My Perfect T-Shirt Quest: Closet Case Files - Nettie

Friends, I need to ask a question -  have you ever asked your tshirt, "why are you trying to kill my armpits?" No? Well then you need to give me your tshirt pattern, because I definitely have asked myself that at least twice this week. I'm not very good at sewing things more than once. It's rough on my wallet - but it's so rough on my brain to sew the same thing again and again, but I'm definitely getting better at it. This week I sewed up the Nettie pattern from Closet Case Files as a tshirt twice, neither of which I could consider "successful."

So let's take a look.

The first time I used some heathered cotton/lyrica knit and cut the pattern exactly at the "hip" line, where the "shirt" part turns it into a body suit. Well, do I need to explain more? Obviously I like my shirts longer than JUST touching my pants. Too bad I didn't think about this when I was cutting. So the issues here are:

1. Much too short. (With a waist skirt it would be okay)
2. The arms eating my armpits.

In all honesty, it doesn't look TERRIBLE. But I'm not really pro - "let my belly hang out when I'm not wearing a crop top" look. It's just not for me, folks. But dang, I love that neckline! Gorgeous. :)

(Secondly, I guess I've been practicing my bitch face. What is that even? I mean seriously, that is simply my face. Except, I look as if I want to murder someone. Astounding. Don't worry, I already know what you're thinking, I wouldn't be friends with me either.)

See the puckering on the shoulders from the sleeves being too close together? My back needs more room, yo.  

Here's a picture of my armpit; you're welcome. 
See how far jammed up it is? I need a sleeve fix.

So after this one, I thought ... only two things I need to fix, not that bad. I decided to cut and trace a second one. I used some darker grey fabric from the same purchase lot as the previous shirt and assumed it was a cotton/lyrica blend.... you'd think by 23 I'd know what assuming does. Anyway, it doesn't have lyrica in it so it was MUCH too tight. It still "fits" in that "sausage being made" kind of way, but it's just not.... what's the word.... comfortable. 

This time I modified it by adding 3" to the length of the shirt and cutting the size 10 sleeves and the armcye to give my arms some moving area. 

So here's the kicker - the arms are still too tight. HA! I realized afterwards that the actual underarm of the armcye is far to high for my liking as a tshirt. Also, even thought I traced the armcye and sleeve the same size... they didn't really line up that well with the body of the shirt so it made a weird pucker under my arm. 

That's my "this is not pleasing" face. Whomp, whomp. I didn't even hem it cause it's being trashed. :( Scratchy fabric is scratchy.

 I'm just moving on guys. In my quest for the perfect tshirt,  I have a feeling that >this< isn't the one. Though I do swoon over that neckline. Wowza! (can I say that? I just did.) I be like, daaayyyyum gurl. (just kidding, I don't ever "be like that.") I'm really thinking that I'll try the Patterns for Pirates Layer Me Up and use the Nettie Neckline. Mash up! :P

(Did I somehow forget to mention that isn't isn't intended to be a shirt? Brilliant! It's really a pattern for a body suit which I'll be making once I figure out how to fit my odd arms/back area.)

Have you found your perfect tshirt pattern? Tell me what it is! I like tight fitted, scoop necks, but I don't snub my nose at a v-neck either. :)

Here is me trying to make this shirt work with a waist high skirt. I think I like it okay, covers that it's too short. ;)

Fabric: Version 1: Light gray cotton/lyrica knit $6.50/yard for 1 yard =$6.50
Version 2: Dark gray, some kind of cotton blend knit $6.50/yard for 1 yard=$6.50
Notions: Thread $.50/shirt for 2 shirts=$1.00
Clear elastic $.25/shirt for 2 shirts=$.50
Total estimated cost: Each shirt $7.25 


  1. I feel your pain! I have my own fitted tee pattern which is in a New Zealand book so that's no good to you. Have you seen the Agnes pattern by Tilly and the Buttons?
    I haven't tried it but it looks cute. You could do a mashup of the two styles. Good luck with your quest!

    1. Yes! I have seen that one. I'm not sure if I like the ruching in the center, but I'm sure I could leave it out. I already have the Patterns for Pirates one, so maybe I can try that first. But as far as Tilly and the Buttons, I LOVE her new sleepwear pattern Fifi. Makes me want to drop all my projects and just sew up Summer PJ's.

  2. My favorite t-shirts so far are the Deer and Doe Plantain (a free download!) and the Hey June Union St. Tee for a v-neck.

    1. Meg, I have the Deer and Doe downloaded but just haven't tried it yet! That is another great option, I've heard great things about it ... and it seems that Hey June Union St. is a fan favorite, too. I haven't made any of her patterns yet, but I've had my eye on the Evergreen Jacket for fall. :)

      As far as the shirts, I may have to keep trying new ones until I find that perfect fit!