Monthly Archives: June 2020

My review of the Basic InstincT pattern by @sasha_secondopiano is now live on my blog as part of my #HSewsFreeTees series. I’m pretty pleased with the final t-shirt but that’s not too say there weren’t some problems on the way. You can read my blog to find out the details but it’s love to hear from others who have made this pattern – what did you think of it? . . . . . #b36w30h39 #measurementsmovement #patternreview #sewyourstash #sewingwithknits #basicinstinctshirt #basicinstinct #basicinstincttshirt #secondopiano #tshirtsewing #sewobsessed #sewyourown #sewingfun #sewingismytherapy #mywonderfulworldofsewing #imakemyclothes #imakemyownclothes #diyootd #memadeeveryday #wearhandmade #diyfashion #sewingcommunity #sewersgonnasew #sewistsofinstagram

Free Tee Review: Basic InstincT by SecondoPiano

I’m getting a bit behind myself with my free tee review blog posts, over the last few weeks I have sewn up a few different free tee patterns but finding the time to photograph them and write the review is proving tricky so you’ve got a few more on their way but for now, here is one I have photographed…The Basic InstincT by SecondoPiano

To recap, I am hoping to get through as many of the free tee patterns as possible (you can find the full list here) 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.

Basic InstincT is a t-shirt with a relaxed cut and contemporary silhouette with a crew neckline.

 

Options available 1/10

The Basic InstincT comes in 5 sizes XS-XL covering bust measurements of 32-42.5 inches. The design is singular, in that there are no alternative options for different length, sleeves, or necklines. If you want a good simple tee then this might be it but don’t expect anything fancy from this pattern

Getting hold of the pattern 9/10

To get the t-shirt pattern you need to first subscribe to the email list for the SecondoPiano blog. You can find the sign-up box is here.¬†I received an email back straight away asking me to confirm my subscription by clicking the link in the email. A few minutes later I received a second email with a link to download the pattern. This immediately downloads a zip file with all the contents you need to get going. So compared to some other patterns it’s a pretty simple and speedy process. The zip file contains separate instructions and pattern in both English and Italien.

 

Printing and assembling the pdf 2/10

As with all pdf patterns, this one has a test square that you should measure to check that you are printing at the correct scale. Unfortunately, this one is marked as 10x10cm and 4x4in print test – it can’t be both(!) as 10cm is about 3.9 inches. In my case, it measured 10cm exactly and somewhere around 3.9 inches so I had to assume it was correct and go ahead with printing the rest of the pattern. As this pattern also comes in Italian I am assuming that the cm is the correct measurement anyway as this is more common in European patterns but it is something to watch out for if you usually only measure in inches!!

The line to trim the sheet down when sticking all the sheets together was very faint and hard to see making it difficult to piece together the pdf pages. Also, the page numbers are marked on each sheet but there is no way to know without checking the lay-plan which pages should join together in which order.

However, compared to some other patterns the cutting lines were much thinner (but also dark enough to see) which makes for much more accurate sizing – when the lines are thick there can be a few mm difference in garment size whether you cut on the inside or outside of the line!

I have to admit a lot of the markings on this pattern were unfamiliar to me and I found myself having to look a lot at the key explaining the markings. Now, this is most likely my problem (not the fault of the designer) However, having made a lot of things from a lot of different designers it did surprise me somewhat – even down to the fact that some of the markings I thought I recognized meant something different here (such as a wavy line being used to indicate stretch direction when to me it initially sprung to mind gathering). I was also somewhat thrown by the stitching lines being marked directly on the pattern (as well as cut lines) – I thought these were another set of cut lines at first and nearly cut out the whole thing in completely the wrong size :(

Instructions and construction 2/10

I must have attempted to read the instructions for this pattern 5 times before I started making the garment and I still could not make head nor tail of them! The main set of instructions is a very short bullet-pointed list with the key steps, these are fine if you have made a number of t-shirts before and no what you are doing but they are rather minimal if you are a beginner. However, these instructions are hidden among pages of technical line drawings which I found very confusing and did not seem to match with any of my previous experience of t-shirt construction.

There is also a lengthy section on stripe matching. This pattern has quite a lot of extra markings on t which will supposedly help with this task. For me, they were just a lot of additional markings that added to the confusion of all the strange markings I was already unfamiliar with. I was also very confused by the instructions for stripe matching which would have you increase the depth of the shoulder (using a slash and spread method) according to the width of your stripes.¬† I think perhaps this method would allow you to get the perfect stripe-matched garment, so long as you don’t mind altering the fit of your t-shirt!

