Kate Underdown

I love sewing basics. There’s something very satisfying about sewing garments you know you are going to get lots of wear out of, that will slot into your wardrobe with ease. T-shirts are quite a simple and speedy project to sew. I think my handmade tees are probably my most worn makes. Jersey/knit fabrics are also incredibly comfortable to wear and fitting is usually minimal. If you are thinking about sewing with knit fabrics for the first time, we have some suggested patterns for you that will get you comfortable with jersey projects.

But basics don’t have to be basic. Basics don’t have to be boring. I’m so inspired by the clever takes on the humble tee we have in the shop that I’ve rounded up ten of my favourites. They all have a special detail that elevates what could be a simple garment. Don’t forget to click on your favourites and look at the drool-worthy line drawings.

Style Arc Lorna Knit Top – best for subtle elegance

Typically, I tend to think of t-shirts as begin casual pieces, but they don’t have to be. The Style Arc Lorna Knit Top is oh-so-elegant. This hip-length top has a crew neckband, front and back yokes, a dropped shoulder line, and 3/4-length raglan sleeves with slight gathers at the sleeve head and elastic at the sleeve opening. The yoke detail also gives the opportunity to use a contrasting fabric.

Sizing:UK 4/6 – 16/18 or UK 18/20 – 32

Format: Paper

Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Top  best for learning to sew with stretch fabric

If you are new to sewing with stretch fabrics, you can’t go wrong with a Tilly pattern! The Agnes Top is designed to be sewn on a regular machine and will guide you through the process so you will be able to wave your fear of sewing with knits goodbye. Agnes is close fitting and has a choice of scoop neckline or ruched sweetheart neckline. If you love an interesting detail, go for the optional ruching at the shoulders.

Sizing: UK 6 – 34

Format: Paper and PDF

Pattern Scout Brigit Tee  best for fitted silhouette and clean neckline finish

The Pattern Scout Brigit Tee offers a romantic spin on the basic with its plunging square neckline. The fitted silhouette is perfect for tucking into high-waisted jeans. The partially lined bodice has a clean finish along the neckline, making this little wardrobe staple a simple sew. I want one!!

Sizing: UK 6/8 – 30/32 with B, C and D cup sizes

Format: PDF

Camimade Nuage Balloon Sleeve Shirt  best for puff sleeve lovers

Hands up if you can’t resist a puff sleeve. I know I can’t! With its balloon sleeves and fitted bodice, the Camimade Nuage Shirt is a feminine alternative to the basic t-shirt. Nuage offers two balloon sleeve lengths (short and medium-length), and a long sleeve extension. This pattern will teach you how to finish a neckline professionally. Very quick to sew, you will need more than one in your wardrobe!

Sizing: UK 8 – 20

Format: PDF

Itch to Stitch Isidro Top  best for the beautiful neckline and butterfly sleeves

A cute top never goes out of style – especially when it has details like this one! The Itch to Stitch Isidro Top is so versatile—you can wear it underneath a jacket, or standalone on a warm day. Pair the Isidro with a flared skirt, maxi skirt or voluminous pants to create a balanced outfit. Choose from sleeveless and gathered butterfly sleeve options.

Sizing: UK 8 – 22

Format: PDF

French Navy Tarifa Tee  best for its clever seamlines and construction

This has been one of the most popular patterns in the shop since its launch! The French Navy Tarifa Tee tee has a unique panelled design that makes for a very fun sew. It is a relaxed, boxy T-shirt with a high neckline, two sleeve lengths, and a subtle high/low hemline. Make it all in one fabric for a classic, casual look or express your creativity with endless colour-blocking and scrap-busting potential.

Sizing: UK 6/8 – 34

Format: PDF

Allie Olson Elio Top – best for its clever seamlines and construction

The gorgeous Elio Top is a staple like no other. Here are the design details you are going to love. The fitted knit top has a faux wrap silhouette and the neckline is finished with narrow elastic that allows the bodices to lay flush against the body. You have three sleeve lengths included (cap, elbow and long) making this design ideal for year-round wear.

Sizing: UK 8 – 18/20 or UK 14 – 32

Format: Paper

Bara Studio Leah Top – best for wearing with high waist garments

If you fancy something to wear with your high-waist bottoms and skirts that doesn’t need tucking in, the Leah Top is it. This loose-fit T-shirt has two sleeve lengths and a knot at the hem. It’s simple construction makes it suitable for beginners!

Sizing: UK 6 – 18/20

Format: PDF – this pattern also has a step-by-step video tutorial (in German with English subtitles).

Fibre Mood Clara Top – best for jersey fabric with some drape

There’s no doubt about it – the Fibre Mood Clara Top has sophistication to spare! You can breathe a big sigh of relief though, because it’s easy-peasy to make. A top with a lovely round neckline and cap sleeves, Clara can be given different, charming looks with a tie-front or tie-back or with no tie at all! It looks lovely in jersey with some drape and is the perfect dinner date top!

Sizing: UK 6 – 28/30

Format: PDF

Friday Pattern Company Square Neck Top – best for beginners and fabric choices – you get a pattern for wovens and knits

This is one of my favourites. Simple to sew, super hackable, and designed for woven or knit fabrics. It’s a win, win, win for me – so much so I’ve made it four times already! The Square Neck Top is a slightly cropped boxy dolman sleeved top with a square neckline. A great beginner sewing pattern, it includes pattern pieces to make the top from a knit or woven fabric, as well as front pieces drafted for an A/B cup or a C/D cup.

Sizing: UK 6 – 34 with A/B and C/D cups

Format: Paper and PDF

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