A Swingy Plantain Tee and Another Use for the Magic Eraser

Before we get to the good stuff (another Deer & Doe Plantain Tee), let’s talk about a wonderful little household item: The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.MagicEraserOriginal

Are you familiar? I mainly use ’em to clean up marks on the walls, but I recently learned of another amazing use: CLEANING THE IRON.

A stubborn mystery fabric had gunked up my iron pretty badly, and in a fit of desperation, I took to the rabbit hole of internet forums for help. Bless your heart, commenter DLM2000. Not only does the Magic Eraser work like a charm, but it’s also waaaay cheaper than toxic-smelling iron cleaner that runs $20 bucks a tube. Try it out next time your iron’s due for a cleaning!

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Now for the main attraction. I bought this lightweight striped knit with the intention of copying a swingy, tent-like RTW shirt I wear frequently. But tracing a knit top with wonky design lines turned out to be a little more complicated than I’d anticipated, so I decided to go with a tried-and-true shape that I know works for me: the Plantain Tee. (See versions 1 and 2.)

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This time around, I added fullness to the back of the shirt using this Grainline tutorial. I then cut the back into four separate pattern pieces and added seam allowances. I sewed the whole shirt up on my serger and used a twin needle for the hems.

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As you can see, I love me some stripe interplay. For the sleeves, I went with this above-the-elbow length, which is great for this “transitional” weather we’ve been having in Chicago. #optimistic

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I don’t have too much else to say that I haven’t already covered in previous posts. As far as free sewing patterns go, this one’s a winner.

Are you good at sewing basics? With Me Made May coming up, I could use a boost in the basics department. Speaking of Me Made May—who’s in?! I still need to pledge…

 

 

 

deer and doe plantain tee geometric stripes

Upcycled Striped Plantain T-Shirt

deer and doe plantain tee sewing striped

This T-shirt is a phoenix. It has risen from the ash pile that was an impulse-bought, rarely worn maxi dress lying in a heap in my closet for nearly a year. I really tried to give the maxi/midi dress trend a go last summer, but I ended up feeling kind of silly wearing that much material. Plus, I run warm, temperature-wise, and HOT DAMN maxi dresses do not let your bottom half breathe. Thus, the stripy knit tee was born.

deer and doe plantain tee geometric stripes

Maxi dresses are probably the easiest thing to upcycle since you have so much material to work with. I was able to cut the front on the fold, but I had cut the back in two pieces. That’s where this ~*~funky~*~ bias-cut back panel came in, and it’s by far my favorite part of this otherwise basic shirt. That’s one of the great things about sewing: a problem often transforms into an opportunity for a unique design element.

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As far as fit goes, I used the same sizing as my first Plantain tee, cutting out a straight 40 and adding 1″ to the body. Lacking fabric, I cut the short sleeves this time. The viscose/poly material is wonderfully drapey and comfortable, but its fluidity made sewing the neckband a little tricky. I ended up not catching the band in one spot in the front and had to rip some stitches out and re-sew (SO annoying when you’re using the lightning bolt stretch stitch). I managed to patch it up well enough, and it’s safe to say that this tee will get plenty of wear this spring and summer.

I’m thinking I’ll take part in Me Made May this year, and tops like this will be great to have in the everyday arsenal. Have you taken part in MMM before? What am I in for?