Types of T-Shirts, Continued!

Yesterday I posted a rundown comparing the pros and cons of my favourite t-shirt patterns. I was feeling stuck about which style to make for spring – happily through the process of writing, I remember how much I like ALL the patterns!

I stopped overthinking it and cut out 4 different patterns that night: Plantain, Comino, Kristen Kimono Tee, and Jalie Dolman. Now that they are sewn up, I thought it would be fun to look at a side by side comparison!


Ta da! It’s clear they are all quite similar! Scooped neck, same length, with moderate ease. All four are rayon jersey, though there’s quite a range in weight and texture, as I’ll describe later.

 *Don’t worry, I’m not going monochromatic with my wardrobe – I just love how a neutral graphic print mixes with bright colours and florals!*

Here’s a bit more on each pattern:


Dear and Doe Plantain: 

This knit is the most stable of the four, so I avoided patterns with cut-on kimono sleeves. I took a bit of a wedge off the bottom side seams to make the hem less flared, because I thought the fabric would hang awkwardly with the swingy hem as drafted. I straightened the front hem to match the strip, but kept the gentle curve in the back. (It’s hard to see in these photos, but the fabric has a really cool 3-d scallop that forms the stripe! It’s really cute and reminds me of Japanese clothes, which love creamy cotton lace details!)

kimono tee

Maria Denmark Kristen Kimono Tee

This fabric is the lightest and sheerest, so I chose a loose and breezy pattern and fit. This would have looked slopy as a Plantain or more structured shirt. The neckband is a bit tight, which is making the neck a smidge higher than I’d like… but with a scarf or necklace, I doubt I’ll notice!


Kitschy Koo Comino Cap Tee

Remember this fabric from this dress? I saved all the awkward shaped scraps, and JUST managed to make a tee form the leftovers! I had enough to cut the front on the fold, but had to piece the back… then I cut two left sides for the back, and had to piece even more! In the end, the back is made of 5 seamed pieces, plus there’s a neckband, hemband and arm band finishes because I forgot to cut extra room to fold and coverstitch the edges! Thank goodness for busy prints that hide everything.

This rayon jersey is a bit scratchy, and stretches less than the other knits. I chose Comino Cap because I know it is trim enough to work in stable knits. I also used wider-than-normal bands to finish the arms, because I wanted to mimic the slightly longer sleeves of the Kristen Kimono tee.

jalie dolman

Jalie Dolman Top

Recognise this fabric, too? I’ve made a dress and a tank with it before – so when I saw it in the remnant bin, it had to be mine. I managed to get this out of 90cm, which is less than the 1.5m I’d usually figure for a 3/4 sleeve tee. That’s the nice thing about this drop shoulder shape with tiny wee sleeve pieces!

This fabric is on the light end of mid-weight, and it falls into a drape effortlessly. (As opposed to fabric you have to pull on to stretch, if you know what I mean! This fabric WANTS to drape and stretch.) It’s quite similar to the fabric I last used for this pattern, so I knew it would work. I also chose a busy print on purpose to camouflage the dropped shoulder seams – I’ve tried this style in a stripe, and personally, I though it made my rounded shoulders unflatteringly pronounced.


There you have it – comparison complete! I’m happy with all four tops, and I know they’ll get worn a lot. Making these up help me realise the value of have a range of TNT t-shirt patterns: it lets you match the fabric and the pattern more successfully! My favourite squishy, mid-weight rayon knit (like I waxed poetic about here) would have worked for any of these patterns, but not all these fabrics are interchangeable.

If you are looking to up your t-shirt game, may I suggest my Lazy Tips for Sewing Knits series? It’s and oldie, but a goodie, I think – lots of posts including easy ways to find the grain, sew sleeves, and my tricks for doing cuffs and neckbands.

I had a lot of fun sewing these tops and comparing them – hope it was fun for you too! I’d love to hear how you match fabric to pattern when you are sewing knits – and let me know if you think any of my shirts is the clear winner! 

32 thoughts on “Types of T-Shirts, Continued!

    1. I like a loose fit too! Not all the way baggy – I feel like I’m too curvy for that. But a nice loose skimming fit is my fav!


