* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Fun with a Plantain Tee

Plantain 1There is currently a contest in progress on the sewing site I enjoy reading, and I decided to participate with a couple of entries.  It is an interesting experience to be judged by others based on photos, so hopefully those photos show all the important information necessary to make a good judgment. 

I thought I would share a little of this particular project, because I decided to have a bit of fun with it.  The pattern is just a simple T-shirt, which I recently made for the first time, so I wanted to do something a little different this time.

Plantain 2
Deer & Doe

Thanks to this sewing site, I discovered this free downloadable pattern, named The Plantain.  The concept of downloading a pattern is still rather amazing; the concept of anything being free is even more amazing.  It's a bit of a drag to tape all the printed pages together (but Doc Leo enjoys both the printing and the taping!), and then I have to trace out my size, but once it's done, voil√† a new pattern just like that! 

This particular pattern just happened to be developed by a French company (yes, the French can sometimes give something away for free!), so examples of it can be seen on lots of French sewing blogs.

At first, I wasn't very impressed with the design.  I didn't like the swingy bottom, and I thought elbow patches were so old-fashioned.  But I've since learned that I'm apparently totally out of the loop.  The basic style is wildly popular, and the youth love the elbow patches.  Maybe I liked them, too, when I was young.  Been there, done that mentality.

Plantain 3
As a tunic or ready to be belted
Plantain 4
The back, including elbow patches

So here's my latest version, swingy hips and elbow patches and all.  I got talked into this wild fabric, I had no clue what I'd do with it, then it seemed perfect for this project.  I had some stash remnant perfect for the trim.

The first thing I did was to lengthen it to more of a tunic than a regular tee, rather than waste the leftover. 

Plantain 5
The front pulled up
Plantain 6
Look, elbow patches!

Then the fun began.  Rather than just have plain elbow patches, I appliqued one of the faces onto them.  All visible stitching was done with a silver metallic thread.

Then I decided to pull up the front to the original T-shirt length, creating a mullet style, something also currently quite popular and not me at all!  This is an alternate option, so I just sewed some hidden tabs on the inside for when I might prefer to belt it and would want it all the same length.

Here are a few details of the odd things I did.  Although the stretchy fabric almost negates the effect, I used a decorative stitch on the neck and sleeve bands and the hem.  In metallic thread, no less.  Because I have a kit I've never used to heat-install rhinestones, I broke it out and tried to create a snazzy accent on the neckband.  For the hidden tab placement, the Doc suggested I put the button as an eye.  So I did!

Plantain 7
Decorative stitching
Plantain 9
The button eye
Plantain 8

There are a couple of different pictures on the review site, so I didn't repeat them here.  Please feel free to check out my review, even if just for the pictures.

This contest involves using the most popular patterns of the last three years, and I just happened to have three of them.  So I'm doing an entry on each one.  They are all totally different from each other, so it will be interesting to see which one appealed the most to the sewing public out there, much more up on current trends than I am.  Voting will start next week, so I'll let you know how I fared.  Meanwhile, check out my other entries mixed in with the competition.

Until the voting results are in . . . it's back to raking dirt and rocks!  You can see the brand new garden I'm using for my photo shoot, as well as our snowy mountains way in the background. 


  1. Very interesting fabric and you have used it well for your interpretation of this T-shirt. Like the use of the tabs and the elbow patches.

  2. I really like the longer tops. They cover a multitude of things back there that you'd like to cover. This is really pretty on you and the patches are brilliant.


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