Its time to review another free tee!
If you missed the round-up or my last review, you can find the list of all the patterns here.
As you might know by now I am hoping to get through as many of the free tee patterns as possible and let you know what I think of them. For each tee pattern, I review I will look at 4 different aspects of the pattern: the options available (including different looks and size ranges), how easy it is to get hold of the pattern, printing and assembling the pdf, and the instructions/construction. For each of these four categories, I will give the pattern a score out of ten. I will also give a score out of ten for my version of the pattern (including thoughts on the fit and overall impressions). So in total, each tee will get a score out of 50 making it really easy to compare these patterns.
In this post, I will be taking a closer look at the Paige Piko top. This pattern is by Made for Mermaids, a company that I have not tried before although I recently discovered their sister company, Patterns for Pirates, and loved all the patterns I tried so I have high hopes for this one!
The Paige Piko top is a simple top/tunic with dolman sleeves. It has a straight cut from chest to hip in a piko style.
Options available 10/10
Made for Mermaids use their own sizing system so make sure you go based on your measurements rather than your “usual” size. There are however 9 different sizes available for this pattern so it has quite a good range (Bust measurements 30-51″). The pattern includes four sleeve options: short, half and long as well as a flounce sleeve. There are also four length options: top, straight or curved tunic, and dress length. You can also choose a high or low scoop neckline. All in all this pattern can be made up in 32 different combinations so there really are a lot of options available! In addition, there is a blog post on the Made For Mermaids blog with lots of pattern hack ideas for this pattern expanding the options yet again! There is also plenty of opportunities to see so many of these different options in a range of different sizes in all of the photographs both on the pattern page of the website and in the downloaded pattern itself.
Getting hold of the pattern 10/10
This pattern is listed outright as free on the website so just add it to your cart and away you go!
Printing and assembling the pdf 9/10
There is a handy guide included in the pattern for which pages you should print for the top, tunic or dress, (I printed 21 pages in total). Be careful to follow this, otherwise if you print the whole file you will also print the instructions and loads of pictures of the finished garments!
Bonus points for having a 1″ gauge square on each pattern page so if you forget to print a page you don’t need to print the gauge square as well to check your printer settings you can print just the page you need.
As for assembling the pdf, this pattern comes with no trim pages. This means you simply line up the edge of each page with the solid line on the next page. I actually found this really easy for this pattern and stuck the whole lot together super quick!
Instructions and construction 9/10
The instructions are really detailed in this pattern. There are even instructions on how to adjust for height included within the pattern. I really like that a lot of the small details which are often skipped were included in the instructions for this pattern such as the option to press a memory hem before sewing side seams – this makes it easier to press the hem on the constructed garment. I also like that the instructions are explicit about what to do differently if you are using a regular sewing machine or an overlocker.
The instructions are illustrated with photographs to help visualise what to do in each step, however, the fabric used is quite busy which can be a little distracting making it hard to see where the seams are at times.
The instructions for the neck binding come first as an additional skill section – when this step is needed in the main instructions you are referred back to that section but it gives you the option to just bind the neck without having to read through that section if you are already familiar with the technique.
Final Impressions 9/10
For this pattern, the instructions say to choose a size based on your hip measurements as it is semi-fitted there and loose everywhere else. My hip measurement (39 inches) put me in a size “blue” so this is what I cut out (in fact my bust measurement also put me in a “blue” which doesn’t often happen as I usually need a smaller size up top). Following the instructions to adjust for height, I took out 1″ from the height (half an inch at each of the bust and waist positions).
My version is made in a marled grey jersey which is very lightweight. I opted for a half sleeve straight tunic length Paige with a high scoop neckline.
Overall I really like the fit and style of this one. It is a loose fit but seems to be well proportioned and the sleeves fit pretty well to help hold the shape. I think perhaps the sleeves should be shortened a tiny bit for me as they hit right on my elbows which can be a little irritating. I like the tunic style as I can wear it loose for a super comfy style with leggings or tucked in or knotted with jeans for a casual everyday look.
I have never sewn any patterns by Made for Mermaids before this but they are definitely on my radar now – a really nice pattern with clear instructions and a new favourite tee!
Total score 47/50
Thanks for reading this review of the Paige Piko Top. If you want to know how this compares to some of the other free tee patterns out there be sure to check out my other reviews and the full list of free tee patterns available that I hope to conquer over the next few months!
Have you sewn up the Paige Piko Top? What did you think of it?
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So here is the first of my free tee pattern reviews!
If you missed the round-up, you can find the list of all the patterns here.
I am hoping to get through as many of the free tee patterns as possible and let you know what I think of them. For each tee pattern, I review I will look at 4 different aspects of the pattern: the options available (including different looks and size ranges), how easy it is to get hold of the pattern, printing and assembling the pdf, and the instructions/construction. For each of these four categories, I will give the pattern a score out of ten. I will also give a score out of ten for my version of the pattern (including thoughts on the fit and overall impressions). So in total, each tee will get a score out of 50 making it really easy to compare these patterns.
