Deer and Doe Plantain Tee

It’s Got Elbow Patches!!

Who knew that elbow patches on a tee would get me this excited.  I’ve been seeing lots of Deer & Doe Plantain tees in the blog-o-sphere.  I needed some basics in my wardrobe as it has been 3 years since I swore off RTW and the last of my RTW tees are wearing thin.  This shirt was perfect and it never hurts that the pattern is also free.  For the fabric I reached for a comfy, fuzzy grey fabric from my stash to replace a grey tee that has an embarrassing number of little holes.  With my newly folded stash it was super easy to find.  For the elbow patch I used leftovers from making this shirt.  It’s a plumy color and looks great with the grey.

Deer and Doe Plantain

Pattern Alterations

The tee fit well for the most part.  I made some of my usual changes.

  • Shoulder slope adjustment
  • Cheater back curve adjustment
  • Petite adjustments
  • Shortening sleeves.  I ended up cutting it too short and adding a cuff to add the length back.  This also meant I had to adjust the elbow patch to match my elbow.

 Uncommon adjustments for me

  • Raising the neckline by 3 inches.  Yes, three.  My petite proportion would account for about 1-1.5” of this.  But surprisingly I didn’t need to do the petite adjustment through the sleeves.  I think for the non-petite person this armhole would be too high and sleeve too tight.


Elbow Patch Placement Tip

To easily place the elbow patch I cut the patch placement out of the sleeve pattern.  Then I laid the pattern over the sleeve and put the patch in the hole.  Pin in place and remove the pattern and you’re ready to sew.

Elbow Patch Placement

Fit Stops

I don’t muslin but I do some pre-cutting changes mentioned above and the rest I fit as I go.  I call these Fit Stops, like pit stops without the crew that works while you sit around.  Where does one get one of these…

Fit Stop #1

When I sewed the shoulder seams, I tried it on to check

  • my shoulder adjustments were right
  • my head would fit through the now smaller neck hole
  • back curve cheater adjustment was right
  • arm hole was where I wanted it
  • the length of the shirt was right
  • the shirt would fit around me

Some of these changes I may not be able to fix on the fly but at least I know now vs after hours of sewing.  Wadder prevention is the goal.

Fit Stop

Fit Stop #2

Once the sleeves are on I tried it on again to check

  • the sleeve length was right
  • the sleeves weren’t too tight
  • the elbow patch was in the right place
  • anything that you may have missed at Fit Stop #1

This is where I saw that the sleeves are too short.  Oops.  I could have cut another sleeve but instead opted to add a cuff.  My mis-measurement also meant my elbow patch was too low.  I unpicked and resewed.  Since the sleeves are still flat this much easier than it would have been had the underarm seams had been sewn.

Final Fit Stop

The last fit stop was to try on the finished shirt.  My shirt didn’t need any changes so this stop was just to stop and bask in my own glory.  I loved it so much; I ended up keeping it on for the rest of the night.

Just for laughs.  Here are some awkward model poses I tried to show off the elbow patch.

Awkward PosesEdited to add:  Link to Pattern Review

Happy Sewing,

Signature smalle-mail: detectivehoundstooth@gmail.com
twitter: @nhi2huynh
pinterest:  DetectiveHT
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23 Responses to Deer and Doe Plantain Tee

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  4. Deepika says:

    Lovely shirt. Would you consider doing a tutorial on the sway back adjustment?

  5. Nothy says:

    I love your pattern changes. The elbow patches are great. Love the colour.

  6. Gjeometry says:

    I love the bright pink you used for the patches. I had to raise the neckline about 2″ in mine, as well. But, otherwise, it seemed to fit just fine in the smallest size.

  7. Jill says:

    Ha, I love the last of your awkward model poses with your hand under your chin 😀
    But seriously, this is cute. Gray and pink is one of my favorite color combos!

  8. Raye Ann Clayton says:

    Love it! I think it looks great on you, and I love the color combination. You should make a wardrobe of these!

  9. Seattlerain says:

    What a great idea to add plum to the color scheme! I want plum all the time but this gives me my dose without making everything in the same color!

    I have the pattern and stupidly donated some magenta/plum fabric from a knit Laurel I made. This is the one time I should have resisted stash clean out. Great shirt!

  10. June says:

    Looks great! The cuffs look like a deliberate design feature. Tell me more about this “back curve cheater adjustment” !

    • Oh a “design feature”, that’s what I’ll tell people. The back curve cheater adjustment is a bit difficult to describe without pics but I’ll try my best. On tops or dresses that has a straight center back seam, I usually have excess fabric that I can pinch out 1/4-1/2″ at the back of the neck. This is from a curve in the neck that most people have. It would look weird to have a dart there, I usually add a center back seam that would curve at the top to create a hidden dart. I hope this makes sense. Since this is a loose tee, a center back seam would look weird. Instead I kept the 2 dart legs as-is and moved the dart point down to the hem and closed up that dart. This takes a small bit of width out of the back piece that can be added back if you need it. I didn’t need it in this case. This adjustment is made on the pattern piece before the fabric is cut.

      • June says:

        Hi, Nhi,
        I followed you up to ” Instead I kept the 2 dart legs as-is and moved the dart point down to the hem and closed up that dart. ” So you elongated the dart to the full length of the back and eliminated it by placing the cut-on-fold line slightly off of the edge of the fabric at the neck and drifting it back to center by the bottom hem? Wouldn’t that make the back slightly off grain? Or am I misunderstanding? Sorry!

        • Thank you for the question. No it will not be off “grain”. Grain is in quotes because knit don’t technically have a grain but I understand what you mean. The “grain” will still runs down the new center back. What you end up doing in this adjustment is that the neckline is shortened; eliminating the gaping. This is really a cheater method and not the best way to do this especially if you do this in woven. Wovens should probably have a center back seam.

  11. aleah says:

    This is one of those patterns that I get more interested in every time I see one – yours is the most convincing yet! I’d been wary because I don’t like swing tops, but this isn’t too swingy after all. I’d better get on it, though, because we’re already out of long-sleeve top weather here!

  12. BeccaA says:

    This shirt is great! There have been so many wonderful plantains that I will have to jump on this bandwagon. Thanks for the inspirational post. Fit stops–I love it!

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