Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

The Tabitha tee// Make It Simple

Sometimes a good t-shirt pattern is all you need in life!

I tested the Tabitha tee pattern from the latest Tilly and the Buttons book Make It Simple (way back now!) and used the pattern hack option to make the midi t-shirt dress.

The book’s premise is all about streamlining the making process to make it fit into our busy lives so as you can imagine it’s full of simple patterns like the Bertha cardigan and Juno pyjamas that I’ve made and blogged about already!

The Tabitha tee is a classic t-shirt pattern, semi fitted with short sleeves and a crew neckline. It’s uses same t-shirt base of the Juno PJs.

The hack, which is included in the book, involves cutting the T-shirt off at the marked line and drafting a simple pattern piece for the skirt.

You add eyelets or buttonholes for the drawstring then sew up the waist seam with a 3cm allowance which gets topstitched down to form the drawstring channel. Easy!

My first iteration was this grey one!

I made this is some proper cheap jersey of unknown content that I got in Paris – 3 metres for €5! It’s obviously not the most amazing quality but it did have a perfect amount of drape and stretch which I came to realise was important after I made my next version.

This is a slightly cropped version of the t-shirt made with a contrast ribbing at the neck and sleeve. I used a lovely striped cotton jersey from Fabrics Galore for this. But I didn’t take into account the firmer fabric and made the same size as the grey dress and I found it a bit snug around the bust. Not in an uncomfortable way! But it did create drag lines under the arm and it isn’t the fit that I wanted. This one will probably have to be gifted to someone else!

I use this pattern one further time to make this dress though!

I really struggled to think of what to do with this gorgeous jersey that I got from Sew Me Sunshine at the recent Stitch Festival. I loved the print but it’s not my normal “thing” so I was a bit at a loss. I wanted to show off the pattern to its best and narrowed down my pattern choices to either a Friday Pattern Co Adrienne top or another Tabitha dress!

In the end a new Tabitha won out. I thought it would be more “wearable” for me!

This is a viscose jersey and was far drapier and softer than a cotton jersey. I decided to stick with my original sizing with a slight FBA adjustment (and by that I mean I literally just cut some extra room at the side seam in the bust area).

I added side seam splits to the skirt for this one just to keep it a little different and also allow for full leg movement!

I definitely think it was the right pattern choice for the fabric!

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  1. I find myself deeply curious about how you store all your wonderful creations. How many do you keep and wear regularly? How many did you write the posts up and then decide to gift or give away? You make so many lovely things, it is impressive!

  2. It’s so cute! The fabric is perfect for the pattern, too. I love a sophisticated fabric design with a fun palette!

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