In this post, I will be taking a closer look at the Stellan Tee. I chose to tackle this one first as it is one of the most popular free tee patterns out there – I see loads of them popping up on my Instagram feed and I hear lots of people recommending it as a good basic tee pattern. So let’s dive right in!
The Stellan Tee is described as a simple t-shirt with set-in sleeves
Options available 2/10
The Stellan pattern comes in 7 sizes (Bust measurement 32-42″) so it is quite a restricted size range compared to some of the other free tee patterns. There is also only the one view for a semi-fitted tee with short sleeves.
Getting hold of the pattern 10/10
It is so easy to get your hands on this free pattern. Just navigate to the Stellan Tee page on the French Navy website. Scroll to the bottom of the post and there are links to download the files. There are three separate files you can download – the instructions, and either a print at home copy (this is what I used) or a copyshop file if you want to send it off to be printed on A0 paper.
Printing and assembling the pdf 7/10
Simply print the whole file (17 pages) – it is just the pattern, no need to figure out which pages are not needed as the instructions are all in a separate file. You do need to trim the pages on this one. I took off the bottom and right-hand edge of each sheet. You can then line them up and stick them together.
Instructions and construction 7/10
The instructions are very clear with line-drawn illustrations making it easy to see exactly where stitch lines are placed and how the garment is constructed. However, in places the instructions are somewhat minimal – for example, you are instructed to “Reinforce shoulder seams by your preferred method”. There are also no additional instructions regarding grading or how to do certain techniques as there are in some other patterns.
The pattern includes a 1/4 inch seam allowance throughout which I found to be quite tricky to sew – maybe because I am new to overlocking. Because of this, I did have to take a bigger seam allowance for the neckband to make sure I got it nice and even.
Final Impressions 5/10
I had to grade from a small at the bust (and sleeves) to a medium at the waist and hips. I used a marled grey lightweight jersey.
Generally, I stuck to the instructions throughout. I did add the optional neck reinforcement which I think gives it a tidier look overall. The only extra step I added was to coverstitch the neck binding seam allowance down (it had a tendency to flip out, probably because I took a bigger seam allowance than specified when stitching it).
Overall I am unsure of the fit, I guess this is the intended style but I am not quite convinced by it – there is too much shaping for it to be a loose boxy fit but it is too baggy to describe it as semi-fitted. The sleeves don’t really hang right on me and they are a strange length finishing a little too long for a short-sleeved tee. I think I will probably roll them up a bit and put some tacks in to keep them in place. In the pattern the sleeves are described as “set-in” but on me, they are definitely a “drop-shoulder” look. Maybe I need a narrow shoulder adjustment on this pattern but I don’t usually have that problem. I do really like the fit and style of the neckline and the curved hem but probably won’t be making this one again as I think I would need to make quite a few adjustments to the pattern to get a good fit.
Total score 31/50
Thanks for reading this review of the Stellan Tee. If you want to know how this compares to some of the other free tee patterns out there be sure to check out my other reviews coming soon – but for now here is the list of free tee patterns available that I hope to conquer over the next few months!
Have you sewn up the Stellan Tee? What did you think of it?
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I am so sorry I have been very quiet for a long time but as some of you might know I have been unwell for a few months but I am starting to get a bit better very slowly – so its time to start thinking about sewing again!
For Christmas, my amazing parents got me the most wonderful gift I could imagine – a brand new Pfaff Coverlock machine!!
To allow me to practice using this fabulous machine and ease myself gently back into sewing after a few months break I have decided that I will make myself some basic tees!
Because I am new to the world of overlocking and coverstitching I don’t want to break the bank on masses of new patterns so I have decided to stick to free pdf patterns, and it turns out there are A LOT to choose from. So here I have compiled a list of the free t-shirt sewing patterns I can find.
Over the coming weeks/months I will endeavour to make a few of these (I can’t promise I will get through them all) and let you know what I think. It’s time to find out if these free patterns are worth the investment(!)
Disclaimer: As there are so many free t-shirt patterns out there I have only included those here that are designed by an indie designer and are available as a pdf download. They should be designed to be made in a knit fabric. They must have some kind of sleeve option (so no tanks I’m afraid) and are designed for a female figure.
So here we go, listed below you will find the designers name and then the name of the free tee pattern. There is a link to each pattern included below (some of them are not marked as free but you can get discount codes for them in the pattern company’s Facebook group – all will be explained in the detailed reviews). As and when I review the patterns I will provide a link to the review here as well!
Phew! That’s a lot of tees to get through!
Like I said I will let you know when I have tried each of them and add a link to the review but in the meantime, I’d love to know if there are any you have tried already and what you thought – also please let me know if there are any I have missed and I will add them to the list!
p.s. If you want to keep up with my progress as I make these tees I will be using the hashtag #HSewsFreeTees over on Instagram so why not keep up with me there
EDITS: 8th Jan added Blanc t-shirt, Green tee, and Monroe turtle neck to the list
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