Sewing

The Ruched Tee – Sinclair Patterns Sienna

Back at the beginning of May I was looking for a t-shirt pattern for a beautiful dark green jersey I had picked up at the ASG OC chapter garage sale. I had 3 yards of it, and the softness and drape belied either rayon or bamboo in the fibers.

I settled on the Sinclair Sienna, which I got for free when Oxana first released it (it’s now $9.99 on her site).

*Housekeeping: some links on this page are affiliate links, meaning that I get a small commission from purchases you make using them, but it doesn’t cost you anything extra! If I like them, you might too!* 

The Sienna is a cute upgrade from a standard tee in that it features drawstrings at the side seams for a bit of ruching fun. It also has cut-on sleeves, so it’s just a simple back and front with bands for the neck and sleeves, and the drawstrings.

Sinclair Patterns come in petite, regular and tall sizes WITH cup sizing!! The breakdown of heights is:

Petite: 5’1″ – 5’3″ or 152-160 cm
Regular: 5’4″ – 5’6″ or 162-170 cm /
Tall: 5’7″ – 5’9″ or 170-178 cm

The cups are grouped in B/C, C/D, and D/E, which is a good overlap. Because I assumed my green possibly rayon fabric would stretch out and “grow,” I sized down a bit to between a Petite US 12 and 14 (I would have cut a 16 otherwise). The PDF prints with the seam line for all sizes, so I used the size 14 seam line as my cut line. So a size 13!

As I continue reviewing PDF patterns, I’ve come up with 5-6 facets of a pattern that I prefer. Here is how the Sienna stacks up:

  • Layered sizes: yes
  • Colored lines by size: yes
  • No trim pattern: yes
  • Prints to edge of paper: yes
  • Print layout included: not really
  • A0 available: yes

(The last one isn’t quite a big deal for me because I prefer to print at home, but I know many people like a copy shop version so I’ve included it in my breakdown.)

Where the Sienna comes up short is the lack of print layout. There is one, but it’s the size of a postage stamp on the very first page of the pattern. The pages themselves are numbered via small grid with the page number colored in. This is a novel numbering system I haven’t seen repeated but I don’t dislike it.

The instructions themselves print out in landscape orientation, which drives me batty. I really hate that because I always end up putting the staple in the wrong place. That being said, the instructions themselves are very clear with a mixture of photos and line drawings to illustrate steps.

The pattern is a pretty easy make, and is rated as “easy 3/10” on the Sinclair Patterns website. And though there are instructions for creating closed drawstrings, the nice thing about a lot of knits (especially the two I chose) is that by just stretching out an inch or two wide band, you get a curled spaghetti-like strand that saves you from having to turn out skinny drawstrings! The pattern actually recommends this if your fabric allows for it.

Because I wanted to make sure my green version of this was going to be spot on, I tested the pattern in a similar cotton jersey I had leftover from my mom’s Circle Cardigan project. This fabric had slightly less drape but about the same amount of stretch so the results wouldn’t be too different.

The fit was great at size 13! I didn’t make any adjustments, until I got I in my head that a cowl neck version would be FANTASTIC.

I didn’t really want to make another test piece, so I just went for it with the green jersey. I found an easy to follow tutorial on Craftsy which basically requires you to find how low you want the cowl to go, and then splitting the neckline in 2 parts to spread about 8-10”, then create a facing and sew it all down, like this:

All I had to worry about was finishing the back neckline. I’d made the cowl from McCalls 6752 once, and the directions basically have you just turn the back over once or leave it raw, but I didn’t want to do that so I actually created a facing for it, too. I serged it on (and also serge finished the front facing instead of leaving it raw). Then I tacked it down with a stretch stitch so I have a bit of topstitching on the back collar.

The end result was not what I was expected. The neckline actually feels like it’s riding up in the front, despite having done a high round back adjustment to avoid that very thing. The cowl drape isn’t nearly as dramatic as I expected either. I added 9” for the cowl, but as you can see that created a very mini cowl. I either didn’t start down low enough on the center front, or I need to add closer to 13-15” for the next version.

The color, though, is fabulous. I love the emerald green, and the jersey is so soft. It didn’t grow as much as I would have expected from rayon so maybe it’s bamboo or double brushed poly? I have no idea. Because there’s some spandex in it the fibers just melt so there’s really no telling what it is, but I’m happy with it. The fit is just fine at the smaller size, though the biceps were a tiny bit tight at first (though they stretched out just fine).

 

 

I love them both and have brought them to Canada with me on my working vacation. The green version especially (because of the luxe feel of the fabric) pairs nicely with black dress pants for the perfect conference planner outfit. Black pants also camouflage the fact that I’m wearing black sneakers (pro event planner tip!).

And once the conference is over I’ll be able to throw either on with a pair of shorts and enjoy the rest of my beer exploring holiday! Cheers!

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