Breton men’s tee (Wardrobe By Me)
This Breton men’s sailor tee is almost 100% Breton: the fabric, the seamstress and the recipient! But not the pattern…
This 100% cotton Saint-James knit was found during one of my 2020 visits to Brittany. I had immediately intended it for a sailor’s tee for my Breton of a father. So it’s done and gifted at Christmas.
|Pattern of the Breton Tee||Wardrobe By Me||1||6,30 €|
|Maille Saint James à rayures||Mercerie Les Créatives à Dinan||1 m||25 €|
|Thick thread n°30||La Réserve des Arts||—||0,50 €|
|DMC embroidery thread||Stock||—||0 €|
|Classic and textured stretch thread||Stock||—||0 €|
The Breton men’s tee pattern
Choosing the pattern
First, I confess a great disappointment in my search for male sailor tee patterns. I only found 2 for this great classic: the Breton sailor tee from Wardrobe By Me and the I AM Milor from I Am Pattern, the only French sailor tee pattern for men*.
Bravo, 20 out of 20! In the land of Jean-Paul Gautier, frankly! Long live France!
The I AM Milor didn’t convince me with a neckline rounder than a boaty and no precision on the nature of the jersey to use.
*to the best of my knowledge, among the bosses of independent brands
The Breton men’s tee description
The pattern of the Breton sailor tee proposes a boat neckline (well not extremely boaty, but ok) with a simply hemmed, classic sleeves mounted on a straight bust. 3 pieces, front, back, sleeves and hop!
Above all, the website specifies that the pattern is designed for 100% cotton knits without elastane, the very traditional Breton stripped knit.
Sewing allowances are 7 mm (perfect for the overlock machine), 15 mm at the neckline and 25 mm for hems. Sizes range from XXS to 3XL with separate layers.
Wardrobe By Me is a Danish brand with an interesting range of mens patterns. I knew it because I downloaded (but never sewn) its free pattern of the Hera wrap top.
My graphic designer soul particularly liked the beautiful and readable presentation of the instructions booklet. It’s very pleasant to look at.
Apart from that, the instructions are clear & complete (inches, cm, measurements of the finished garment, quantity of fabric per size, etc.) with well-done diagrams. At the same time, there are no real difficulties to explain about this Breton men’s tee pattern…
Sewing the Breton men’s tee
Assembling the pattern pdf
The printed pattern sheets are designed to be assembled edge-to-edge. But but, there is a but: when assembling, by superimposing the layouts, there was a 3 mm offset on each side.
So I had to take it all off and put it back on again. It’s OK, it was cool. Not FREAKING boring at all, I really loved the experience. ಠ_ಠ
Frankly, I have no problem assembling PDFs. A podcast, a series that doesn’t ask too much of my neurons, a cutter, some tape and let’s go Dora!
But here, it was really painful, I had to check each alignment, crossing my fingers to make sure I was right. Under the pretext of simplifying the work, this put me at the mercy of the printer and asked me for 3 times more work. ޏ₍ ὸ.ό₎ރ
Message to the patterns creators: put on assembly marks on your PDFs. Damn.
There, there. On this primeval note, let’s move on to the next one: cutting of the pieces.
The geometry of the fabric
According to the saleswoman, that fabric had a “large width”. Mouis, then it’s debatable and above all it was crooked.
Let’s be clear, the saleswoman cut the coupon straight. At the same time, s’not over complicated, you just have to follow a stripe.
But this sailor tee knit was knitted on a round knitting machine (knit, knit, knit, love the sound of that). Then, in order to sell this fabric flat, the produced hose was cut… but not perpendicularly to the stripes.
So I got something that looks like a parallelogram instead of a rectangle. And what is the difference between a parallelogram and a rectangle? Yes, with sewing, you also revise the 7th grade geometry syllabus. Magic.
Unfortunately, the patterns are designed – as a rule – to fit into rectangles rather than parallelograms. I know, it’s a bit narrow-minded on the part of the designers, but that’s how it is.
ANYWAY. So I had the opportunity to be creative in the face of constraint. Yay !
I created cut-outs on the front, cut in the opposite direction of the elasticity, with the stripes vertically. This necessarily poses a small concern on the ease of the model.
Size & modifications
As a result, I hesitated for a long time about the size to sew.
Indeed, this nice, slightly thick Saint James knit has only a tiny drop of elasticity in it. What’s more, I added to the difficulty with the panels in the opposite direction of stretch.
After much consideration, I opted for a size L for my father, who wears M usually.
The result is good, just right, it wouldn’t have taken less.
In the end, I fitted size L, which requires 1.4m of fabric, into 1m of crooked mesh. We’re not on the same level as Jesus and his multiplication of loaves of bread but I allow myself to pat myself on the back anyway.
Final touches on the Breton’s men tee
The hems of the sleeves, body and neckline have been hemmed with a thick mustard-yellow topstitch thread. The neckline is a simple hem: the only viable finish on this kind of fabric.
Almost all seams have been topstitched in the same way.
Finally, I embroidered a little heart on my dad’s heart to let him know that I always think of him ❤︎❤︎.
That’s why I watched this video which shows 7 ways to embroider a heart to choose the optimal method for my project. I also used a water-soluble stabilising fleece (Soluvlies) to block the jersey during the sewing process.
This was my first test of Soluvlies and it dissolves very quickly in cold water. You have been warned not to drool on your embroidery, otherwise the stabilizer will run off.
This Breton men’s tee could have been a very simple project but it wasn’t really. However, apart from the tedious assembly of the pdf, the well-designed and explained pattern is not at all in question.
My father seemed very happy with his gift which he found very original with its vertical stripes 😉 Pfioo! The miracle of Christmas!
This knit is apparently quite warm too as he didn’t leave it on the following chilly December days.
And that’s all folks. See you next week with a project sewn in 2021! At last!