Distantly related to a Plantain

This post brings you an impromptu bonus pattern hack. I got carried away, there’s another one coming tomorrow too. Pattern hacks are my jam, y’all.

The inspiration for this came from the various blogs I’ve been recently and the many MMM16 posts. I started thinking about my own wardrobe – which didn’t take long as I’ve recently had a clear out of everything that no longer fits (leaving me with fewer clothes than some people’s pets) – and reflecting on the gaps I have, and the likelihood of me actually wearing the things I sew. I’m starting to be more conscious of my personal style when sewing but theres still a way to go.

Anyhoo; one of the things I started thinking about was the clothes I’ve loved in the past which no longer feature in my wardrobe. I particular I had a couple of fitted jersey dresses I used to wear all the damn time.

I decided to see if I could make something like it and chose to use the Deer & Doe Plantain tee as my starting point. From making this previously I knew that I found it to be a bit on the loose side around the waist and over the hips.

I’ve seen people make the Plantain into a t-shirt dress before, but these versions were all loose skirted. I wanted something more fitted so I decided to try to combine it with a pencil skirt pattern.

The skirt pattern is one I drafted myself, but it’s a tried and true pattern that I know fits me well.

So here’s what I did: I took the t-shirt front and back pieces and lined up the waist and hip with the waist and hip of the skirt piece. I drew the shape of the skirt onto the t-shirt pieces and drew the curve from the waist to the bust by hand. This shape was pretty different to the original shape of the t-shirt, so it made me a bit worried about how it would turn out, but I decided to just go with it – if it went disastrously wrong I would learn from it at least, right?



Hopefully the photos above help sow you how drastically I ended up altering the shape of the t-shirt, you can see the original lines of the pattern and how much of the new shape goes inside even the smallest of the original pattern lines…

My fabric is a textured poly scuba from The Textile Centre. The only other thing I used is matching thread. Here’s a close-up so you can see the embossed texture.


Once I’d made the alterations to the pattern and cut into the fabric the construction was the same as for the Plantain tee.

Unfortunately; my sewing machine was having none of it. She registered her displeasure at the audacity of my ‘alterations’ by point blank refusing to stitch into the fabric. I double, even triple checked my needle was a ballpoint. I switched it for a fresh needle. I altered my stitch length, width and tension. In the end I found that the only thing that worked was one of the stretch stitch settings on my machine.

It may seem obvious to use the stretch stitch setting, but I usually avoid it because I don’t find it to be stretchy enough and the stitches are really, really small.

To my amazement, it worked. The dress is super close to what I imagined in my head, in future I’d add a little more room in the waist. I’ve still worn this version quite a bit already though. It’s the secretest of secret pajamas.


10 thoughts on “Distantly related to a Plantain

  1. This looks so good! I love your fabric choice and the fit of the dress. I use the plantain to make t-shirt dresses like this as well, thought mine don’t fit so well as yours at the back. It’s such a great pattern isn’t it?!

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