Basic colors

Plantain top and Sara leggings Plantain top and Sara leggings
In my previous post, I talked about my plan to sew more solid neutral colors. I have many printed fabric in my wardrobe that can’t be worn together because they would clash. So a few plain tops and bottoms are in the sewing plan this year.

Plantain top Plantain top

There’s where these two came into my plan. The top is Plantain T-shirt is a free PDF pattern by Deer & Doe, a French-based pattern company. “T-shirt fitted at the shoulders and flaring at the hips, with elbow patches. Short, long and 3/4 sleeves included in the pattern.” It is perfect for a basic T-shirt pattern that I need!

I cut the smallest size, 34, then I made petite alteration by making a slash across the bodice that also cut across the neckline. This alteration shortens the neckline and armholes as well. It is similar to what I did for the Ikat Sigma dress alteration. I also shortened the hem a lot to make it reach mid-hip.

Plantain top Plantain top

The fabric is grey jersey with interesting green color on the wrong side. You see, I still can’t help finding not-so-basic fabric! Sewing T-shirt is one of my favorite project as it is finished so quickly, especially using overlocker. The sleeves hem are merely overlocked so they curl a bit, showing a peek of green color. The elbow patches are quite subtle with only a thin line of green color peeking around the outline.

Sara zip leggingsSara zip leggings

The leggings pattern is Sara ankle zip leggings by Named patterns, A Finland-based pattern company. It is part of their new Spring/Summer 2014 collection. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Saara and Laura, the founders of Named, to try out one pattern from their newest collection. The entire colection is gorgeous! I had a hard time choosing one but finally settled with the leggings because I wanted something basic.

When I sewed Named pattern for the first time, I talked about how I wish that the instructions have more diagrams instead of a wall of text. They really listen to the buyer’s feedback! Now they have step-by-step drawings that are really helpful for visual person like me. Each purchase now includes all sizes instead of just two sizes, helpful for people who are between sizes.

Sara is a fitting leggings with an ankle zip in front seam, revealed zipper at the back, front and back seams on legs, fitted ankles, and ankle zippers. It also includes option for micro shorts. I cut size 34, and shortened it considerably. As a note, Named patterns are drafted for an average height of 172 cm/5ft 8”, so I shortened 1 cm on the hip line, 5 cm on the knee line, and 5 cm on the hem. 

Plantain top and Sara leggings Plantain top and Sara leggings

I use beige stretch cotton twill and shocking pink plastic zipper at the back. I decided not to put the ankle zipper because I’m afraid it will add to much details to my not-so-long legs. The hem is overlocked to keep the stretchiness.

I have to admit that I’m not quite used to sewing with solid, neutral color fabric. It was not as fun as sewing printed fabric! But I’m glad to finish these two items, they will definitely get much wear time!

Top pattern is is Plantain T-shirt is free PDF pattern by Deer & Doe, size 34.
Leggings pattern is s Sara ankle zip leggings by Named patterns (PDF), size 34.

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  • Lovely! Your Deer & Doe top is perfect – I’d love to see more about how you adjusted the neckline and sleeves! I made mine up almost exactly as the pattern said – The shoulders on mine are far too wide and in fact, i made the sigma dress as well and it too has a big gape in the front neckline – yours look perfect (I didn’t need to shorten the bodice surprisingly)! Great to see your makes and how you worked with Named – the average height is surprisingly tall.

  • nalani

    I like the entire look with both separates. You make it look so effortless.

  • Love the pants, especially the zipper! I am happy as well that Named made all those changes – can’t wait to try their patterns again. Your subtle patch is also a nice idea.

  • Jenny

    I love this outfit. It’s simple and yet it looks really well put together – the neon colors are subtle and add interesting detail. The pants look impeccable – they are really well done and I think i want to try the pants pattern. I hope they look as good on me as they do on you!

  • These are both so cute– I bet you’ll be wearing them all the time! 🙂 I love the details you added like the zipper and the peeks of lime green.

  • I think the key to sewing with solid colours is the little details. Having something interesting in the construction.

  • These are stunning! I love the subtle flashes of colour – just enough to enliven otherwise solid basics.

  • Jennifer

    Excellent work, thanks for trailblazing! I have both these items traced and underway so I’m thrilled to hear about your modifications, perfect timing. Solids can be a little dull but they’ll give you a blank slate to embellish with other combos so you should get lots of wear from them. I made skinnies in a similar color and wear them constantly. So how do you find the fit compares to the Jamies? They look quite similar on you but that may be partly your standard mods. I was surprised when I compared the tracings that the leggings seem to be shorter than the Jamies which I actually didn’t need to hem that much (and I think I’m similar height to you). I’ve gotten as far as sewing up the Sara shorts as a muslin, I thought I would hate them in that length on me but I actually think I’ll be wearing them come warmer weather. Also good to see your notes on the plantain, I had half a mind to try it unmodified first time, but now I will take out length above the arm hole as I always need that and it’s worked so nicely for you. Thanks, again!

  • Sewing with solids is a great wardrobe builder. But nothing reflects your personality better as little busts of neon colours 🙂 I am absolutely in love with the style you’ve created with the tee and the leggings.