April 15, 2020

June is Perfect for Sewing Comfort Food: T-Shirts and Tote Bags

I don't know about you, but I'm a master at procrastination at the best of times. And, you can't really argue, these are not the best of times. Together, the combination of anxiety, time-blindness, and natural procrastination added up to it being nearly mid-April and me only having a vague idea of what I wanted to do for June.

Retail is a weird business where you live at least a few months ahead of reality. You plan summer sales when it's still freezing out, Christmas in the middle of August. And right now, it's hard to plan a week ahead of time, let alone two months. Yet, last week, I had to sit down and flesh out the theme that I had penciled in late last year. It was a bit surreal.

That theme, by the way, was T-Shirts. The humble t-shirt pattern is one of those things that you tell yourself you should make, but then something shiny and new and challenging comes out and you find yourself making a complicated jumpsuit that you'll wear twice when you don't have any everyday clothes. (Or maybe that's just me). That's why, even before the stay at home orders started, I planned on doing a box with them. Because when you have a good t-shirt pattern, you have a key to your handmade wardrobe! And, in this current world, your self-isolation wardrobe.

In addition to T-Shirts, we're also including a bag pattern in every box. We want you to get the most out of each month, and while we love t-shirts, we know that they are quick projects and before long you'll be itching for something more. And bags are one of those things that we tend not to make ourselves, though they can be very satisfying projects. Without the worry of fit, bag-making is a great technical sew where you can practice skills that you might not put into a garment. And they come in so handy in every day life!

So, without more preamble, let's get to the good stuff. Here are the patterns and fabric for our June Boxes.

Sew Fearless Box: Tabor V-Neck from Sew House Seven

The Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater is a top tier favorite among pretty much every sewist I've met. It's incredibly comfortable, easy to sew, and stylish in just about any knit fabric. So when it came time to pick t-shirt patterns, it was a no brainer to turn to the best. 

The Tabor V-neck isn't your traditional scoop neck tee that you throw on under a sweater in the middle of winter. No, this tee has style with a cool, split v-neck and drop shoulder. It's the t-shirt that is a statement on its own, not a compliment to something else. And, with Sew House Seven's simple and ingenious construction and easy to follow instructions, it's a great beginner-level top for sewists looking to venturing in to the t-shirt making game.

The pattern itself calls for two different types of fabric, depending on which of the five views you choose. With knit with drape, you get a loose-fitting tee that you can tuck into jeans (or pair underneath that pinafore that you made from our May boxes). With bulkier knits, you get a more structured, sweater look, almost like a sweatshirt.

Because this is our June Box, we're opting for the slinkier look, so that you can make the perfect shirt to keep in your wardrobe for when those hot summer days turn into cooler summer nights. Or for when, if we are finally able to get back into offices and workplaces, the AC inside is so cold you need a cover-up. This box will help you create the perfect layering tee to get you through it all.


  • Eggplant Double Brushed Poly - If you haven't had the pleasure to touch double brushed poly, you've been missing out. It's lusciously soft, almost sueded, but it is also lightweight and stretchy, like your favorite t-shirt spandex. In a deep purple, this fabric has "favorite shirt" written all over it. Pair it with your favorite jeans, throw it over a tank when you get cold, or use it as loungewear when you're watching tv, you'll never want to take it off.
  • Fuchsia Confetti Rayon Knit - T-shirts are the perfect place to play with fun patterns, and we love the confetti print of this rayon knit. The fuchsia background is dotted with squares of green, blue, yellow, and white. It's like your very own ticker-tape parade in a top. The fluid drape of this fabric is perfect for the oversized nature of the pattern, and the light weight will make it ideal for every season.
  • Jade Green Rayon Knit - Green is the color of renewal, something which we could probably use of lot of right now. It's also just a lovely shade for a t-shirt as it looks great next to denim or even black leggings. This green is hard to capture on camera but falls somewhere in the spectrum of kelly or emerald green, a vibrant, jewel toned hue. With the same fluid drape and ultra soft hand as the confetti print knit, it will become such a lovely top, your friends and family will be green with envy.

