Sunday, March 2, 2014

Plantain Top with Embroidered Yoke


I love a free pattern as much as the next person but a simple T shirt pattern that hugs and skims in all the right places is quite a bonus! I fell in love with the Plantain T shirt as soon as it got released. I downloaded it straight away, taped it all together and cut out the pattern with grand intentions of entering the Plantain challenge.

Spoiler alert - I missed the deadline!

I had just had an epiphany when rifling through my fabric stash and notions that this particular jersey fabric that I bought at a Lincraft sale about 2 years ago was a really similar colour to an embroidered yoke I had bought on Etsy about 3 years ago. I pulled them out to see just how similar they were and I was gobsmacked to see that I'd found a match made in heaven.

I put them to one side for about a week pondering whether handsewing an embroidered yoke to a stretch fabric wasn't going to end in tears. And that's when this pattern got released.

The design seemed to have enough drape that the jersey wasn't going to be stretched across the bust which would warp the yoke. It all just seemed so coincidental it was too hard to resist giving it a try.

It also happened to be the week I was flying down to Melbourne for a girls weekend and along the way crashing the Melbourne Social Sewing on the Saturday morning. It was too perfect to find a project that required a couple of hours of hand sewing to take along to Melbourne with me.


I started by laying the yoke down on the original neckline and smoothing the fabric out flat beneath it. I marked the new neckline to fit the shape of the yoke and cut out the excess fabric. I basted the entire yoke down to the fabric, occasionally holding it up to make sure it would drape properly from the yoke down without any bunching or gathering. And then it was just a whole lot of little stitches all along the edges and the main lines between all the shapes to secure it.

Handsewing it on took about 2-3 hours and then it sat on my sewing table for about 8 weeks waiting for me to change the thread on my overlocker. Seriously.

In my defense I've done a fair amount of wedding dress sewing and drafting in the meantime so there's that.


Since the front neckline needed to be raw I also left the back neckline raw and since that was already raw I thought why not leave the hem raw? And since the hem was raw why the heck not leave the sleeves raw too? Some might call that lazy. I call it instant gratification. Which, if you've ever had a very long and epic sewing project on the side, you'll know is really important for your sewing sanity.

I did have a bit of an issue with the sleeves in this make. It looks like I have hungry armpits attempting to eat my sleeve fabric which is a bit of a shame seeing as I feel like I really mastered the handstitching on this. The yoke isn't pulling at all but for some reason my sleeves are all twisty. I could have sewn the sleeves on back to front all instant-gratification-like so that might require some paying attention next time.

I'm halfway through my next Plantain with another two cut out ready to sew so I'll keep an eye on the sleeve thing with each new version. The one that's half made has no such problems so that's already a good start.

In other news I went along to the Sydney Sewing Blogger meet up yesterday organised by Melanie. There were 20 Sydney peeps eating pizza, patting each others' clothes, chatting and fabric shopping. It was so great that there's talks of another fabric shopping trip and another gathering in the works. We'll try and get a Facebook Page set up so we can organise these things more easily without a whole lot of emailing back and forth. Stay tuned!

19 comments:

  1. Great work on your top Jodie. Lovely to see you again too.

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    1. Thanks Maria, it was great to see you again too! I think Sydney meetups might become a little more regular from the sounds of things.

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  2. Lovely top and what a great idea to use the embroidered yoke, really takes a plain t-shirt up a notch. It was great catching up with you yesterday and there seems to be a theme of raw edge going on!

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    1. Thanks, yeah it jazzes up an otherwise plain top which I love.
      I'm a fan of the raw edge when I'm feeling lazy.
      I promise the rest of my plantains coming up will have proper finishes!

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  3. That yoke and fabric is certainly a match made in heaven! Love this, the colour looks great on you. Great to meet you yesterday!

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    1. Thanks, it was quite a happy accident really.
      A comfy, easy, wearable, happy accident.
      It was great to meet up - already looking forward to the next one!

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  4. Really sharp- I love a t that has it's own uniqueness. Nicely done!

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    1. Yeah I think a simple pattern allows for endless personalisation. Every version I cut out wanted to be really different.

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  5. I love the embroidered yoke. I have sat waiting for serger thread to change itself at times. Other times I've changed it several times in an afternoon. I'm lacking consistency.
    I am very envious of the offline, deal world sewing comradery. I wish I knew more who sewed close by.

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    1. Haha yeah it really only takes 5 minutes to change my thread I really should get better at switching it! I am enjoying the meet ups in Sydney - hopefully you'll find some like minded people to meet up with at some point!

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  6. What a great top! I can't believe how perfectly your fabric and embroidered yoke match, it's like they were dyed together. The yoke really takes up the t-shirt a notch! Lovely job.

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    1. Yeah, go past me! Turns out buying the same colours over and over actually work out sometimes.

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  7. I love this shade of blue - and it suits you so well. What an effort with the hand stitching - it looks well worth it though! Lovely to meet you on sat - what a fab day it was!

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    1. Thanks! I'm really enjoying hand stitching now, it's quite soothing.
      It was such a great day - here's to many more!

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  8. This is a match made in heaven. Everything came together so perfectly!

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    1. Yeah it all looks quite intentional, which I like.
      Such a comfy and wearble T in the end - I'm sure it will be a fave.

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    2. Great job Jodie, your T shirt is lovely. The color matching could not be better.

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  9. The colours are an amazing match, I'm totally getting into lace and this has just spurred me on some more.

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    1. Yeah I wouldn't consider myself a lace person but this was just enough to pique my interest.
      I'd love to see what you do with lace!

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