Sewing Skills: Plantain T-Shirt

Pattern: Deer & Doe Plantain T-Shirt
Fabric: rayon jersey
Cost: $5

Sure the Plantain T-Shirt is a great basic, and is no doubt the reason it's popping up all over the blogosphere this month. But sewing one up can also be a great chance to learn and practice some new skills. Here's three new techniques I tried out:

Sewing with knits: While I have gotten quite comfortable with my serger in our 3+ years together, I still had one lingering problem with sewing knits: durability. For some reason, a few seams start to unravel after multiple washings, and my zig-zag hems often do not hold up. On this project I payed special attention to this challenge, and carefully knitted each serger chain. We'll see how this one turns up.

New hem technique: In my serger class a few years ago, I had learned how to do a flat lock stitch, and how it can be used to do a serged hem without a cover stitch machine. My previous attempts had always been a bit off, so this time I took the time to research the technique and sew various scrap samples. While I had thought I needed a different foot for this technique, it turns out that I didn't at all. The final hem, while not quite perfect, turned out well enough, and was the perfect stitch for a knit this stretchy and slippery.

Experiment with the details: For this project, I was eager to try out a new collar technique: the v-neck. Using a tutorial from The Sewing Rabbit, I gave it a couple goes and finally came out of it with something ok. I think it would probably work even better on a less slippery fabric.

The shirt itself also offers a lot of opportunity to play with the elbow patches or other added on details, which could be a ton of fun.

So, that's one simple shirt for me, but three new skills! And, the benefit of a simple shirt is that it goes well with my other handmades - including my flower pants and Minoru jacket.


  1. Great idea to use a simple pattern to build your skills. You reminded me I want to give flatlock hemming a go.

  2. So you did the flat lock stitch with your serger?
    I may have to try that out on mine.

  3. Great basic tee, and the hem looks fabulous! Hope it holds up!

  4. Nice and basic looking Tee. I cut my plantain already but also raised the neckline by almost 4 cm, I found it very low cut. I may have to take an overlocker course as I don't know how to do any kind of stitches on mine, except for 3 thread and 4 thread. It did not come with a manual, was gifted to me, and I can't find one online. I like that flat lock stitch, looks great.


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