Sew Confident Box: Romy Top and Dress from Tilly and the Buttons

Tilly and the Buttons has a few amazing, knit top patterns to choose from. We already the Agnes Top used in a previous box, so it came down to a choice between the Coco Top and the newer Romy Top. The Coco is a classic pattern, and I've made a few myself, but the Romy won out because of the back tie options and clever envelope neckline

This pattern calls for a knit with some body to show off the design details and that let us play with some beefier knits that will lie somewhere in between t-shirt weight and sweat-shirting. The more structured knits also allow you to make the dress version of this pattern, which when paired with sandals, make a perfect one-piece outfit for the summer. The loose fit will keep you cool in the summer heat and the open back will still let you get a little sun!

With the fabric, we decided to keep it simple. That way the fabric doesn't over shadow the design details of the pattern and really lets you show off your sewing skills!

  • Black Medium Weight Cotton Spandex Jersey - This fabric is about as classic as you get with a knit. In a medium weight, it has just the right amount of heft while still being soft and supple. And the black color is simple and timeless. This is a knit top or dress that you'll be able to wear year in, year out, and look elegant and stylish every time.
  • Ecru/Navy St. James Stripe Double Knit - If you know our boxes, you know that we love a good stripe. This double knit, similar to a ponte but with a jersey face, has a classic naval inspired stripe with larger ecru bands and thinner navy stripes. Incredibly soft, this fabric option also has a semi-fluid drape that will work well for the shift dress shape of this pattern. If you want a nautical looking dress or top in your wardrobe, this is the one for you.
  • Seafoam Bamboo Cotton French Terry - We love, love, love this bamboo french terry. We've used it in our own sewing as well as in our February Sweatpants Box to make Hudson Pants. The bamboo makes the fabric incredibly soft and light. In a bright blue that verges on turquoise, you get a dress that is bright, cheery, and a dream to wear!

Sew Curvy Box: Concord T-Shirt from Cashmerette

The beauty of the Concord T-Shirt is its versatility. With three options for length, sleeve length and neckline, you really have 27 different t-shirt possibilities at your fingertips! And this is a pattern you'll want to make over and over again. A classic styling, it can be transformed into your go to weekend top, your errands t-shirt, your business casual fave. And all with the perfect fit and brilliant construction that you've come to expect from Cashmerette Patterns.

Most knits with good recovery would work with this pattern, but we were looking for ones that had the right amount of drape without being sheer, you know, the fabric that would be both beefy and supple. Because this is a relatively close-fitting look, we gravitated towards medium weight knits that will both hug your curves you want to show off and soften the ones you don't (no visible bra-lines here!) 

  • Brown/Ecru Stripe Bamboo/Cotton Jersey - There's nothing quite like a good striped t-shirt. I mean, if it worked for Waldo, who are we to argue. This striped knit, a lusciously soft bamboo blend, alternates chocolate brown and cream, to create a look that is soft and natural and utterly classic. You can also play with the stripe on the neckband to create a unique look that will elevate your top into the "I can't believe you made that" territory.
  • Lagoon Blue Viscose Poly Marled Jersey - We can't exactly travel right now, and things like beach vacations and cruises may be a long way off, but at least we can get that same tropical blue in our life somehow. No, it's not the azure of the Caribbean, but it's still calming and relaxing to look at. And it feels even better! The marled knit has flecks of white through it, giving it almost a sparkly quality that will shine with this pattern. If you want to brighten up your t-shirt game, this is the fabric for you!
  • Double Dyed Black Rayon Jersey - Double dying this jersey means that it is a true, deep black, even when stretched and it will resist fading as you wear it. That way you have a t-shirt that you can love for years to come. This fabric has great recovery and stretch, and is incredibly soft. All this combines to make it one of our favorite t-shirt knits (In fact, we have a few tops made out of it already!). An amazing choice! 

Sew Indulgent Box: Ebony Tee from Closet Case Patterns

The Ebony Tee is one of the first sewing patterns I fell in love with when I first started sewing. The simplicity of a swing tee has always appealed to me. Fitted through the shoulders and bust but then flowing through the waist and hips is the ultimate combination for comfort clothes, the things you put on when you just want to feel unencumbered. 

