Monday, June 20, 2016

Dude Sewing: A Tale of Two T-Shirts, Metro T-Shirt and Jalie 2918

Recently Tim asked me to sew him some v-neck t-shirts. I took this request and turned it into an opportunity for a side-by-side men's t-shirt pattern comparison... However, I only had one v-neck pattern in my stash, so it's not a truly apples-to-apples comparison.


I've already made Tim the Thread Theory Strathcona t-shirt several times in the past. With the modifications I made (shortening the sleeves significantly and the body just slightly), he likes it, but it doesn't come with a v-neck option.


Of the men's t-shirt patterns I had in my stash, the only v-neck was Jalie 2918. Jalie 2918 has lots of options: v-neck, crew neck, long sleeve, short sleeve, short sleeve over long sleeve. This pattern was definitely one to try.


I also had the Oliver and S men's Metro T-shirt pattern, which doesn't have a v-neck option. But I was curious about it because I hadn't seen many versions of it kicking around the interwebs... so I made him one of these, too!


In an effort to accurately compare and contrast the two t-shirt patterns, I decided to make both in the same fabric. It's heather grey jersey I got in Hong Kong a couple years ago.


Interesting differences I noticed when cutting and sewing the patterns:

The sleeves on the Jalie t-shirt don't differentiate between front and back- they're meant to be cut on the fold. In contrast, the Metro T-shirt sleeve piece is cut flat and is shaped differently in the front and back. They're generally very different shapes, too:


The shapes of the bodies are a bit different: Jalie 2918 is wider and longer at the armscye and the Metro t-shirt flares out slightly at its shorter hem. Metro t-shirt front pattern piece on top of Jalie's below:


Jalie 2918 is longer in the body and sleeve than the Metro t-shirt (Metro on the left, Jalie on the right below):


Once I finished sewing the necklines, I noticed that Metro t-shirt neckband seemed too wide, which causes it to gape a little bit (see photo below). Next time I might narrow and shorten the neckband slightly to avoid this.

Fitwise, Tim found the Jalie t-shirt to be a bit on the big side: too wide, shoulders slightly too big, too long in the body, too long in the sleeve... some of this might be fixed by dropping down one size, but some of it is the cut/style.

Tim liked the fit of the Metro t-shirt better, but is really liking the v-neck these days. He swears it keeps him cooler, but I am dubious about this claim that less than one square inch of uncovered chest really makes a difference in keeping your cool. Ah, well, to each his own.


After trying them on and analyzing the photos, we decided that Tim's ideal t-shirt might be a combination of the two: the Metro T-shirt body with the v-neck from the Jalie t-shirt. Time to get pattern hacking!

What's your favorite men's t-shirt pattern?

25 comments:

  1. I've only made the Strathcona, but I also have the Metro in my stash (I bought it having forgotten that Strathcona had a plain tee version and I was kicking myself because I felt like I didn't need two men's t-shirt patterns. But I digress - I really liked your side-by-side comparison. I like the fit of the Metro better too; and it's interesting about those sleeves.

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    1. Cool- glad it was interesting! I should have done a Strathcona, too, to make it really useful, but I couldn't bear to sew up that many boring grey t-shirts ;-)

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  2. Thanks for the fabulous side by side comparison. Now I know the Jalie is worth acquiring.

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    1. Thanks! I thought it would be kinda fun to compare- interesting how the little differences change the fit.

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  3. Such an interesting comparison. I am always amazed at the amount of input my husband has over the fit of his clothes, glad to see I am not alone!

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    1. Thanks, Jess! I find that my husband's range of what he likes, style-wise and fit-wise, is so much more narrow than mine. The little differences in something like a t-shirt make a big difference for him!

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  4. Oh how funny -- in the side by side comparison, I liked the Jalie better! ��

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    1. Ha, funny! I don't know if it shows in the photos, but in real life, the Jalie is just too big and the style is a more relaxed fit.

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  5. Ooooh. I recently got the Metro Tee for men because my two attempts at the Strathcona actually turned out really weird ... like, I feel like the neckline is too low cut? I dunno if that was user error or what, but it happened on both versions, and in combination with some problematic neckband application, makes it look like my hubs is wearing a woman's t-shirt. I was hoping the Metro would have a more standard fit, and based on these pics, I am hopeful! I will definitely do one up in something cheap though, and watch that neckline.

    Men's fashion is so subtle, apparently, that one inch of uncovered chest is noticeably cooler than a crew neck! I love it!

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    1. Eek, looking like a women's shirt is not good! I didn't have that problem with Strathcona, weird. I like the fit of the Metro- not too slim, but it fits nicely in a classic, but modern way (is that a thing?), whereas I feel like the Jalie feels a bit dated in its fit- more oversized '90s style.

      I'd just narrow the Metro t-shirt neckband a little bit next time- it's much wider than others I've used, causing it to stand up/gape a bit.

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  6. That's a great comparison. Never would have thought the patterns were that different! Pattern hack it is :) Very nice!

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    1. Thanks, Sherri! It is really interesting how those little pattern differences change the fit, isn't it?

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  7. Thanks for the comparison. I've got the metro. I should sew it for my husband. I wish Oliver +s would come out with a v neck add on for all 3 of their tshirt patterns. I can do it myself but I would gladly be lazy and just pay them for it. Lol.

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    1. Lazy sewists unite! Ha! You should sew the Metro t-shirt; it's a nice pattern.

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  8. An interesting comparison. I'm on the lookout for a good men's t shirt pattern and this has been most helpful.

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  9. Great post! This is very helpful, there's not a ton of in-depth blog posts about sewing menswear.

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    1. Glad you liked it! It's true, there is far less info out there on menswear...

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  10. This is great Meg! I MUCH prefer the fit of the metro T in these side by side comparisons.
    Not wanting to blow my own horn, but did you see my V neck for the Metro T tutorial on the Oliver + S blog? And it's a proper chevron V not an overlap. Just sayin' :)
    I've made the Metro and the Strathcona for my fella and perhaps went too big on the Strathcona to avoid the slim muscle shirt fit, but it looks sloppy. I'd just make the metro T over and over and play with borrowing neckline variations.

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    1. Thanks, Shelley! I prefer the Metro tee, too. The Jalie is too oversized and a bit dated, style-wise, I think. I'll check out your v-neck post!!

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  11. I think I prefer the Metro t-shirt too, although I was hoping to like the Jalie because I have it in my stash. I haven't made yet though. I made John the Strathcona and it was pretty much a Nettie Bodysuit for men. He was not impressed and has not let me make him a t-shirt since. LOL
    I love this side by side comparison. I think using the v-neck on the Metro is a good plan!

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    1. LOL- Nettie Bodysuit for Men cracked me up... it's true, the Strathcona is really slim fitting. I think out of the three, Tim likes the Metro Tee the best. Modern, close (but not too close) fit.

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  12. Ooh I love a good comparison! You're a good wife! My last dude tshirt making was an unbridled disaster. I used a free burda pattern that was so utterly crap, I'm rather scarred still (or perhaps just selfish, who can say?)! 😉

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  13. I think this needs a deeper V to really cool Tim off.

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