Saturday, February 12, 2011

Review of Connie Crawford's Tee

I have numerous t-shirt patterns, but can't resist a new one when I see it. And so I bought Butterick 5215, a pattern that gives three different fits on a classic scoop neck tee. I chose View B, the semi-fitted tee and compared my bust measurement to the pattern size, choosing XL. This is for a size 42-43 bust and I found that the pattern actually has very little ease in it, giving only 1" at the bust. Not enough for this woman; the days of wearing snug tees that reveals midriff rolls are over as they should be for everyone. But the young don't seem to mind showing off all those middle rolls. Is it just me or do young girls have more these days? I don't recall that same kind of flab when I was younger. Is it our diet that is making women's shapes different? I digress.

I cut the tee 1" longer because the picture looked a little short to me, and the styles are longer right now. This wasn't necessary as I found later and ended up cutting it off again when hemming.

The fit is good, I think Connie has incorporated a nice shape into this pattern; the shoulders are a nice length and the sleeve is up high. Actually View C, the shirt fitted tee, has a looser fit and a dropped sleeve with a longer shoulder line. (glad I didn't make that one, I think it would be like those sloppy tees that I don't like - perhaps good for gardening chores).

I followed the directions exactly because I wanted to compare Connie's pattern to the many others I have made. So I like the fit, my only quibble is with her neck binding application. It is like the Jalie 2005 one; press under 3/8" on one edge, sew the binding right side to wrong side of neck, then press over to right side and topstitch in place. This results in four thicknesses of fabric on the neck edge, that is fine if your knit is really fine, but in a cotton/lycra jersey, I find it bulky. And this method also presumes that you have very good top-stitching skills and can make that line of stitching the perfect distance from the edge.

My preferred method is to apply the binding right side to right side, fold over and either stitch in the ditch or topstitch, then trim away the excess fabric. This results in one less layer of fabric in that neck edge and will probably look better for most of us.

One more criticism of the pattern: the neck binding should be 1" shorter; the ratio seems to be one to one, and I like the binding to be slightly shorter, which results in drawing the neckline in closer to the body. It lies flatter when done this way. Plus the binding is cut on the bias - why? A knit cut on the stretch works just fine; bias knit doesn't make much sense to me.

All in all, a good pattern and I will use it again. It compares quite well to my favourite pattern which is Cecelia Podolak's Fearless Tee. In fact, when placed on top of each other, the two patterns are very similar, with Cecelia's having a higher neckline.


  1. I'm happy to hear a good review of that pattern. It's just great to have a good-fitting T, especially with spring/summer coming. I live in jeans and t's year around.

  2. I will have to look into buying that pattern as I love t's. Thanks for the great review.