Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Seeking a Woven Tee

I've been auditioning patterns for the role of "favorite woven tee." Every wardrobe needs one, don't you think? My candidates so far have been the Grainline Scout and Gertie's portrait blouse, which can be made without the zipper and waist tucks if you're after some simple, slip-over action.

So just what is a woven tee anyway? Here are a couple snippets from Wikipedia that make sense to me:

"A T-shirt (or tee shirt, or tee) is a style of fabric shirt, named after the T shape of the body and sleeves. It is normally associated with short sleeves, a round neck line known as a crew neck, with no collar." Tee shirts are "slip-on garments without buttons" and are "easily fitted, easily cleaned, and inexpensive." 

Huh. I thought they were named after golf tees because golfers wear them while out on the links. You learn something new every day!

Anywhoo, here is McCall's 8050, an oldie but a goodie. I made this bad boy on the last day of sewing camp.

Sorry for the yellow tinge - due to afternoon light through mustard colored shades
It looks like this pattern is out of print. The date on the envelope is 1996, which is probably about when I first picked it up at the flea market. A kimono sleeve version of this pattern (the middle row on the pattern envelope) is one of my oldest me-mades still in existence

This time I made view A, the one in the upper right corner. How have I never noticed this view before? It's just what I've been looking for. I like the squared off neckline and I've been wanting something with set-in sleeves. The older I get, the more I think about sun protection. 

side view
I cut a size 8 after checking the finished garment measurements. According to the size chart, the 8 should fit a 31.5 inch bust. Except the size 8 has a finished bust measurement of 39.5 inches. Eight inches of ease. Honestly, I wonder how many people believe the size charts on the back of the pattern envelope and then just give up garment sewing in disgust?

The size 8 fits my 35ish inch bust just fine, and the shoulders feel like they sit about right. I was worried the neckline might gape, but it stays in pace pretty nicely. 

back view
I used a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton, which should feel cool and breezy on a hot summer day. This fabric is kind of like linen, in that it always looks a little rumpled. I'm thinking of that as a design feature. I haven't washed the finished top yet, so I'm not sure if I'll feel like I have to press before wearing. My standards are pretty low though, so probably not.

The top is super simple to put together. Well, except for trying to ease in the sleeve cap. I had this issue with the Scout woven tee too. I wonder if you need extra ease at the shoulder to help these tops slip on and off? I'll be experimenting with reducing that sleeve cap in version #2. I'll let you know how that works out.

Parting shot with background dog
If you happen to come across this pattern, I can recommend it. Especially if reducing the sleeve cap ease works out OK. Looks like you can find it pretty easily on Ebay for 5 bucks or less. I really like my old kimono sleeve version too. I might need to make another one of those sometime soon. 

My pattern review is on PatternReview.com here.


  1. How nice! I'm with you - woven tees are a challenge. I've done multi Scout tees, it has been my go-to. But - I also like the Salme pleated tee. The pleats add a little zing. And I admit - I keep going back to knit tees, so comfy, no ironing, good sleep tops when they begin to fade! Thks for sharing this pattern.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Sometimes I hate spellcheck! Meant to say I'll be checking out the Salme ASAP!

  2. I didn't even know you finished this the last day although I was a bit focused on sewing my own top! The G version is fun. That looks like a pattern I might like to try, hint hint. :)

  3. great looking top. I wish I could wear that but being busty, I find I just don't like the look on me.