Sewing Pattern Comparison: T-Shirts

This week's 'Outfit of the Week' is Burda's 6812 culottes with Grainline Studio's Lark Tee.  For this outfit, I knew from the inspiration images I had gathered that I probably needed to choose a basic t-shirt to go with the culottes.  However, which t-shirt?  There are so many!  So many pattern companies seem to have a basic t-shirt in their collection.

Clockwise from top left-hand corner: Grainline Studio's Lark; Tilly and the Buttons' Agnes; Liesl + Co. Maritime; Burda 6990; Sewaholic Renfrew


As I was looking through the t-shirt patterns that we sell, it struck me that it might be a good idea to draw up a table comparing their features.  So, that's what I did!  I love a good table and I hope you'll find this helpful the next time you're trying to choose which t-shirt pattern to buy.  I've restricted the table to patterns that we sell here at The Splendid Stitch.  However, if you feel that there's a really key pattern that I ought to include (even if we don't sell it), I don't mind adding it to the table: just leave a comment letting me know and I'll consider it for inclusion.  I know that it can be somewhat cumbersome to try to read a large table on a webpage, so I've also provided a one-page PDF version of the table which you can access here.


Grainline Studio Lark Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Burda 6990 Liesl + Co. Maritime Sewaholic Renfrew
bust circumference covered by the pattern 81-112 cm 76-112 cm 80-104 cm 83-117 cm 76-104 cm
ease (for size 8) 1.27 cm ? (has negative ease) ? (described as fitted) 3.81 cm 5 cm
level of difficulty beginner (lowest difficulty level) improvers (highest difficulty level; keep in mind, though, that Tilly's patterns are directed towards beginners) easy (lowest difficulty level) level 1 (lowest difficulty level) intermediate (its third of four difficulty levels)
neckline finish band (fold and stitch for bateau) band fold and stitch (for crew and bateau) facing band (for v and scoop)
sewalong available? yes online class available yes
cost £13 £12.50 £5.85 £11.50 £12.95
% stretch 20% (minimum) 25% (minimum) not specified not specified 20% (minimum)
jersey - light yes yes yes yes
jersey - medium yes yes yes yes yes
stable knits (i.e. doubleknit) yes yes
neckline options
crew yes yes
bateau/boat yes yes yes
v yes yes
scoop yes yes yes
scooped with rushing at centre-front yes
funnel yes
turtle yes
large roll collar yes
cowl yes
sleeve length options
short yes yes yes
elbow yes yes
three-quarter yes yes
wrist yes yes yes yes
other features
gathered sleeve with rushing yes
side vents at hem yes


In putting together the table, the thing that suprised me the most was the amount of ease.  Tilly and the Buttons' Agnes seems to be the only one with negative ease at the bust (meaning that the top is actually smaller at the bust than one's body measurement, resulting in a very tight fit).  Grainline Studio's Lark has a minimal amount of ease: it is probably designed so that the t-shirt is snug at the bust, but not tight.  Liesl + Co.'s Maritime top and Sewaholic's Renfrew top have more ease - which is why they can be made with less stretchy, more stable knits.  However, while 5 cm (for Renfrew) seems like a lot, bear in mind that this is simply a 1" pinch of material at the bust: it's not tight, but you're not going to be swimming in material.  In trying to figure out how much ease you like at the bust, the best thing to do is to try on a favourite t-shirt and then see how much excess fabric there is at the bust.

Again, do let me know if you'd like me to add to the table - and if I've made any mistakes or left off anything important!

As for this week's 'Outfit of the Week', I went with Grainline Studio's Lark Tee, as it seemed to suit the inspiration photos the best.  To learn more about this week's outfit, click here.  Also, please bear in mind that we're currently in the midst of our big Black Friday sale!  You can get 20% off all patterns and fabrics until 11:59 pm on Monday!  Use the discount code BLACKFRIDAY20 at checkout. 

Inspiration images from here and here

Inspiration image from here and here

Inspiration image from here and here


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November 29, 2015 by Amy Lloyd