As regular readers of my blog know, I’ve had a lot of success with Hey June patterns for tees for the girls. When the free Woodstock swing tee pattern because available I thought that I’d give it a go as well! I printed out the pattern, taped it together, then quickly cut out and sewed up a tee for Clare in size 12, the size I’ve used for her in the past.
Um, no! She could get it on, but it was very fitted through the chest and shoulders and the armpits were uncomfortably high. Fortunately, we have a smaller model available.
Now, that’s better! Stella was the very happy recipient of this tee. The fabric is cotton/spandex, soft and stretchy, originally from Darn Cheap Fabrics. It was left over from a previous project – my husband has a tee in the same fabric.
This tee has a lovely shape, with gentle swing through the body and a high-low hem with what I consider to be just the right amount of curve. There are a minimal number of pattern pieces – front, back, cap sleeve, neckband. And it’s all sewn on the overlocker. Hems were topstitched on the sewing machine.
By this stage I was really wondering what was going on with sizing. I printed off another copy of the pattern and this time I cut out a size 16.
So much better! This time the fabric is a cotton jersey (no spandex/lycra in this one), also from Darn Cheap Fabrics. It’s the leftovers from one of my tee shirts!
So by now I was in a huge quandary about what had happened with the sizing. It’s a pattern range I’ve used before and found to be consistent. I checked that the pattern had printed at the right size by measuring the one inch printed square, and it had. And then I emailed the designer! She was lovely and responded quickly – she hadn’t found the sizing to be inconsistent at all in the tees that she had sewn for her kids. Now, remember that this IS a free pattern, and it’s well drafted, and all the pattern pieces fit together nicely. I am putting it down to fabric choice. Let’s go back and read the pattern description.
See that bit where it says “at least 30% stretch”? I don’t think that my fabric choices met that requirement. The cotton spandex black and white eyes print has a nice amount of stretch, but not the amount that a rayon spandex for example would have. And the cotton jersey pineapple print has relatively minimal stretch. This pattern is designed to be quite fitted around the shoulders and chest. There probably just wasn’t enough stretch in the size 12 for Clare! The pineapples definitely needed the size 16.
It’s always fascinating to see the ways that fabric/fibre choice affect the size and drape of finished garments (and I’ve actually got another example of that coming up soon with another couple of summer tees for Clare). I’ve been sewing for years and years and I’m still learning!
I really need to get a photo with father/younger daughter and mother/older daughter matching tee-shirts. Isn’t it our job to embarrass our kids?