Classic Tee-Shirt: Working for perfection, but accepting imperfection

I was trying for another quick win with my sewing plan before I started the pants but got hung up on trying to muslin and adjust a pattern to make it perfect. However in this case, and most cases I'm often better off accepting good enough, at least for the time being.

I want a few more simple Tee-shirts in my wardrobe so when LoveNotions re-released their Classic Tee and had it for free over a weekend I grabbed it. It was exactly what I was looking for and free is always my favourite price. It's still available for $5 US on their site and if you join their facebook group * you can often find promo codes for free patterns to try them out. That is what enticed me to try and I've loved pretty everything I've made. There is a reason they've gotten so popular!

For my first version I left the bust alone and added an inch to the waist. It looked pretty good, but had a bit of wrinkling above the bust and a fair bit of wrinkling at the back.

I got some great feedback from the LoveNotions facebook group to help me carry out the modifications. These groups are such a wonderful source of knowledge and help. If you are not in the pattern company's specific group go join it!

There were a couple possibilities for the bust wrinkling, either I needed to add a bit of length above my bust line or do a full bust adjustment. Another thing I wondered about is if I could use a narrow  or sloping shoulder adjustment. Those ones scare me so I decided to try lowering the bust as that seemed the easiest option. I'm also a smaller bust size but am wearing a padded push-up bra so that is the main reason I was hesitant to go for the full bust adjustment.

The back wrinkles could be due to a sway back or possibly needing more space in the tummy (yes I'm sucking in hard here).

I sewed the neckline on backwards so the seam is in the front. Oh well this version is pretty much destined to be added to my pyjama collection anyways.

As mentioned above, for version 2 I decided to try the easiest adjustment and added half an inch above the bust using the "Dawn Alteration" which keeps the arm the same an lowers the bust a bit. I also added a bit of width to the hips and belly hoping that would take care of the back wrinkles as had been suggested in my request for help in the facebook group.

I also thought this would be a good chance to try sewing up a V-neck version as I'd like to do one in my good fabric.  Result: I think I'll stick with the original pattern. My attempts at the adjustments added some weird wrinkles above the bust. And when I wore the first shirt without a bra it actually fit perfectly. You always hear how much of an impact undergarments can make, and it's definitely true in this case.

The back is a bit better after letting it out, but again I think I'll stick with my first attempt and not grade out so much. My first attempt was medium in the hips and it's probably enough. Especially as I really hope to lose a bit of weight.

In the closeup you can see how many more wrinkles I added by my adjustment. I also need to leave a bit more at the edge of the V. Glad I practiced on this one and not my good fabric. Doing the bust lowering means I'd need to do something with the shoulders as well and that seems so complicated.

So my conclusions after all this time spent on testing... I don't need perfection. The pattern as drafted is better than I can do at my current knowledge level. It still looks much better than ready to wear shirts because I can add some length where needed and get a very good result and save myself anymore effort trying to tweak this to perfection. I'm actually quite happy with good enough and striving for perfection takes the joy out of the process for me. The fabric I've chosen for my final versions has a softer drape and that alone will probably smooth out some of these wrinkles.

There is often a lot of pressure in the online sewing space to get the absolutely perfect fit, but no one but us sewers really notice or at least can put into words why one shirt looks better than another. So I'm going to stick with a slightly imperfect fit and perhaps one day I'll try again to get closer, but I'm ready to move on.

*That is the link to LoveNotions post within their facebook group. You'll have to request access to join the group to see it.
This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchased a pattern from LoveNotions based on this post I'd receive a small commission.


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