Crafty Bloggers' Club - Gemma' Simple Tee Box Pleat Hack

Posted by Kim Burley Jones
on May 17, 2021

This weeks Crafty Bloggers' Club post is from Gemma.  You can find more of her makes on Instagram @sewminigems

Hi, I’m Gemma from SewMiniGems and I am pleased to be back as a Guest Blogger for Crafty Sew & So. This time I have chosen a My Handmade Wardrobe pattern, 3 by 3 Tees.

Simple Tee Free Pattern

Everyone needs a tee pattern, and this is a pattern that you can modify in many ways to suit you. For example, you could lengthen it into a dress or tunic, you could shorten it and add a gathered skirt, you could add sleeves, you could add a peplum… the possibilities are endless.

For this version I decided to put a box pleat into the centre back, underneath a yoke, then add some cuffs and drop the neckline. I picked this summery “Blue Lagoon” stripe single jersey from Crafty Sew & So - which gives that extra challenge of stripe matching, but also gives the opportunity to play with the stripe direction on the back yoke, cuffs and neckband.

Simple Tee Free Pattern

I love a stripy tee – who doesn’t? – but I used to avoid striped fabric as I was intimidated by the thought of stripe matching. But it’s really not so bad as long as you take your time. Cutting your fabric accurately is critical. Some people prefer not to cut out on the fold, but to open out the fabric and cut whole pieces so they can see that it all lines up. Personally, I do cut out on the fold, but I am very careful to ensure that the fold is straight and the stripes line up through both top and bottom layers. I insert a pin at the top of a stripe, and carefully check the underside to make sure it lines up with the same stripe on the bottom. I do this in multiple places across the fabric to ensure everything is square and lined up.


Simple Tee Free Pattern - matching stripes

The next stage is to put the pattern pieces on the fabric and here I always try to find a feature that is on both front and back pattern pieces that I can line up with the top of a stripe – for example, a notch in the side seam or the curve of the arm hole. Then when I cut the next piece out I can line up the same feature on the other pattern piece with the top of a matching stripe.

The phrase “Measure twice, cut once” has never been more relevant than when you are trying to match a pattern of any kind. I check the placement (twice!) before I cut it out.

Simple Tee Free Pattern

When I pin the seams together, I check the stripes line up before I sew (and breathe a sigh of relief when they do). And my top tip is, if you have one, to use a walking foot on your sewing machine as it minimises the risk of the seam going out of alignment while sewing. Of course, if it does go out of alignment slightly, it’s not the end of the world; I just unpick that part, realign it and sew again. Although it is quick and convenient to make a tee like this on the overlocker, I don’t so that when pattern matching; I sew each seam on the sewing machine to make sure everything is aligned, then overlock.

Simple Tee Free Pattern
I’m very pleased with the final garment, the stripe matching is looking good and I do love the back view especially. I encourage you to download the pattern, it’s free after all. I’ll be following the hashtag #mhwsimpletee on Instagram and can’t wait to see what you can make with this versatile pattern.

Simple Tee Free Pattern
Simple Tee Free Pattern
Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you over at soon.

 Happy sewing!

Gemma x

“Crafty Bloggers' Club Contributors are given products and materials to test from Crafty Sew & So. We hope you enjoy their honest and impartial reviews of the products. All opinions are their own.”