Luckily for me, I have made plenty of t-shirts by now so I opted to abandon the instructions and plough ahead on my own. Despite this haphazard approach, the t-shirt came together really well. Partly, due to the number of notches on this pattern which are plentiful! The only place I struggled was with the neckline because there were oh so many notches I think I must have marked the wrong ones and so couldn’t get them to line up at all so I just quartered it and inserted as normal!

Final Impressions 8/10

Despite the difficulties with the instructions on this one I really like the fit and style. It also came together really quickly, helped by there being lots of notches on the pattern which can sometimes be lacking in other t-shirt patterns.

I decided to not try a stripy fabric for this one, despite there being a large section of instructions to help with stripe matching mostly because I was already overwhelmed by the complicated instructions and the unfamiliar markings on the pattern so I didn’t want to add something else to the mix. I did go with a contrast neckband though to add a little something extra to this otherwise very simple design.

My measurements put me exactly half-way between a small and medium across bust, waist, and hips which is unusual for me but a nice surprise. Based on the finished measurements I decided to go for the small as it is a relaxed fit and I think I made the right choice, perhaps a little more space in the bust would be nice but it’s certainly not a bad fit.

Total score 34/50

Thanks for reading this review of the BasicInstincT. 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 this pattern? What did you think of it?

Helen

p.s. to keep up with my makes as part of this #HSewsFreeTees project you can follow along on Instagram

Want to save this article for later? Pin this:Basic Instinct by SecondoPiano. Free sewing pattern review

Basic Instinct by SecondoPiano. Free sewing pattern review
Basic Instinct by SecondoPiano. Free sewing pattern review

This weekend I made up a couple more free Tees ūüėĀ I’m just pulling the blog posts together with the reviews so you’ll have to wait a bit to read all the details… For now here’s a sneak peak at one – who knows which pattern it is?‚Ā£ ‚Ā£ ‚Ā£ ‚Ā£ ‚Ā£ #HSewsFreeTees‚Ā£ #b36w30h39‚Ā£ #measurementsmovement‚Ā£ #patternreview‚Ā£ #sewyourstash‚Ā£ #scrapbusting‚Ā£ #contrastneckband‚Ā£ #sewobsessed‚Ā£ #sewyourown‚Ā£ #sewingfun‚Ā£ #sewsewsew‚Ā£ #seamstresslife‚Ā£ #diydressmaker‚Ā£ #sewingismytherapy‚Ā£ #mywonderfulworldofsewing‚Ā£ #imakemyclothes

I’ve been wearing my tshirts a lot during lock down. Some are starting to show signs of wear (one of my faves had started to go threadbare!) so i decided it was time to make some more, and whilst I was at it get back to reviewing some of those free tee patterns! The Mandy Boat Tee by @tessutifabrics is the seventh free t-shirt pattern I have made in this series and you can read the full review and see how it stacks up against the rest on my blog now . . . . . #b36w30h39 #measurementsmovement #HSewsFreeTees #mandyboattee #tessutipatterns #lockdownlewks #stripytee #bretontee #monochromewardrobe #sewcialists #ilovesewing #dressmakingismysuperpower #sewobsessed #sewyourown #sewingfun #sewingpatternreview #freesewingpattern #sewingcommunity #sewersgonnasew #sewistsofinstagram

Free Tee Review: The Mandy Boat Tee by Tessuti

phew! What a rollercoaster the last few weeks have been! SInce my last blog post (the review of the laundry day tee) I started feeling a lot better, went back into work for an hour or so a day as I built up my strength, managed nearly 2 weeks and then got sent home because of lockdown! I have now been working from home for nearly 3 months and I have to admit it feels like the new normal. Having been confined to my house due to illness for nearly 6 months prior to lockdown I am jsut grateful to have my health back and at least now that everyone is in the same boat I feel  far less isolated than before. For the first few weeks, whilst all of this was new I decided to get stuk into a meaty project and sewed up a pair of Dawn jeans but after that I quickly realised that what I needed int he lockdown was comfy clothes. So here we are, back on the t-shirts. The next free t-shirt pattern I have been longing to make up is the Mandy Boat Tee by Tessuti. This one is a bit of a cult classic in the sewing community Рrarely a week goes by when one doesnt pop up on my instagram feed and I can see why. Teh shape of the tee is timeless and works looks great ina  range of different prints as well as plains. So Id ecided now was the time to get to making my own!

