The (Over/Under) Fitted T-Shirt

Pattern: Tarlee T-shirt by Muna and Broad

Fabric: Long sleeve – Little Little knit stripe in burnt orange and grey. Short sleeve – Organic cotton jersey in black. Sleeveless – Cotton corded rib in forest.

I love a classic t-shirt. I like them loose, I like them tight. I like to layer them, I like to tie them in at the waist. The comfort level of an oversized t-shirt puts me in peak relaxation mode, and a tight fitted tee can make me feel super confident.

Oddly I haven’t made many t-shirts before, and maybe I had a sort of smug attitude when it came to making them; I thought it would be a walk in the park. I love the result, but I made some silly fitting decisions along the way that led to both an over and under fitted garment.

I decided to use the Muna and Broad Tarlee t-shirt as a base pattern to work from. I really liked the neckline and collar options offered in the Tarlee. There are options for a simple crew neck, a turtle neck, and a mock turtle. I went with the mock turtle neck just because I don’t always like the feeling of too much fabric bunching around my neck. I also wanted various sleeve options, so I did one long, one short, and winged a no sleeve crop top as well. I used 3 different knits all from Fibresmith online fabric store.

Looking at the fit of the Tarlee on different bodies, I determined I wanted a more fitted shape. With my measurements sitting over 3 different sizes, I rationalised that because I wanted a more fitted shape, I should start with the smallest of those sizes (size C) and make alterations from there. This is where my under fitting started, as I should have gone for the middle size and graded between the others.

I know now that I was not in the right headspace to alter patterns. I always try to come in to sewing with a clear and focused idea of what I want, but that can sometimes spiral into questioning every step that I make. When I took in through the side seams for the tighter fit I desired, I also played around with the armhole, thinking it too needed to come in. On any normal day, I would know never to alter the armhole unless absolutely necessary, so why did I do this now?

Reading Broad In The Seams latest blog I can see my experiences with fitting are shared, but not always with similar results.

I definitely think some level of fitting is necessary. We all have different features that we can be aware of and make allowances for when it calls for in a pattern. But sometimes they are simply unnecessary. Sometimes they are a result of over thinking; seeing others having to make adjustments and determining I have to do the same or the opposite also; not properly testing the pattern before/after making adjustments.

In this case, I would have benefited from toiling my alterations first, but I was in a bulk cutting zone and nothing was going to stop me! The final result is ok. I like the fit through the body and the mock neck is so good, but the armhole swings in too high on my shoulder.

The sleeveless top took a lot of changing for me to be happy with the fit. The rib knit fabric is pretty chunky and stretches out really easily, so that had to be taken in even further at the side seams. The armhole for this DID need work done, as an armhole with a sleeve is a very different shape to one without it, but I’m really happy with the result and my decision to crop. I’m entering a new faze of loving my exposed belly with high waisted pants, and maybe I need to give the same sort of acceptance and love towards my need to over fit and under toile sometimes.

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