I’ve had this diagonal zebra print cotton (blend I’m pretty sure) knit in my stash since we went to see family in San Diego last fall. While I was immediately drawn to it with it’s intriguing blend of sea foam and grey, it’s lingered in my stash because I couldn’t figure out what pattern would do it justice.
Then last week I had a light bulb go off and it occurred to me that this fabric would make a great version of the Cabi Gather Tee I knocked off here. The gathering and center panel would skew the print just enough to be interesting but not enough to ruin the effect of the original fabric. I went back and looked more closely too at the original tee, and I noticed as I zoomed on Cabi’s website that the center panel, hems, and the binding are all flatlocked (don’t you love the zoom features on RTW sites?!).
I flatlocked the hems and the center panel, but I forgot to do the same to the binding, so I just stitched it in place with my double needle. I definitely would recommend flatlocking on this tee because it helps the seams lay flat without any additional topstitching; the seams are less bulky because they are flat and also because you’re not bulking them up by adding extra thread when you topstitch. As a bonus, since you don’t have to topstitch, flatlocking is faster as a construction technique.
The other thing that I did to change this tee from my first version is that I narrowed the center panel just slightly. I thought that while the dimensions of my center panel were very close to Cabi’s tee, on my body, with my full bust, the center panel fell too far on the inside of my bust line to be the best look. To change this, I measured the distance between the girls at my full bust line (essentially the bridge on my bra at the full bust line) and halved that number (since the panel is cut on the fold). On me, that works out to 3/4″ from CF or 1 1/2″ total between the business.
On my pattern, I marked 3/4″ from CF at the full bust line (conveniently marked already since that’s part of the drafting) and used that point to determine the width of the rest of the panel. I just kind of eyeballed what looked right, which ended up narrowing the top of the panel as well as the bottom just slightly. I had to add the sliced off bits to the side panel which was a bit fussy but not impossible. If you make this tee, learn from my mistakes and just measure between the girls the first time and you won’t have to go through fixing this.
I have changed the directions on my original post to reflect the changes too.
Also, I added a little ruching on the sleeve as I noticed that it was there when I went back and looked at the original tee. To do this, I drew a line perpendicular to the hem 4″ long on the inside of each wrist on the right side of the fabric. From the wrong side of the sleeve, I stretched a piece of clear elastic (from Pam Erny–don’t try to use clear elastic from JoAnn, you’ll cry) behind this line and stitched it into place with a 3-step zigzag while stretching it a lot. This ended up being really easy to do and really makes for a special and unique sleeve.
All in time for me to enter this shirt in Patternreview’s RTW contest! I love it when I’m just doing work that I would normally be doing anyway and it works out that I can enter a contest. It feels like a lot less pressure than when I’m making a garment specifically for a contest.
My updated version of my review is here.