Lately, I’ve been all about the tees. Sewing with knits is fun and easy – there’s nothing like an instant gratification project! Most of the projects I’ve been sharing with you are a result of a huge knit fabric order from The Remnant Warehouse, whose fabrics I adore. There are more projects to come and I haven’t even used up all the fabric yet!
Today’s make is the Our Fave Top pattern, available free from Melbourne retailer Tessuti. As I’ve never sewn with their patterns before, I figured a free pattern was the perfect way to dip my toes in.
Our Fave Top is a one size only pattern designed for stretch knits. Its shape is reminiscent of what RTW seems to be favouring right now: an oversized, draped body, with slim sleeves to balance the silhouette. I wasn’t sure this look was for me – loose-fitting tops tend to hang off my boobs like a ski-slope, giving the ever-flattering muu-muu effect.
However, the finished project certainly proved me wrong. I find the top flattering and easy to wear, with a bit of the Melbourne chic look (you Victorians will know what I mean). The fabric is a viscose/elastane jersey from The Remnant Warehouse (of course) called Snuggle Grey Stripe Jersey. Snuggle is right! It is so soft and high quality that I want to swathe myself in it. I’ve got a tiny bit left and it is so precious to me, I want to hoard it for the perfect project.
I made a few minor adjustments to the pattern: as the front and back shoulders were the same height, I performed a 1/2″ forward head adjustment. It was evenly applied for the shoulder portion of the shoulder seam (I held the pattern against me to mark where it would hit my shoulder bone), then tapered off to nothing at the sleeve hem. You can see what I did below.
I also added 2cm length at the waist, though I probably could’ve added more: though long at the sides, the top is quite short in the CF and back to create the dramatic draped hem.
The pattern has some interesting details; namely, the front neckline is turned under like a facing before sewing the shoulder seams, and the peaked hem at the sides has an appropriate angle in the hem allowance. I fused lightweight stretch interfacing to the neck before turning under, both to make twin needle topstitching smooth and to prevent it stretching out. I would highly recommend stabilising this area, especially if using a viscose jersey as recommended.
I initially stabilised the shoulder seam with some Vilene bias tape (the kind with a tiny twill tape running through it). This proved to be a mistake: the seam needed to stretch, and the tape pulled at the sleeve fabric, creating unsightly gathers and buckles. After some Instagram consultation, I unpicked the hems and shoulder seam (sigh) and removed the tape. Much better.
My only quibble is with the final neckline treatment. You are instructed to sew the shoulder seam at the neckline again, tapering in about 1/2″ from the cut edge. The instructions claim: “This will give a beautiful finish to your neckline and keep the seam anchored away.” But I’m unsure as to why this angle could not be incorporated into the original seam, and felt the second seam left a bulky seam allowance that flapped about. I ended up topstitching it down (see below).
I would also recommend checking the sleeve circumference before sewing if you are larger than an Aus 12. I find them just tight enough, and can imagine them being quite uncomfortable if you had larger biceps.
But overall, I liked this pattern. The finished garment is on high rotation in my wardrobe, and I’m planning another with some red viscose jersey from my Remnant Warehouse haul. It has whetted my appetite for Tessuti patterns: I’ve got a Mandy Boat Tee ready to share with you and do plan on making a Frankie Dress if I find suitable fabric. I recommend this pattern for those who are comfortable sewing with drapey knits, and like a loose silhouette on top. For those who don’t – you may find this pattern changes your mind! I would only recommend it for plus sizes if you feel confident adjusting the sleeve width.
Pattern: Tessuti Our Fave Top
Pattern details: Free PDF download from Tessuti. Comes as A4 or copy shop print out. Hand-drafted. One size only. For stretch knits.
Fabric: Snuggle Grey Stripe Jersey, viscose/elastane, from The Remnant Warehouse
Other materials: Tessuti lightweight interfacing to stabilise neck, Steam a Seam Lite 2 for hems
Mods: 1/2″ forward head adjustment for shoulder, tapering to nothing at sleeve hem. 2cm length added at waist.