A short sleeved version with sandals makes for the perfect summer dress or even beach cover-up. A long sleeve version with tights and boots is about as close as you can get to wearing a nightgown in public. And for your favorite errands outfit, try a tunic version with leggings and flats. With the possibilities to customize your look to your lifestyle, this dress with surely find a special place in your wardrobe.

To play up the swing styling, the fabric must have lots of drape, so we've chosen some lush knits in bamboo and modal to really how off the slink. We've also chosen some perhaps unconventional that are a little more bold than your typical knit dress, but we hope you love them as much as we do!

  • Copper Modal Spandex Jersey - There's something about copper and mustard yellow that feels sumptuous to me. The earthy tones feel natural and rich, and they will create a stunning look for this dress. Paired with a lighter cardigan or colorful scarf, you have an instant outfit that will look great through the summer and into the fall. The fabric itself is light and slinky, and, like meundies, softer than cotton because of the modal. A gorgeous choice!
  • Wavy Striped Royal Cotton Jersey - This fabric is an unexpected delight. Large scale, 70s style, geometric stripes float on a white background to create a bold and beautiful look. Not quite as slinky as the other two options, this fabric will be a great choice if you want to make the tunic or top versions, or really play with volume in the dress. Whatever you make will be soft and lush and let you show off the optical print.
  • Magenta Bamboo Jersey - This fabric is all about the color. Magenta pink is our preferred shade: not too soft, not too dark. And boy does it pop! We see this fabric as a stunning summer dress, livened up with a statement necklace or downplayed with just a simple pair of flats. It's the ultimate day to night dress, and in the soft, lightweight bamboo, you'll be comfortable no matter what time of day it is!

Tote Bags!

Mason Pouch from Sallie Tomato


This pattern will be included in our Sew Fearless and Sew Confident Boxes. The perfect pouch for just about anything, from pencils to make-up to travel sewing kit, this bag will be the pattern you never knew you wanted but now can't live without. 

With options for two sizes, we're sending you enough fabric to make the larger size, plus all the notions and interfacing and such you need. For fabric, you get two options. The exterior for both is canvas - a cotton/linen blend for the Blue Clouds, a 100% cotton canvas for the Natural Flowers. The interior lining fabric is a gorgeous indigo cotton that is inspired by Japanese shibori dying. Choose the combination you like best, and we'll include it with your T-shirt kit


  • Blue Clouds Canvas
  • Natural Flowers Canvas


    Crescent Tote from Noodlehead Patterns

    In our Sew Curvy and Sew Indulgent Boxes, we're including the Crescent Tote from Noodlehead Patterns. This petite tote is just the right size. Larger than a purse but smaller than your typical tote, it fits snugly under your arm to go anywhere you need to. The curved lines really play up its feminine design and the zippered front pocket holds those little items you want to keep secure and easy to access—while adding a fun detail—and its flat bottom makes it easy to set on a table. You’ll love keeping this tote by your side!

    For this tote, we wanted to embrace color (something you don't always get with canvas totes) so we've chosen to vibrant cotton canvases with fun prints to let you have a little fun with your bag-making. The interior of bags is the same Japanese cotton that suggest shibori dyed goodness. You pick your fave and we'll send you the complete kit, zippers, interfacing, handles and all, with your T-shirt


  • Chartreuse Floral Canvas
  • Turquoise Jacks Canvas




    That's it for this month. In our Classic Boxes, we're reviving our Shift kits from last December. If you weren't feeling shift dresses in the middle of winter, maybe you'll want to sew one up this summer. 

    As for our swatches, our supply lines are all delayed so unfortunately we will not be able to send them out this month. Several of our fabric sources are not shipping until May when (hopefully) the lockdown will be less severe. For that reason as well, we are planning to include paper patterns in our boxes, but we may have to resort to printed PDFs if places like Tilly and the Buttons can't ship from the UK. We'll keep you posted as things move along. Every day is a new situation so we are trying to stay fluid in our plans.

    Until next time, I hope you are safe and well in this crazy world.

    Happy sewing,



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