There are loads of t-shirt patterns available, and several are free, too. A basic t-shirt is probably the most common wardrobe staple there is, and we all need a few versions of this wardrobe warrior in different styles to get through the day. Last year Sarah, who is the designer behind French Navy released a free pattern, the Stellan tee. I’ve made two, and they are both in heavy rotation.
The Stellan tee is perfect for tucking into high waisted trousers and skirts. It is a little oversized, but not overwhelming, and it is gently shaped in the waist. It has a curved hemline, so if you prefer to wear it untucked it looks just as good. The sleeves are a little long, so if you like to hide your arms (I know I do, sometimes!) that’s no problem. The neckline sits high, and I think it looks modern and works well with the longer sleeves. However, if you hate having anything close to your neck it should be easy to lower it a couple of centimeters and it will still look good. What I probably like the most is that the pattern comes with instructions on how to hide the seam allowance in the neck by adding a strip of fabric, just like the ready-to-wear tees. This gives the t-shirt a very professional finish and is something I haven’t found on my other similar patterns.
The result will always depend on the fabric. For this t-shirt, or any t-shirt really, I prefer a light- to medium weight jersey with drape, preferably without elastane. It shouldn’t be clingy or too stiff. I have had problems sourcing nice jersey in other qualities than cotton and viscose, but recently I’ve found two different jerseys that both are perfect for tees. The first one is a very lightweight black merino jersey from The Fabric Store. I think their premium merino jerseys are a good choice, too, but this one is a little lighter, just 140GSM, and it’s incredibly soft. I made another tee in this material for my husband and he wears it all the time – that’s a win I think. This jersey is on sale at the moment in several colors. The second fabric I’ve tried is a tencel/merino from Metermeter. It comes in a wide range of colors and is incredibly soft, even softer than the pure merino version. It is slightly sheer, so you have to consider what you wear underneath, but I haven’t found it to be a problem at all. I have made two tops in this fabric and it is a dream to wear.
If you follow the instructions you should have no problems constructing the Stellan tee. I recommend browsing the other patterns from French Navy, too, because the collection includes a couple of versatile dresses, other lovely tops and some very popular trousers with elasticated waist in the back. They are already cut out and waiting next to my sewing machine.
Thank you for this patternreview. I think I have this pattern too. Now it is the time to try it! I really look forward to follow your blog. Erna
Thank you, Erna! You are most welcome. I hope you will enjoy making the Stellan tee, too!