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.