adult's clothing · sewing

from fitted to loose

I laughed out loud when I read Sarah‘s post this week – straight after I had posted about my Lekala dress.  She’d had a few unsuccessful makes, and ended her post saying “What’s a girl to do. Make a stripy dolman tee I think. Sigh”.  Because straight after sewing the Lekala dress I made this.

Maria Denmark Olivia Oversized Tee

Yes. That would be a stripy dolman tee.

Maria Denmark Olivia Oversized Tee

The fabric is viscose jersey from Tessuti, left over from my Draped T-Dress. I didn’t have quite enough fabric to cut both the front and the back on the fold, so there is a seam running down the centre back. The stripe matching is not quite perfect, but it’s close. It’s also matched at the side seams, but since the front and back dolman sleeves (and therefore the shoulder heights) are different, I couldn’t match it along the shoulder. I applied the neckband by quarter marking the top and the neckband, matching them then attaching, but this hasn’t worked as well as I’d like. There is some rippling at the centre front, which you will spot if you take a close look at the photo.

Maria Denmark Olivia Oversized Tee

This was a little disappointing, but I know why it happened. The centre front curve is much more concave than the curve around the rest of the neckline, so needs more stretch. The next time I made the top – you knew that there’s be a second one, didn’t you? – I applied the neckband a little differently.

stabilising the neckline

First, I stabilised the neckline with fusible knit tape (I did that with the viscose top too). You can easily see how the curve is more pronounced at the centre front – almost like a rounded vee. Then I sewed up one shoulder seam, and then applied the neckband. I’d left it in a long strip, and altered the amount that I stretched the neckband depending on the degree of curve. This is something that you get the hang of with practice, as it varies a little for every fabric type. While the first top I made was viscose jersey, the second is cotton/spandex.

neckband detail

Once the neckband was applied and pressed, I sewed up the other shoulder seam then continued with construction. This is a super easy top to make. The sleeves and bottom are finished with bands, which help to contain the oversized aspect of the top. I cut it out with the length at the shortest size, and graded from my bust to my hip measurement, eliminating any waist shaping. The pattern does not include seam allowances, and I added on a little more than I should have for version one. I’m happier with the fit of version two.

Maria Denmark Olivia Oversized Tee

By the way, I haven’t mentioned what pattern I used! It is the Olivia Oversized Tee, by Maria Denmark.

Maria Denmark Olivia Oversized Tee

I had to piece the back of this one as well, due to fabric limitations. These were the left-overs from my StyleARC Tootsie top. I managed to get the centre back stripes and the side seam stripes to match up nicely. The neckband was secured with the twin needle to add a bit of extra detail.

neckband detail

And yes, it’s sitting beautifully! I secured the neckband of the first top with the twin needle as well, but used different coloured threads in each needle. I prefer to run the twin needle stitching all on the body of the top – it catches the overlocked seam allowances and holds them in place. Although sometimes I will twin needle with one needle on the neckband and the other on the top. Just depends! I accessorised with a red scarf and shoes to add a pop of colour.

Maria Denmark Olivia Oversized Tee


19 thoughts on “from fitted to loose

  1. I had to smile, because as soon as I saw the heading of your post I was picturing you weaving some sort of magic to make the dreaded dress into a looser dolman top. Love the multi coloured stripes on you by the way.

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