When Deer and Doe announced the Plantain pattern to celebrate the New Year, I was so excited! I had been meaning to start sewing some more everyday items and not just a plethora of dresses (don’t get me wrong, I love those babies!) as well as tackle knits. Plus it is a free pattern, so how could I say no. So here it is, my first knit pattern, and I have to say I love it!
This is actually my third make of the Plantain shirt, but the only one that is wearable in public. The patten itself is a PDF, meaning you download the file, print, cut and tape, and then you have the pattern pieces. It should also be noted that you have to make sure that you print to “fill entire paper” not print “print entire image”, otherwise you have a much smaller pattern than you need. So like the good girl I am I printed the test square and everything was measuring correctly, but when I went back to print the rest of the pages I forgot to check the “fill entire page” button again. And here is the thing, I didn’t realize my mistake until I had nearly finished sewing up that sucker. I will spare you the images, but that was a belly shirt and I couldn’t even put my arms down to be side! Needless to say, ALWAYS double check that you marked the “fill entire page” button! So for my second one, I printed the pattern out to the correct scale and began again. I used some mystery vintage knit that I snagged from my sister-in-laws stash and stitched it up and this time she fit! There was only two problems, the fabric made the shirt look like pj’s and my cleavage was busting out. Don’t get me wrong I fine with showing some cleavage, but this was by no means appropriate or comfortable for an everyday shirt.
For my third try I picked up some super clearance knit from my local fabric store, it’s a semi sheer stripy rayon and possibly poly knit. This time around I took some serious time in my cutting to match all the stripes, I didn’t cut on a fold but instead laid each piece flat and traced. I did most of this way to close to bed time and somehow managed to make only one mistake, can you spot it? I cut two right sleeves and not mirror images (left and right), but since knit is so forgiving I installed them both anyways and the only reason it is noticeable it that the left sleeve’s stripes don’t match, but you know what, I still love the heck out of this shirt. And to express my love for this pattern I did something different with the elbow patches…
RED WOOL HEARTS! Which I guess is apparently not the most original ideas. Since making this earlier this month I have seen several other versions come up with heart shape patches, which of course I love each and every version of! I mean have you seen these other ladies makes, Paunnet’s red with white hearts, and this adorable crocheted version by Miss Bullette. I think this just confirms the fact that sewers are the most loving people out there.
And did I mention how quick this puppy was to whip up? I started it before bed, picked it up again in the morning and by lunch it was done! I constructed almost entirely on my serger and finished it off with some twin-needle stitching on the arms, and hem (courtesy of the ever lovely sis-in-law). And to make sure this hopefully will last the test of time I stabilized the shoulders with some scrap twill tape.
To accommodate for the cleavage factor on the second attempt this time around I raised the neckline my 1/2″, which is perfect, it’s still a low scoop but I can move around without worries of flashing everyone in sight. Looking back at the images I think I should also do a narrow shoulder adjustment too, oh well, next time (which there will be many more).
Overall I love this pattern and not just because it was free. It is so comfortable and figure flattering and not to forget a quick wardrobe stable. My sincerest thank you to Eleanor of Deer and Doe!