And now for something different… This project combines a simple t-shirt (the Basic InstincT pattern by Sasha from Secondo Piano) with a new skill I tried for the first time, screen printing.
You might be thinking that I have been sewing up a storm in lockdown, given that every other blog post is a sewing project.
Well, I haven’t, not really, unless you count the DIY face coverings (not calling them masks, as that term should be used for medical ones). I’m up to 86, mostly for food redistribution charities in my local area and some for friends who asked me.
However, I have a serious backlog of projects that I made last year, photographed and never got around to posting. You will be able to tell how old this is by the fact that my hair still has black tips (it was during that awkward ‘growing the greys out phase’).
Still, a good solid project that got loads of wear and I can’t wait to share the review with you.
Secondo Piano Basic InstincT – Pattern review
I must confess a massive girl crush on her ever since I first discovered her years ago. She is absolutely beautiful, not to mention creative in more than just sewing (she also does machine and hand knitting, as well as visual arts), and also a very interesting person overall. She is very much into sustainability as well, with a focus on slow sewing!
But enough gushing…
About this pattern…
This is a relaxed fit t-shirt, so there is quite a lot of ease. It has a crew neckline, short sleeves and a straight hem.
The sizing is from XS to XL.
It comes underCC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license, so you can make and sell your own versions with attribution.
What I really loved about it is that it’s the only pattern I have ever encountered that is optimised for stripes. That means that there are markings and notches to ensure perfect stripe matching without a lot of effort, plus the required instructions on how to get them spot on. This is just how awesome Sasha is!
The instructions are super clear with great diagrams. I also liked that the pattern has finished measurements, all the possible notches and pretty much any other information you might need to succeed.
The pattern comes in A4 and A0 copy shop versions. I had mine printed in A0, so no assembly required. But if you go down the A4 route, there are just 15 pages to assemble, so that should be pretty quick.
SAVE THIS FOR LATER ON PINTEREST
Basic InstincT – The fabric
The recommended fabric is light to medium weight jersey or interlock. I used grey interlock medium-weight organic cotton from organiccotton.biz. If you are shopping for organic anything, tencels and other more sustainable fabrics, I 100% recommend them. The website is a bit rubbish, but the prices are reasonable and the selection is insane! Also, fairly reasonable prices.
The fabric is nice, but I just realised wearing it that I actually don’t like interlock jersey. It had a bit of a puffiness to it and it wrinkles quite a lot. So next time, maybe a nice single jersey…
Fit, Alterations and Construction
I sewed a size S, as I knew it was relaxed, but it still feels a bit too loose to me. If I were to make it again, I would definitely cut an XS.
For the record, my measurements are:
- Hips: 98 cm (38.5in)
- Waist: 72 cm (28.5in)
- Bust 88cm (34.5in)
- Height: 1.72m/5.7in
Otherwise, this was a very straightforward sew. I constructed most of it with the overlocker, and used the sewing machine for the topstitching at the neckline. I finished the sleeve and bottom hems with the coverstitch machine.
Screen printing the Basic InstincT
I had planned this t-shirt from the start as a canvas for a screen printed design. I had seen this Audrey Hepburn stencil once and it kinda stuck in my head. She is one of my style icons and this particular image is so representative.
Trouble was that I had no idea how to screenprint. So I enlisted the help of my Romanian friend Cristina, who is an incredibly talented illustrator, as well as a sewer. She even had a t-shirt printing business back in the day. She is now based in Portugal and has the most wonderfully creative Instagram. She can also be found on her website, with a lot more fabric and paint inspiration.
So Cristina came over to my house for a t-shirt printing master class and we put Audrey all over my t-shirt! It was super easy and quick to do, especially with Cristina’s quick expert hand cutting out the pattern for me. I am definitely not handy with the x-acto knife!
We used fabric paint, then let it dry and just ironed with a hot iron, and voila! I had Audrey all over my t-shirt!
To note that the order of operations was cutting out the pattern pieces, then printed the design on the front, then assembly.
Secondo Piano Basic InstincT – Verdict
As the name suggests, this is a very basic t-shirt pattern, but it was crafted with a lot of care for details and the bells and whistles you would get with a paid pattern. There are many free t-shirt patterns out there and of course, you can have your pick to choose the one that works best for you. But I would definitely recommend putting this one on the list to check out.
Mine got loads of wear, in the summer but also as under layer in autumn and winter. I particularly liked to pair it with the pink culottes and a longline cardigan. Also, it works really well under a suit jacket and with slacks and brogues. I am planning a 3 Ways to Style post to show you my ideas.
Secondo Piano Basic InstincT – Summary
PATTERN: Basic InstincT T-shirt by Secondo Piano, size S
FABRIC: Interlock jersey from Organiccotton.biz
NOTIONS: 20 cm clear elastic
NEXT TIME: go down a size
OTHER VERSIONS: Stripey perfection from Sasha; more printing by Emily from Self Assembly Required;
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE T-SHIRT PATTERN AND WHY? TELL ME IN COMMENTS.
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