Self-drafted boat neck breton top

After a serious think about the contents of my wardrobe – and the gaps in it – earlier this month, I settled on sewing the things that would get me through an average week. Top of my list was t-shirts – mainly because I had two patterns and plenty of knit fabric ready to go.

I opted to try out my self-drafted T-shirt pattern first. Since the initial fitting, I decided to  revise the block to include more ease, and I made four small alterations to the fit:

  • I narrowed the shoulder by 0.5cm
  • I added a smidgen more width around the bust
  • I took in the back waist a touch
  • I raised the armscye by 1cm to give more freedom of movement

I then added the three neckline variations I wear most often – boat (or slash) neck, scoop and crew.


The fabric is leftover from a (pre-blog) maternity top I made back in 2013. It’s a lightweight cotton jersey with decent recovery, bought at Sewing for Pleasure at the NEC, but I can’t remember the name of the shop or the price unfortunately.

I stitched the shoulder seams on my ordinary sewing machine so I could add clear elastic as a stabiliser, but then used my overlocker for the other seams and to finish the remaining raw edges. Instead of the usual bands or twin needle finish, I opted for a zigzag stitch after reading the Grainline Lark sewalong.

I’m really pleased with the fit. It’s close-fitting but not too tight, and that balances the looser-fitting bottom halves in my wardrobe nicely. If I can avoid getting caught in the crossfire of flying egg and blackcurrants that constitutes dinnertime with a toddler, then hopefully I’ll be wearing it every week for years to come.

The pattern was free and the fabric and notions were all leftovers, so I’m calling that a zero-cost new top. Huzzah!

(I considered calling this T-shirt Boaty McBoatface, but thought better of it.)



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