  1. I like the Plantain best, and the Jalie second. I think the neckline on the Plantain is the most flattering on you, and I think the slightly longer sleeve length is better too. On the other hand, sometimes we just want a shorter sleeve, right? 😎


    1. Too true! The heart wants what it wants. I do like a lower scoop neckline, too… I think that’s what I loved so much about the Jalie raglans I made last year! Maybe once it warms up I’ll like a little more skin showing! 😉


  2. I love all these tops. I’m in the process of trying to make myself new tshirts too. I’m a beginner apparel sewer though. But, I’m jumping right in with both feet and doing it anyway. I’m going to try not to by any tshirts this year. Thanks for all the inspiration.


    1. T-shirts are a great way to start! Renfrew was my first pattern, after I’d been sewing a couple of months… and it was a great intro. A kimono tee is a good place to start too – no sleeves means its super quick! Good luck!


    1. Hahaha – when I looked at the pics, I couldn’t believe how similar they are!!!! So much for my agonizing over which pattern to use! 😛


  3. Your comment “they are all very similar” made me laugh – I own a bunch of t-shirt patterns and I obsess over which is the best, but it’s true that a non-sewer probably wouldn’t see much of a difference if they were all made up in the same fabric. I tend to make the Kirsten Kimono the most, but I always lower the neckline when I do.


    1. The upside of other people not noticing details that sewists pay attention to is that no one has ever said, “Hey, don’t you have 10 other identical tops?” 😛


  4. I like the last one, lovely print. And wow, you sew fast! I don’t really have a way of matching fabric to pattern, I usually just wait for inspiration to strike 🙂


    1. It was so fun to sew lots of things at once! All the serging, then all the coverstitching… and all the same colour of thread!


    1. It cracked me up how I managed to hit the same poses in every shirt – made collaging them together easy! 😉


  5. Well, you are a speed demon! I love them all…your fabrics are so fun and i’m so impressed that you pieced some scraps and came out with a beautiful tee. I can’t choose a favorite…sorry.!


  6. I would never imagine you’d go monochromatic, but it is helpful to see the different patterns in the same colorway if for no other reason than to see the subtle differences between each without being distracted by color and pattern. I love the shape of the Kimono tee on you. I’ve always loved that pattern for where the neckline sits and the pretty line it creates on your upper arms…I totally need to pull that one out again!

    I’ll admit I’m quite lazy when it comes to tees. I’m still using my Jalie 2921 from years ago as my base tee, though I never make it with the scarf collar anymore. I have bits and bobs of other necklines/neck treatments, sleeves that I connect to the base pattern in puzzle-like fashion to add onto it. Every knit pattern I touch gets compared to this one for reference. If I like the design lines of another pattern, I’ll take what’s good from it, and use the Jalie for every other part of the pattern.

    I never match the pattern to the fabric. If I’m using a less stretchy knit, I’ll just add to the side seams to give myself a little more fitting room. There’s only one time this has bit me–when I used a rather stiff bright baby blue cotton knit that just didn’t have enough stretch across my shoulders. It’s a shame because I added this really cool white and peachy braided trim treatment I copied from a Boden tee. I still wear it because it looks so cool, but it’s definitely…restrictive in the shoulders.


  7. Kimono Comino Kimono Comino … ahhhh … hee hee

    Feeling a bit silly this morning. But I love this post. And OMG woman … 4 tees cut and sewed AND BLOGGED in one weekend. How awesome are you? (Hinit: very!)

    While I like all of them, my fave is the Kirsten Kimono. I like where the sleeves hit on your arms, which I think gives it more balance overall. Plus that fabric? Yes, please.I actually went ahead and downloaded the Kirsten and am now debating between it and a New Look, which is also dolman-sleeved, but cut just a bit differently.

    It’s a good thing for your wardrobe that you’re so far away from Florida. I love all of the prints you use and would be sneaking into your closet all the time.

    Congrats on the new house!! I hope this means a wonderful new sewing room as well as banishment of icky old neighbors. 🙂


  8. Looks like you’re all set for spring!
    You make good point for having several TNT patterns. I only ever use two (one raglan, one regularly sleeve), but I’ve been thinking about trying out the Plantain and some type of kimono tee…


  9. It’s so cool to see these all side by side. I love the first 3 and I like the higher neckline on the Kirsten Kimono. I like what you did with the Jalie one and the busy print. I find the dropped sleeve is just a little to dropped for me. Also that heart print is the bomb!


  10. So nice to be able to see these four side by side – for me the clear winner is the Jalie Dolman top… love the fabric you sewed this from also 🙂 Followed very closely by the Maria Denmark top. But they’re all lovely, and suit you well!


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