When I first started sewing a year ago I was really wary about spending money on the wrong things. I had a sewing machine but nothing else, and honestly starting from scratch with fabric, notions patterns etc isn’t cheap. Once you have a stash sewing becomes affordable but until then you’ve to buy everything for every new project.
In retaliation, I tried to find free patterns where possible. This is a double-edged sword, as this often means compromising on instructions which are so essential to beginners*. Deer and Doe’s free Plantain top is not at all like this. This, as many of you probably know, is a free fully graded pattern with excellent instructions.
I made a toile of this last August out of fabric that I didn’t really like but I learned a lot from. This year when shopping in Paris’s fabric district I came across some lovely soft fox patterned material in a mauve colour. Normally I would have reached for my usual knit top pattern, but because of the drape this fabric had, I went back to Deer and Doe’s Plantain. I made this way back in March I think, but didn’t blog about it because, well, I didn’t have a blog then!
I’d no issues with the pattern and cut a 36 with no alterations, although the top does strain across my chest slightly. Helpfully Deer and Doe also included a pattern piece for the neck binding, something I find a little difficult to determine depending on the stretch in my fabric.
The top came together very quickly, the only issue being that the fabric was not the easiest to work with as it is so light. That said that by the end the day I had a completed top, so clearly I overcame this issue!
I really like this top, it’s very flattering, the sleeves are my prefered length and I like how the fabric flows from my chest down. Will this pattern replace Gertie’s in my life? No, but for any softer, drapier fabric it is now my pattern of choice. Honestly I’m quite keen to try more of Deer and Doe’s patterns, this was well drafted and with excellent instruction, which, by the way are bilingual. So overall this is a fantastic pattern!
*To clarify, I don’t think all free patterns are badly drafted with bad instructions, rather, they don’t contain the detail that indie patterns do, which, when I was learning, was essential. I’m very grateful for everyone who put up free patterns online,.