially if I use a stretchier knit.

Any hints or tips? Yep. My fabric is not a very stretchy knit. It’s cotton, and it has about a 20% stretch on the cross grain. Because of this, it doesn’t stretch a whole lot on the bias, either. I bring this up because the neck band is cut on the bias. You need to really ease the neckline onto this puppy. I actually emailed Trudy at HotPatterns about it because I was afraid I had screwed something up. She called me back and confirmed that you need to “pull and yank it until you don’t think you can any more” to get the stretch and the resulting easing of the garment to the band. I tried that, but because my fabric isn’t very stretchy, it wasn’t working quite the way I wanted it to. So instead, I decided to use gathering to ease the neckline onto the band.

To do that, I marked the CF and the CB on the band. Then I marked half-way between each, so I ended up with 4 markings. I did the same on the garment. Then I did 4 sets of gathering stitches on the garment, one set between each pair of markings. I then gathered each quarter on to the band, basted, sewed and voila! It worked just fine. If you have a knit that has more lycra in it, you don’t need to gather. But I still recommend quartering up your band and garment to evenly space the easing.

There is one minor mistake in the illustrations. The band is cut on the bias, just like a bias strip for home-dec. The illustrations have you fold the band in half, but if you follow their direction, you’ll end up with this:

Which isn’t correct. Instead, you want to fold the band like you do with continual bias strips and stitch as shown here:

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it? Yes to both. This was really my fitting muslin. I like it enough that I will definitely make it again. I will make the next version with some Coordinating Shadow Dot Jerseys from Gorgeous Fabrics. I do recommend it. I think you will find it easier to make with a stretchier knit, but you can do it with less stretch too.

I could also easily see this morphing into a dress simply by lengthening it. I think that would be very cute!

Conclusion A real winner! Here’s a picture of the final version.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate my camera? I know what I’m going to ask Santa for Christmas: a digital SLR.

About Gorgeous Things

I own an online fabric store, www.gorgeousfabrics.com. Everything else you need to know about me is what I tell you on my blog, darlings!
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