To recap, I am hoping to get through as many of the free tee patterns as possible (you can find the full list here) 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.

The Mandy Boat Tee is a is boxy top with drop shoulders, which has a boat neckline. I’ve long been an admirer of Tessuti patterns but have never made anything of theirs so this free pattern provides the perfect chance to try out a new designer with none of the risks of splurging on a pattern only to be disappointed.

Options available 2/10

The size range on the Mandy boat tee is one of its biggest downfalls. It comes in just 4 sizes covering a bust size range of just 31 – 45 inches. THe boxy style does make up for the coarse sizes a little as there si no need for a fitted look anywhere and so a wide range of sizes are captured in each bracket. I terms of options, you get a choice of sleeve length: 3/4 or full.

Getting hold of the pattern 10/10

This is one of the easiest free patterns to get your hands on. The pdf version of this pattern is free on the website. Just add it to your shopping bag and go to checkout. You need to fill in some details but no payment information is required as the pattern is free. Confusingly, you do need to click “pay now” to place the order but as soon as you do a link will appear that you can click to get the downloads.

Printing and assembling the pdf 9/10

For the print test square on this one, it is a nice big 10cmx10cm box so plenty to room to check if your printer is even slightly out! My test box measured fine but it was on the very outside of the lines (which are quite thick), putting the pattern together was nice and straightforward – the edges of each page are marked with letters (rows) and numbers (columns) so it is really quick to see which page fits where. The pages did need trimming but the lines were very clear and everything lined up nicely when it came to sticking it all together.

Instructions and construction 5/10

Unfortunately for me all the measurements are only in cm and so it took me a while to work out which size I wanted as I know my measurements in inches off the top of my head but not in cm. Although, it did make me measure myself again rather than convert from imperial to metric so maybe there is something positive in that! I found the instructions reasonably clear but having made a lot of t-shirts I am fairly happy with the order of constructions and most of the techniques. I think for a new sewer or someone new to this type of garment these instructions would be a bit sparse. Also, the instructions in this pattern do assume you have an overlocker – of course there are ways to work around this if you don’t, but they are not explained in the pattern.

The only deviation I made from the pattern was to use my coverstitch instead of a twin needle for the neckline and hems. This did mean that there was a bit of switching over to do between coverstitch and overlocker as the pattern has you sew the neckline first before constructing the garment and then hem at the end. This was a bit faffy but in my opinion worth it – the finish is really neat.

Final Impressions 8/10

I am pretty pleased with this one. I really like the neckline – sometimes boat necks can sit a bit too wide on me and you get a flash of my bra straps now and again but this one seems to be just perfect! I think perhaps it has something to do with the little dart at the shoulder seam that you add right at the end, giving it a tiny bit more shaping.

Based on my measurements I needed to cut a size 2 but I was right at the bottom end of that size range. Seeing as there are only four sizes they are pretty big size ranges and I definitely think I could have got away with the smaller size, but it doesn’t look ridiculously oversized or anything – so I guess if you are unsure just go with your measurements but if you are not after a super oversized fell I wouldn’t be afraid to size down.

I chose the 3/4 sleeve option and in truth, it is more like bracelet length on me so I probably could have shortened the sleeves a bit, although I’m not mad at it. I think it would have been a different story had I gone with the full-length sleeves as I’m certain they would have been way too long. However, as the pattern does not contain any finished measurements its all guesswork unless you want to get the ruler out and start measuring the pattern pieces – but for a free pattern I really didn’t think it was worth it!

Total score 34/50

Thanks for reading this review of the Mandy Boat 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 and the full list of free tee patterns available that I hope to conquer over the next few months!

Have you sewn up the Mandy Boat tee? What did you think of it?

Helen

p.s. to keep up with my makes as part of this #HSewsFreeTees project you can follow along on Instagram

Want to save this article for later? Pin this:Mandy Boat Tee by Tessuti. Free sewing pattern review

Mandy Boat tee - Tessuti. Free sewing pattern review
Mandy Boat tee - Tessuti. Free sewing pattern review