Long ago (about 15 years), I found my perfect plain white T-shirt in the bargain bin of a posh London shop. It was, without doubt, my favourite and most flattering white T shirt ever. It was made from a pretty thin jersey though, so barely lasted more than two summers. The thing that made it different to other T-shirts was its neckline. It had an overlapping section on either side of the neck, that joined to the shoulder seams. I've since discovered that this shrug style detail is seen a lot in 1940's fashions. And babies vests of course!
Imagine my delight when Jennifer Lauren released her second pattern - the Bronte Top - featuring this very shoulder detail. Jen kindly sent me the PDF pattern to try, and my first thought was to recreate my favourite T shirt. Once I'd cut it out, it only took a couple of hours of very leisurely sewing to complete. I followed the instruction diagrams exactly and the shoulder details slotted into place first time, it really was easy to sew. I sewed about 90% of it on my overlocker and finished all the bound edges and hems with a double needle. The pattern is multi-sized from 6 to 20 - I cut a size 12 at the bust, grading to a size 10 at the waist and hips. Looking at these photos I could probably have done with a bit more room across the bust, but it doesn't bother me. I personally like my T shirts to be quite tight fitting, so I'll be wearing the hell out of it.
For fabric, I used a white jersey knit from UK Fabrics Online, which is described as heavyweight, but is actually quite a light weight for a summer T-shirt. At £3.99 a metre, the quality is quite basic, so my plan was to use it for a test garment to check the fit. Once I'd finished the top and tried it on however it looked fab, a tiny bit transparent maybe, but nothing a good T-shirt bra can't handle! For a more robust jersey, take a look at the Interlock knits from The Village Haberdashery. They're reasonably thick, so probably not high summer weight, but ideal for any other time of year.
Admittedly I've made the plainest possible version of this pattern (sorry about that!) but it would also look lovely in a bright solid or patterned knit. You can add interest by using a contrast binding (see Zoe's gorgeous version here) or sew buttons on the shoulders. And there's a long sleeved option - yippee! I can really see this pattern becoming a wardrobe basic - I need a plain cream one … and a navy one …and maybe another white one…In short I love this top, it's easy to sew and looks ace - I plan to make hundreds of them. That's all! If you like the look of it too, the pattern is available to buy here.
The Bronte pattern was given to me free of charge for review. All views my own.