Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Finished Project: HotPatterns 1186 - Plain & Simple Woven Tee & Dress

I feel like I've barely sewn anything in recent months, although I know that I can chalk part of that to concentrating more on fit and sewing more muslins. Not having new projects to wear definitely does make me do more ogling of the shiney new patterns that get released every week. It's not terribly exciting, but I did manage to complete a real, non-muslin, top a few weeks ago. On top of that, it's even a woven and not a knit! We finally were able to photograph it over this past weekend.

The pattern that I used is HotPatterns Plain & Simple Woven Tee & Dress, which is HotPatterns entry in the woven t-shirt category:

HotPatterns Woven Tee
I think that the envelope drawing is a pretty accurate representation. The pattern includes options for a v-neck or boatneck and options for a t-shirt or a simple shift dress with pockets. I sewed the plain, boatneck-style t-shirt and did not do the removable hem embellishment:

HotPatterns Plain & Simple Woven Tee & Dress


Fabric and Notions Used

Note that I made a muslin of this pattern first, to check dart placement, bust fit, etc, so I felt comfortable using a more-expensive-than-normal-for-me fabric for this top.
This fabric might be slightly on the crisp side for this pattern, but this cotton had such a soft, pleasant feel to it that I really enjoy wearing this top. I purchased three different blouse-length cuts of various prints from this lot, and I'm happy that I still have two more cuts remaining to be made into more blouses.

Pattern Sizing and Alterations

This pattern is available in HotPatterns sizes 6-26 (32"-52" bust).

I used a size 18 for the neck and shoulders and graded to a size 20 at the armscye. Additionally, I made the following pattern alterations:
  • 1" Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) using the Palmer-Pletsch slash-and-spread method. The resulting dart size was manageable, so I left the dart as-is without rotating parts of it anywhere or making other modifications.
  • Lowered the bust dart by 1".
  • Backed the bust dart off of my apex by 2". The darts still feel a little pointy (although my busy print helps hide this). I'll back them off of my apex a bit more the next time that I make this.
  • 1" Full bicep adjustment using the Palmer-Pletsch slash-and-spread method.
  • Shortened the top by 2". This was an accident; I meant to shorten it by 1" but was clipping fabric while talking to my toddler and accidentally clipped too much. I'll go back to shortening by 1" for the next version.
None of these alterations were unusual for me. Note that while I don't feel that the sleeves on this run particularly small, if you have larger arms, you probably want to check the fit there before cutting into your good fabric.

Let me call out the fact that the bust point is actually marked on this pattern! It's been several years since I've actually seen the bust point marked, so I want to give kudos for that. It made assessing my FBA MUCH easier.


Pattern Instructions

HotPatterns don't have super detailed instructions, but this is a pretty easy pattern. This pattern does have basic illustrations for most steps, and Trudy does remind you when you need to do things like understitch, press your seam allowances, etc. The construction of this top is pretty straightforward, but I don't recall running into anything confusing or weird in the instructions.


Similar Patterns


It seems like just about every pattern company has a variation on the woven t-shirt. I think that the HotPatterns version has a bit more bust shaping than some of the other options (good, if you're large busted, like I am), but here are a few similar options:


Final Thoughts


This is a good little pattern to have in my arsenal. It's good for showing off a print, and along the same lines, provides an unbroken canvas if you don't feel like dealing with print matching. The finished top isn't terribly exciting, but it fits me well, is comfortable, and will certainly get worn plenty of times this summer. I'm sure that I'll be making this again before too long.


  1. Yay for being back to sewing! That top looks great!

  2. Yout t-shirt looks great! I assembled and prepped this very pattern last night and I'm looking forward to sewing it up.

    1. Cool! I'd love to see how yours turns out.

  3. REALLY nice. One of those patterns that can form the backbone of a summer wardrobe. Fantastic fit. And those colors so suit you!

    From the selfish angle it is great to this looking fab on someone who is also big in the shoulders/bust. Boat necks and 'subtle' shaping look so chic, but can make our figure type needlessly imposing. No worries with this design! And i'm always looking for what HotPatterns to buy, as i get so many design ideas from Trudy i want them to stay in business.

    "On top of that, it's even a woven and not a knit!" haha, i am much more inclined to sew a woven. Give me a shirt weight linen and i'm in heaven! I think it just depends on what skills you've developed.

    1. Thank you! Yeah, boatnecks are considered a "no-no" for my figure type, if you follow flattery rules, but I ignored that because, hey, I wanted a boatneck shirt this time. I'll probably make the v-neck view next time around, both for variety and because it will probably be a little more flattering.

    2. Nice new top! I'm stuck in no-sew land myself. Argg.

      Just putting my 2 cents in unsolicited ... if you want the "lines" of the vee neck with your boat neck version ... add a bold (not crazy, just high contrast) necklace. Voila ... vee neck stand-in.

  4. Wow! That is so pretty! The colors are great on you, and the print is very soothing. I think you look great! I'm really looking forward to sewing this one up. I'm leaning toward the V-neck version though.

    1. Yeah, I'm thinking that I'll do the v-neck version next time. I like how Trudy drafted this so that you can just switch out the neckline. (I'll need to update the armscye on the v-neck draft, too, since that changed a bit with my FBA.)

  5. What a lovely top. Very fresh and cool looking. Very nice indeed.

  6. It sure looks like a great staple top! When I try making a woven tee, it always ends up looking like a hospital scrub. I guess I pick the wrong fabric! Yours doesn't, though!

  7. Great top. I love a simple woven tee. M6927 is my go-to at the moment. Hadn't noticed any problems with the sleeve draft, but maybe all of the clever size blending I've done resolved it.

    P.S. I just stumbled onto your blog and appreciate that you are a working mom of a toddler with plenty of FBA adventures - like me!