Today’s project is an example of a great pairing of pattern and fabric. I just love it so much! The garments that have staying power and remain in my wardrobe for a long time are the ones that are a good fabric and pattern match. So let’s talk about the Stellan Tee and some sweet, sweet, organic cotton knit.
For over four years I worked at Pintuck & Purl, a fabric and yarn store in southeastern New Hampshire. It was a great experience because, among other things, I got to try out many fabrics I hadn’t tried before. One of those fabrics was this organic cotton knit from Birch Organic Fabrics (collection: Saltwater; designer: Emily Winfield Martin). Every time I tried organic cotton, there was a clear difference in feel and quality.
I had my eye on this cute nautical print for several years, but it was both narrow for a knit and quite expensive because it was organic cotton. Finally, though, it had sat in the store for so long that it had to be put on sale. And that was when I finally bought some for my very own. This fabric is beefy and soft–much like interlock knit t-shirts used to be, and I turned over a lot of different ideas in my mind, trying to decide what I wanted to make with it. I finally settled on the The Stellan Tee, a free pattern from French Navy Patterns that I really wanted to try.
Free patterns are such a great way to try out a company’s style and quality, and although I used to think it wasn’t worth it to sew t-shirts, I now think otherwise. T-shirts are a quick and easy project for those times when you need something quick and easy, and each pattern is just a little bit different. They’re so satisfying to make. Luckily, this pattern didn’t disappoint. It’s filled with clear instructions and illustrations, and you can choose to use a serger and a regular sewing machine, or a regular sewing machine only. I made it in a size XXL.
Just a little while before making this, my husband bought me my very own JUKI serger (the MO-654DE), replacing the cute vintage model I had that wasn’t working. This was the first project I tried with it.
The fabric sewed like a dream. I used the stripe as my main fabric. I had also bought a little bit of the anchor print for details like a pocket and the back neck reinforcement. The pocket wasn’t a part of the pattern–I used the pocket from the Union Street Tee pattern by Hey June Handmade in order to have a place to showcase that anchor print on the outside of the shirt.
I really love the back neck reinforcement detail–it made the shirt look so professional. That was included in the pattern.
I got a little confused as I sewed it on about where to stitch my first seam (Through the seam allowance only, or also through the back of the shirt? I chose seam allowance only.), but I figured it out in the end. I also chose to topstitch around the neck opening to hold the seam allowance down and because it looks nice. And I used a zig zag stitch at the hem instead of a twin needle because my twin needle stitching often comes undone over time. I didn’t change the fit or substance of the pattern, however. I really like the Stellan Tee and wouldn’t hesitate to try another French Navy pattern after this. I love the style of this shirt with its curved hemline and loose, boxy cut.
It pairs perfectly with this midweight fabric.
And even though I am new to serging, everything went great with using both my regular machine and my serger. The Stellan Tee was a good beginner project for trying out the serger. I think I’m really going to like this machine.
It’s getting a little cold to wear this shirt now, but I wore it a lot while it was still warm and look forward to wearing it next summer. I would definitely make this pattern again…and use this fabric again in another project…and definitely use my serger again…this was a good project.