Great British Swing Bee 2: Simple T-Shirt

I hadn’t got round to making any of the patterns in this book despite buying it a while ago so I thought I’d give this t-shirt a go (I did attempt to make the shift dress but I’m too traumatised by that experience to talk about it!). This t-shirt pattern has only 2 pieces so was set to be really easy, no set in sleeves or fiddly zips, buttons etc.


The fabric I used was a really light, drapey viscose from my favourite stall in Walthamstow market. I cut a straight size 8 as it’s a loose fitting top and got stitching the shoulder and side seams together. I was so happy that it was coming together super quickly, until I tried it on. The neckline was SO wide. No wide in a fashionably wide slouchy top way, but wide in an it’s actually falling off my shoulders and cannot stay on kinda way. Not impressed. Some quick research (a.k.a. Google) and I find I’m not the only one having a problem with this pattern.

I love this fabric and didn’t want to resign this project to the trash so I decided to change it up a bit to make it fit. I added a pleat to the front (Colette Sorbetto style) and an inverted pleat to the back. I also added a pleat to each sleeve as I though they were all a bit too wide. I think you can just about see the pleats in these pics, the busy print is a bit like a camouflage…

20140522-113059-41459918.jpgEven with the pleats it’s still a wide neckline, but it fit now and I like it. I forgot to mention that this top has a dipped ham at the back which I also quite like. I think I could wear this casually with jeans or, as I did yesterday, tucked into an a-line skirt for work, it is me-made-May after all!

To be honest even though I do like this top I probably won’t make this pattern again because I feel like the pattern pieces just aren’t right. It has given me a bit of inspiration though, I could easily hack a dipped hem into another pattern for a similar effect. So here’s my finished top, not exactly as the book intended but I like it anyway!

Front view…


And from the back…


Have you made anything from the sewing bee book?



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