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Grey Plantain with Distressed Binding

deer and doe plantain

While most American sewing bloggers seem to be caught in an arctic chill, preventing them from wearing anything but the most warmest of outerwear for blog photos, I’m over here in sunny (northern) California, where I’m dreaming of snow, and puffy coats, and thick wool sweaters, and warm boots and stuck in 70F weather that is going to cause an alarming drought later in the year. (Although I will admit that my delicate west coast self would freeze her toches off if I were to actually get what I’m dreaming about!) I thought that sewing up a lightweight long sleeve tee would be a good compromise – it feels like winter wear because it’s grey and long sleeves, but it’s actually pretty lightweight.

plantain knit top elbow patches

This simple long sleeve tee is the Plantain by Deer and Doe, available for free. I love the elbow patch detail on this shirt – something little that does add a bit of interest to an otherwise very simple shirt. It’s certainly not hard to cut an oval and figure out elbow placement yourself, but it is nice to not have to do any thinking and just follow the pattern. The fabric is some mystery fabric from the remnant table. It doesn’t have a lot of stretch for supposedly being a t-shirt knit, but it does have a soft hand and a nice drape and the reverse (dark grey) is lovely as well. Unfortunately, it turned out to be pretty sheer once I tried it on, but I do have a lovely little black silk camisole that is quite luscious to wear underneath.

distressed knit binding

To add another little touch of interest, I sewed the binding on the neck and sleeves a little differently. I cut the binding from the pattern and folded it in half, as instructed. I then aligned it on the WRONG side of the fabric with the raw edges pointing UP. I sewed a 5/8″ seam allowance, trimmed down the shirt fabric to 1/4″ away from the seam and the upper layer of the binding to 3/8-1/2″ away from the seam. This allows the raw edges of the knit to roll and creates a fun, layered, distressed look.

grey knit top deer and doe plantain

I made very few changes to the pattern. I did grade up one size between waist and hip. I lengthened the sleeves 1″ and then did my distressed binding which means no length was lost in hemming. I left the bottom edge of the shirt raw. I’m pretty happy to add this to my wardrobe (even if, in reflection, now 2 of my 4 long sleeve tees are grey. Time to inject some color, stat! At least I have one with red stripes).

plain gree long sleeve tee plantain

Comments 14

  1. I feel you on the weather! I live in San Luis Obispo (a few hours south of you) and it is soooo hot! Last week it was 91 degrees, the hottest in the nation. Gross.

    Your shirt is great! I have to check out that pattern!

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  2. I’m so worried about the weather right now! Day after day of “perfect” weather is certainly anxiety provoking. I do love your tee, though :) The distressed details are great and I love the two tones of gray. You can never have too much gray!

  3. I love the distressed detail — very clever! Gray is one of my fave “colors” so you can never have too much gray in your wardrobe! Yes, the weather is beautiful but we need rain — we’ve cut back on our lawn watering so it’s looking pretty ratty now.

  4. I really like the way you sewed the binding on ‘the wrong way’ for effect. I think it looks awesome and I’m going to make one like this for my daughter.

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      Thanks! It’s a fun treatment, isn’t it? It looks particularly nice on this lightweight sweater knit, although I keep thinking I should experiment with it on other knits.

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