Hello! As I am sure you are probably aware – I keep a pretty big list of FREE sewing patterns. While I can’t possibly test them all out, I do like to try some of them – don’t we all love a freebie?! This time I decided to have a go at the insanely popular Mandy Boat Tee which is a free pattern from Tessuti.
The fabric I used for these t-shirts are an organic cotton jersey bought from Fabworks on a trip to Dewsbury in 2018. I bought 1m of each to try and reduce scraps and I can happily say I managed to get these out of 1m each with no trouble! Fabworks recently had a sale on their organic jerseys so unfortunately both these fabrics are now sold out but they do still have some nice organic jerseys which can be viewed here.
Organic cotton is better for the environment because they are cotton crops grown without using fertilizers, pesticides, and other toxic chemicals. As a result, organic cotton farming is a more sustainable option as it helps maintains soil fertility and harvests chemical free cotton. However, it is still a very water intensive fibre to produce so even with organic cotton we need to be sure we are making things that will last and be worn many times. Oeko-tex is a term that is often mistaken for organic, oeko-tex means the fabric has been tested and doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals, oeko tex fabrics are NOT organic, nor are they a substitute for organic fabrics.
The Mandy Boat Tee now comes in four sizes; it used to be a single sized pattern that was designed to be really oversized in the body and slimmer fitting on the sleeves. Now there are four different sizes, I can have a play with the proportions and grade between the sizes to achieve a fit I like. I do love the shape and I really like playing with stripe direction on those grown-on sleeves.
My measurements are 37″ full bust, 31″ waist and 45″ hips. I decided to cut the size 2 body with the size 4 sleeves as my upper arms are one of by biggest areas and I think the sleeves look quite tight on some people. I am really happy with my choice of size as the sleeves aren’t too tight and the body is loose and comfortable without looking oversized.
By far my favourite aspect of this pattern was the neckline technique. This pattern comes with it’s signature boat neckline (may have been given away by being called the Mandy BOAT Tee lol). The neckline is turned down and topstitched on both the front and back pieces BEFORE they are seamed together at the shoulder seams. I really like the finished look of this and think it is really easy to do – definitely a good pattern for anyone starting out with knits as there’s no fiddly topstitching in a circle (I’m looking at you TATB Coco).
I recieved some beautiful patches from Literary Emporium for Mother’s Day so they were ironed on and then stitched down using a zig zag stitch to make these t-shirts something special! In fact, they are now my favourite t-shirts and I wear them all the time. On our recent trip to Paris, I had to wear one of them on a bookish visit to Shakespeare and Co, one of my favourite places in all of Paris!
I have been wearing these t-shirts all the time as we are almost reaching six months since I made them and I can confirm that they are washing well and must be well on the way to 30 wears!
Until next time, happy sewing!