This project was just about as basic as you can get but in true Kim fashion I have lots to say about it!
Introducing the Mandy Boat Tee by Tessuti! A boxy knit top with drop shoulder sleeves and a boat neckline. It’s not flashy or anything and some people might not think it’s worth its own blog post but I learned about the top from another blog and I just want to pay it forward by sharing it here because it really is an excellent pattern.
I feel like I’d be doing a disservice if I didn’t say as soon as possible that this pattern is FREE. It is a PDF pattern so you print out pages on your home printer and then tape (or glue) everything together. The instructions on the pattern are awesome, so follow them and they won’t lead you astray! This was actually the first PDF pattern I assembled and once it was assembled it sat in my closet for several months. I finally pulled it out (after having put together a handful more PDF patterns) and I was a bit shocked at how sloppy my assembly had been! But it is a very forgiving pattern so it still sewed up just fine.
When I printed the pattern it was one size fits all. But I saw that they recently updated the pattern to include 4 sizes. I might reprint the pattern to my size because I was tempted to take in the sides just a bit. But I am perfectly fine with the pattern as is.
I picked up some black knit fabric from Walmart because it was super cheap and I just figured it’d be a good wearable muslin while I tested the pattern out.
The pattern recommends serging the edges but note that knit does not fray! So you’d be just fine using your regular sewing machine and a zig zag stitch.
Now let’s talk about twin needles for a minute. This pattern has you use twin needles to finish your neckline and hems. Please go get yourself a twin needle! I didn’t get myself one for the longest time because I wasn’t exactly sure how they work. So here’s a bit of info. If your machine can do a zig zag stitch it’s almost certain that it can handle a twin needle! To set your machine up, switch your regular needle for a twin needle. Then, place two spools of thread on your machine. Pulling one thread from each spool (so you’ll have two threads), thread your machine as regular, but at the end, thread one strand through each needle point. Your bobbin will be threaded like normal and you’ll keep your machine at the standard settings. A twin needle probably won’t cost you more than 5 dollars and other than ensuring you have two spools of your thread, you don’t have to worry about anything else. It provides a great finish and (obviously) I highly recommend getting one!
Guys. I’m sorry I talk your ear off all the time.
No, I’m not.
Yes, I am. Sorry.
Can you guys tell I’m not very comfortable taking these pictures? (Of course you can tell! Face palm!). I do try. Maybe someday I’ll be more comfortable in front of the camera?
Okay, so alterations. I did adjust the pattern by bringing the neckline in 1 inch on the front and back bodice pattern pieces. I’d say it’s perfect for me and I’ll keep it that way for future Mandies. I also shortened it but I don’t love that so I’m going to keep the pattern’s length as is in the future. I also think that when I make this pattern again (because I will make this pattern again), I’ll reinforce the shoulder seams with clear elastic just to help prolong the top’s life.
I wore this shirt once out and about but, because I did a bit of a hack job in making it (life when the baby wakes up when I’m sooooo close to being done!), it has some noticeable flaws (apparently white thread on a black top doesn’t work if your seams aren’t super sturdy?). I still love it and love wearing it, so since that first time I’ve actually worn it many times as my workout shirt. It’s been perfect because it’s super loose and airy but since the sleeves are fitted I still feel warm when I’m out running. What I’m trying to say is somehow the shirt has mastered the art of being warm and cool at the same time and I dig it. And, yes! Feel bad for me! It’s June and I still have to wear warm(ish) stuff for running outside! That’s what I get for living in Alaska.
If I haven’t made it abundantly clear: I LOVE THIS TOP!!! It’s so comfortable without looking frumpy. I feel good in it. The pattern came together so quickly (like cutting fabric and sewing up in about an hour!). There are endless hacks/color combos/color blocking opportunities that I know that this shirt will be making several more appearances in my wardrobe and they will be ones that I actually wear. Win-win-win. So go get the pattern already!