Mandy Boat Tee | Version 1

August 5, 2015

This post has been a long time in the making as it has been quite a while since I finished this shirt (it actually made an appearance in this post about what was going on with me this past fall/winter). I have come to believe, though, that there are merits in waiting to blog about finished garments, like knowing how it fits in my wardrobe (i.e. if I actually wear it) and also how it fits (can I make any adjustments for future versions). With that being said, I *probably* didn't need the 8+ months that have passed since I completed this shirt to find out that information. Oh well. Better late than never, as they say.
Mandy Boat Tee Version 1 by Hey it's SJ - front 2
So let's talk about Mandy. The Mandy Boat Tee is a free pattern offered by Australian based fabric store Tessuti Fabrics. There are couple of things that instantly drew me to this pattern: FREE (because, duh) and the drop shoulder (because, I like them). I was skeptical about the "one-size-fits-all" and the boxiness of the top. I tend to stay away from patterns that use boxy in the description (for me usually boxy = not flattering), but I figured it's a free pattern, so what did I really have to lose? Luckily, I don't think it turned out too bad after all!
Mandy Boat Tee Version 1 by Hey it's SJ - side
The fabric I used is a dark eggplant purple rayon blend knit from JoAnn's. It was a red-tag fabric and $5/yard, so if things ended up going bad I wouldn't cry over the loss of fabric. I knew the rayon would give the shirt a nice drape which I would need/want with this style top, and it also has a very subtle metallic heather to it that I liked, which you can see in the close up below. It's not the most terrible quality fabric I've ever worked with; it's pretty soft (thanks to the rayon, I'm sure) but it does lack a little bit in the recovery department. For $5/ yard it is pretty much what I expected.
Mandy Boat Tee Version 1 by Hey it's SJ - close up
Even before I hit download on the pattern I knew I was going to have to do some altering to get a fit that I liked. For this version I only made two changes: I ended up taking 4 inches from the sides of both the front and back pattern pieces and graded to nothing at the shoulder seam. I used a shirt from American Eagle that I have had foreverrr but really like as guide for how much to take off. I also lowered the front neckline by 2 inches. For the construction I kept it simple; I serged all the seams and did a simple turn and topstitch on the neckline, arms, and bottom hem with a twin needle.
Mandy Boat Tee Version 1 by Hey it's SJ - front
Mandy Boat Tee Version 1 by Hey it's SJ - back
Overall, I am OK with how this first attempt turned out. After wearing it, I knew the biggest thing that needed adjusting was the neckline. It's realllyyy wide and tends to want to slide off my shoulders. I don't mind that slouchy off-the shoulder look but I find myself constantly pulling the shirt back onto my shoulders throughout the day which is kinda annoying. The not-so-great recovery of the fabric also means the arms stretch out a bit and I find myself always pushing them up. If they were a bit tighter or I used fabric with better recovery so they stay in place then the off-the-shoulder problem might be alleviated a bit. Despite the not-perfect fit and fabric, I still got a decent amount of wear out of it this winter/spring (Central VA summers are a bit too hot and humid for 3/4 length sleeves) and I actually made a second version-- stayed tuned for a post with all of those details.

Have you ever tried the Mandy Boat Tee pattern? Did you make any adjustments to the pattern? How did it turn out for you? I do have plans to make more, so I would love to know!

Pattern: Mandy Boat Tee by Tessuti Fabricsmandy boat tee v1 thumbnail
Fabric: Rayon Blend Metallic Heather Knit from JoAnn's
Body Measurements: Bust 36/Waist 29/Hip 38 (in inches)
Size: N/A, one size
Adjustments/Alterations: 4 inches from front and back side seams graded to nothing at shoulder seam, lowered front neckline 2 inches