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Free OUSM Cecilia T-Shirt

Did you know that if you sign up for the Once Upon A Sewing Machine newsletter you get a copy of their Cecilia Puff Tee pattern, FREE. So ...

Did you know that if you sign up for the Once Upon A Sewing Machine newsletter you get a copy of their Cecilia Puff Tee pattern, FREE. So run on over and sign up for the newsletter, because you need this one. Don't worry, I'll wait. :)

Welcome back. I actually stumbled on this by accident, but what a wonderful accident it is. I was still looking for the perfect Tee to include in my Free Pattern Girl's Wardrobe and then BOOM it just showed up in my e-mail.

Now let me point out, this pattern isn't perfect, but so very close. And it will be perfect for hacking.

So I sewed up a straight size 7 for my 7yo. Her chest measurement is actually a size smaller than the pattern, but she likes her shirts a little looser, so I sized up. Fingers crossed this also means the shirt will fit longer, but I won't hold my breath.

The pattern comes in sizes 12 months to 8 and has cute little puff sleeves with a banded sleeve hem.

Overall, I'm really happy with this pattern. There were a few tiny things, but for free, I can work with it.

So what "things"?
The sleeve pattern piece does not hit the "fold line" at a right angle. That means the sleeve piece will have a funky little dip in it. But this is super simple to fix. You can see here I just smoothed out that top line to get the right angle. This process is called "truing" a pattern.

Also, I wish the sleeve was a little puffier. But that is a tiny hack we can manage. Check out "the girl inspired" for a tutorial for making puffier sleeves!

The neckline (both front and back), just barely miss the right angle for the fold line. Do the same as above and smooth that line out a tiny bit and that'll fix it.

Lastly, my neckline binding was just a smidge too long. I'd say the measurement is about 3/8" too long on my pattern piece. But, again, that is easily fixable. Also, this clearly depends a GREAT deal on the fabric you use for the neckline. The best way I've found to calculate this measurement is to measure the total neckline (minus seam allowance) and multiply by 0.85. Add back in seam allowances and you've got a close to the right measurement neckband.

I also would prefer a 1 3/4" width band versus the 2" band that is recommended. But that is a personal preference.

Those tiny changes and I have the perfect pattern for changing around to make the perfect combination of knit tops for my daughter. Don't believe it? Then stay tuned because there's nothing I can't do with a decent pattern!

Possible hacks:
-Adding a hem band at the bottom
-Extending it to tunic length
-Color Blocking
-Adding ruffles to necklines, sleeve hem, sleeve seam, hem, across a color block... RUFFLE ALL THE THINGS!
-Adding lace
-Cutting it at empire length and adding a skirt for a tunic or dress
-Adding a long sleeve
-Add a hood (oh yes, I'm definitely adding a hood)
-Making a henley
-Adding a cowl
-A Jacket?

Ha, that's more than 7 completely different t-shirts with just a little hacking magic. And trust me, we're talking "Little" hacking. These are things that any seamstress at any experience level can do. If you can sew knits, you can tackle these hacks. Stay tuned for a follow up series with a few of those hacks!

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  1. Ruffle all the things, hahaha.....and YES about trueing, why are pdf's published without first trueing?? Thanks for the review!

  2. I discovered your Blog during the Black Friday Sales and I have to say that I am really enjoying your reviews. Your honest approach is refreshing and certainly guided my Sale purchases. I have this pattern but havent sewn it yet so it is useful to note the "Truing" details, thanks

  3. I have made several of these for my daughter and love the fit. My only issue is that the cuff pattern piece for the long sleeve version was wider than the sleeve; easy enough to trim down after I caught it but just something to be aware of (not sure if it is a problem with all sizes; I've only made the 8).

    1. That's really important to know, thanks Sarah! I'll be sure to keep an eye on the arm bands when I throw together a big round-up post of all the versions I've done.


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