A sewing blog about building a functional, cohesive handmade wardrobe, one garment at a time.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Maria Denmark Birgitte Basic Tee

I bought the Birgitte Basic Tee pattern from Maria Denmark something like five years ago, but this is the first time I have sewn it.

It's a basic scoop-neck t-shirt with a v-neck option and options for long and short sleeves and elbow-length bell sleeves.

I am in need of knit tops, and I recently had a stress-induced shopping spree at the remnants shop in town (stay tuned for a post about that), in which I bought a bunch of knits with the intent to sew myself some tees.

As always, the first thing I needed to do was make some adjustments to the pattern. I think there may have been an update at some point, because the size chart on the web site is different than the size chart on my pattern.

In any case. I have a 36" high bust and a 40" full bust. The pattern size medium is for a 38" full bust and 31"-41" waist and hip. The size large is for a 40" full bust and 33"-42" waist and hip.

I cut a size medium shoulder. I graded out to the large (40" at the bust (note, I did not extend the armscye out, I just made sort of a curve where the bust is immediately under the armscye) and back to a medium at the waist. The top ended up a little too tight below the waist, so next time I need to grade out to a large all the way down. My waist is 31.5" and the pattern size medium is for waists up to 31", but because the pattern purported to be loose at the waist, I thought I would be ok.

My bicep is 13.5" and the sleeve measured 14". I wanted an inch of ease, so I extended the sleeve piece to the size large from the armscye down. I'm not sure what happened, but the sleeve ended up being a bit large. I took the sleeves in 1/4" at the seam, undoing my faux full bicep adjustment, but they're still big. I don't know why that would be since the bicep circumference now matches my bicep circumference. The only thing I can think of, is that it has something to do with the sleeve cap, which is very high.

I wore the top once with jeans but it's a bit tight for me to feel comfortable doing that again. It does work very well tucked into denim skirt or my Maria Denmark Yasmin Yoke Skirt as pictured at the top of the post.

The striped knit was labeled cotton/lycra, but there's definitely a good dose of poly in there as well. It has great recovery but doesn't breathe as well as I like my t-shirts to breathe.

So then I decided to try again. This time I was using a remnant-shop knit that definitely felt like the cotton/lycra it was advertised to be. I knew I wanted to give myself some extra room below the bust, so I adjusted my pattern. Here the black line indicates the side of the first pattern; you can see to the left of the line what I added at waist and hip. You can also see how I curved the bust section when I did my faux FBA.

I made the elbow length sleeves, this time in a straight size medium. They fit better than the size large sleeve did. Here's what I ended up with.

The fit in the front is better, though I need to give myself a little more some room in the back. I cut the back as a straight size medium (I also did a 5/8" high round back adjustment and a 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment for a shrug-free top).

A few more notes about the pattern:

Maria Denmark patterns require you to add seam allowances, which, shockingly, I remembered to do. This pattern also doesn't include a neckband pattern piece, nor does it give you neckband piece measurements. It just tells you to measure the neckline of your shirt after sewing the shoulders together, and then cut a neckband that is 85 percent of that measurement, plus seam allowance.

I wasn't super-pleased with either of these tops immediately after sewing them, but I've worn them both multiple times since, so I guess they're growing on me. Something about the fit around the armpits was bothering me, and looking at these photos, I think maybe I could do with shortening the pattern in the front above the bust. I'm going to try that next and I'll let you know how it turns out.

As always, thanks for reading, and see you next time!

1 comment:

  1. This looks like such a brilliant staple pattern, I really like both your versions.


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