Tee of the Month Club: March’s Finn Tee.

Remember when I mentioned the petite raglan adjustment in my Elliot Sweater post? That adjustment really shines in this Seamwork Finn tee.

I don’t mean to be disrespectful of any sewist, but I’ve seen a lot of ill-fitting Finn tees online — so many, in fact, that I almost made a different t-shirt. Now, there are always going to be some wrinkles on raglan tees, especially at the underarm. That’s just the nature of the raglan bodice. But what I’m talking about are creases through the chest area or at the bust. I think the Seamwork knit block is a little weird, but I’ve made enough Seamwork patterns to know what to do for my own fit issues. People criticize Seamwork patterns because they have to make so many adjustments to make them fit, but the truth is that every single independent pattern company is designing with a different block. You may only have to make 2 standard fit adjustments with one company and 5 with another to get the same fit. Most patterns aren’t going to fit you really well straight out of the packet (or straight from the printer, as the case may be), and if you find one that does…dang, that’s amazing! Enjoy that rare experience.

Anyway, my hypothesis on the Finn issues I’ve seen is that you need to get both the bust fullness and the diagonal seam length correct to smooth everything out. I made a size 14 graded to a 16 at the waist and hips. I also made a 1.5″ FBA, a 1/2″ petite adjustment through the chest, and shortened the bodice by about 1″.  If I had left the pattern as-is, the extra fullness at the bust would have pulled the sleeves at the bicep — a creasing situation that would have been exacerbated by the fullest part of the bodice falling lower than it should be on my torso. That would be a recipe for raglan wrinkle madness!

Shortening the bodice’s height above the bust (and shortening the raglan sleeves in the same place) places the bust fullness in the right spot, and making an FBA ensures that the sleeve seams aren’t pulled forward. The raglan seams lay as they’re supposed to, with only minimal wrinkling where expected. (I have relatively narrow shoulders, but I think wide shoulders would also pull the diagonal seams out of whack here and would need an additional adjustment.)

Am I proud of how well this t-shirt fits? Yes. Yes, I am.

I hemmed the sleeves but left the bodice hem raw as I couldn’t face watching my sewing machine eat that delicate knit and stretch it out like crazy. It’s a really nice Lady McElroy print called “Epic Spectacle” (I think). I only had a yard of it, so I wanted to really showcase the print.

I do recommend this pattern with the caveat that it will require adjustment for almost everyone to get a good fit. It’s a good basic raglan tee that I’ll make again.

Current measurements at time of photo: Upper bust 37″, full bust 41.5″, waist 36″, hips 46″, bra size 38C.

Approximate cost: $3.00 for the pattern and $25.50 for the body fabric. All thread was on hand, and the sleeves and neckband were made with leftovers from last month’s Ace tee. (This will be a good scrap buster tee going forward.)

Time spent: I started using a timer with this project, and though it says 4 hours and 35 minutes, I know I sewed a woven muslin during that time. My guess is it was closer to 3.5 hours.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars