Hey curvy sewists!
I’m here today with a review of one of our recent “favorite curvy patterns” winners, the Hot Patterns Fast & Fabulous Shirt-Tail Ts! Although it’s obviously a crowd favorite so I am clearly preaching to the choir, I noticed that we didn’t have a review up on the CSC nor are there many versions in the CSC Flickr Group. Plus, I used one of the Hot Patterns’ relatively new PDF/downloadable patterns, so I thought I’d review that aspect of it for those who are curious.
Here we go!
Pattern name: Hot Patterns Fast & Fabulous Shirt-Tail T’s (HP 1189)
Pattern description: “Loose-fit, pull-on T’s have a slouchy-shapely silhouette, with a ‘U’ neckline, a shaped center back seam, cut-on cap sleeves, and a shirt-tail hem. The neckline is finished with self fabric binding; sleeves are finished with a turn-back cuff. Choose between a solid or pieced front (great for stripes!), or add some ultra-pretty ruffles. These fluid T’s work brilliantly worn loose or semi-tucked with cropped jeans or pants, or try them belted over a swooshy ‘A’ line maxi skirt.”
Size range: 6-26 (bust 32-52″, waist 24-44″, hip 34-54″)
What size did you make? 14, one size down from what my measurements indicated I should make, purely based on what I’d read about the pattern on the internet. Folks said it ran large, and although I wanted to stay true to the slouchy style, I didn’t want to be swimming in it.
What are your measurements, height, and body type? 42-35-45, pearish
What fabric did you use? My fabric is a medium weight cotton jersey that I bought here in Bangkok. I used it previously for a Strathcona t-shirt for my husband and still had plenty left over since I bought a kilo of it here in Bangkok, where buying by the kilo is cheaper than by the meter! I’d say you don’t need to worry to much about stretch percentage for this pattern since it’s a loose fit with positive ease all over.
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
No adjustments besides going down a size, just switched around construction a bit.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
I think the instructions were fine: not super detailed, but they’ll get you there! I could have used a few more pattern markings, though, particularly on the pieced front, just to make sure I had things lined up correctly.
For the neck, the instructions have you apply the neck binding before closing up the back seam, but I don’t like the unfinished result at the back neck, so I chose to use this Megan Nielsen binding method: sewing the back and shoulder seams up, sewing binding in a loop, sewing it to the wrong side of the neck hole, then wrapping it around the seam allowance and top stitching.
I also sewed the side seams before hemming, although the instructions recommended the opposite. My hem ended up a bit wonky… I’m curious to try it the way the instructions suggest. But I have a feeling that won’t make a difference- curved hems are tough with knits!
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
Yes! I really like the shape of the tee! Even though it’s a boxy design, there is enough shaping on the side and back seams to keep it shapely and cool looking…
There is a curved center back seam with what seems to be shaping to deal with swayback, which is nice… in retrospect, though, I should have cut one of the back pieces with the stripes going vertically to avoid having to stripe match across that seam (although I’m pretty chuffed with the job I did!):
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
I will definitely make this pattern again! I may try the solid front version and certainly another striped one. Ruffles are not my thing, so I likely won’t go that route, but the ruffled version is pretty cute if you’re into that sort of thing! By the way, they’re called ruffles on the pattern, but the pattern pieces are not gathered rectangles, but rather more circular flounces.
Like I said, I may try actually following the instructions to hem before sewing the side seams. I am slightly concerned that the cuffed sleeves won’t stay cuffed with washing (although they stayed cuffed while wearing it). Perhaps next time I’ll narrow the piece and treat it like a band rather than a cuff. Otherwise, it’s pretty great as is!
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up?
Take a look at the Hot Patterns Shirt-Tail T “Show and Tell” video if you’re planning on making the striped version. It’s a bit long (10 minutes!!), but there are some essential hints about cutting out the stripes at about minute 7:20. She suggests cutting the upper front piece along the edge of the “dominant” colored stripe, which I think is good advice. I wish I’d done the same for the small triangle piece under the left arm, too. Keep in mind your seam allowance, though! I ended up cutting 3/8″ away from the black stripe and then using the stripe itself as the sewing guide just to make sure it looked really straight on the front side.
How was working with Hot Patterns’ PDF print-at-home pattern?
This was my first Hot Patterns pattern and my first time using their (relatively) new PDF patterns. Their PDFs are a bit different than some of the others on the market, in a good way, I think, but it took some getting used to. First, you have to pick your paper size before buying (A4 or 8.5 x 11″/letter). Then, when you print, rather than cutting the edges off the paper (a tedious task, at best), the pattern goes right up to the edge of the paper. You just have to abut the edges and tape!
Seems pretty awesome, huh? Paper saving, no extra cutting. The only problem, though, is that, apparently some printers don’t recognize or can’t “see” the edge of the pattern, so they cut off a bit of the printing on all of the edges. This happened to me and I got a bit worried. Hot Patterns has a video explaining that it’s fine and you can go ahead and tape it up even though the pattern lines might not meet at the edges, but it’s still slightly disconcerting! You can see in the photo below how the lines don’t meet up at the edges of the paper and some of the printing ends up cut off:
Pattern Rating:(1 is the lowest score, 5 the highest)
Size Range: 5, a pretty wide size range!
Instructions: 4, there could be a bit more detail in the instructions, but they’ll get you there.
Construction Process: 3.5, I don’t love how you would end up with sort of exposed seam ends at the neckline and hems if you followed the instructions.
Final Fit: 5, love the fit!
Overall Rating: 4.5, although I found some of the construction a little bit strange, I love the final shirt. The perfect slouchy (but not too slouchy) cool t-shirt with interesting details!
Some bonus “in the wild” shots of me wearing my tee while on vacation in Victoria, Australia over the holidays. After wearing the tee a few times on the trip, I am itching to make another right away! Excited to try some of the other curvy-approved Hot Patterns, like the Blouse-Back T, too!