Amanda vs the Mandy Boat Tee

Some people say necessity is the mother of all invention. I say being cash poor is the mother of stash busting, sourcing free rad patterns and looking fierce. And the evidence, your honour, is here to see with my summer rad Mandy Boat Tee. Beach side booyah!

This top came together in a jiffy. It has four pieces (front, back, sleeves) and if I hadn’t decided to stripe match it seriously would have been done in under two hours. I discovered Tessuti had a print at the copy shop option- 10 minutes and $3.79 later and I had my pattern ready to cut out. Holy monkey hats people- PDF print at homes are now my nemesis compared to this option. What a time saver! Because I think we all know I am on the lookout for a bargain… *cue cheesy seafaring pose*

You know I had to go there. I mean hullo, stunning beach + cheesy poses + opportunity for bad pun = Amanda happy place. Thought in all seriousness, how beautiful is this? The New South Wales south coast is spectacular!

The proudest part of making this shirt for me was french seaming all of the seams. All of them. We’re talking armholes, side seams, sleeve seams. The lot. Things got crazy neat in there.  Anyone who has ever lived/worked/met me is well aware that I am a wee bit neat freaky and french seams are the sewing epitome of that. I mean, check this business out…

See what I mean? Delightful!

The problem came when I tried this bad boy on. The drape of the linen jersey is amazing but was a great big epic fail with this pattern. Instead of a lovely drapey side seam the jersey just hung there like a saggy lasagne sheet. No worries though- all I needed was two minutes in front of a mirror to pin the excess out and ten minutes to overlock the beautifully french seamed excess away. Oh, and the 20 minutes I spent mournfully staring at my seams telling them it wasn’t them, it was me and my poor fabric and pattern matches. I’m not sure they forgave me as they lay in the bottom of my sewing bin… But the removal of that excess fabric sassed this up mightily.

My only regret was that I was in such a hurry to get this done (I may or may not have been sewing in the lounge room the night before I left with my dear friend Jess sitting next to me) that I didn’t ensure the stripes stayed matched on the side seams. Oh well. Sometimes you have to live on the edge. I call it a design feature!

What I loved about this pattern:

  • Four pattern pieces. Honestly, until muumuus become become the trend du jour I’m not sure sewing can get much easier. Mmmm… muumuus.
  • Fancy finishes. Because every lady needs a top fully finished in french seams. Let’s ignore the fact I serged a bunch of them off though, shall we?
  • The relaxed fit- I have a feeling this matched with shorts or skinny jeans will be a bit of a signature summer look this year for me.
What I will change for next time:
  • Knit fabric time! I bought some ridiculously epic grey with lime green stripes knit from Tessuti that needs to be made up STAT!
  • Print a second copy of the pattern so stripe matching is easier. I may have an addiction to copy shop printing now. It’s a downward spiral, people!
  • Use the full pattern width for the front and side pieces. I’m ready to head into drape-town!
Mandy Boat Tee
  • Pattern: Mandy Boat Tee – free to download from Tessuti Fabrics
  • Fabric: 1 metre of linen jersey in the stash from The Fabric Store last year
  • Notions: thread already in stash
See also: Funkbunny; La Satora; and my freaky fabric twin Quilt Sew Sew Sue.
But shirt making has not been the only thing happening in Chez Amanda this fortnight. There has been a birthday, the start of my next rehab phase from my foot injury 8 months ago (finally!) and most importantly puppy haircuts. Bimble couldn’t have cared less. Pimble sat in the backyard for an hour post-haircut in protest to me having messed with her wookiee-esque pelt…
Bring it on summer- the ladies of Chez Bimble and Pimble are styling and ready to rock!


  1. Poor pooches! But epic top. I found this and Tessuti’s Fave Top really do best with a super drapey knit, like a rayon elastane or some such. Oh the horror! You cut off all your beautiful French seams. Eek! I have to say I am of the opposite camp. What can’t be seen on the inside isn’t worth worrying about. Bring on the overlocker! Is it just me, or is overlocking not neat???

  2. I am team overlocker but when I have french seamed something I loathe having to chop it off! I have this made up in a lovely knit and well and it is such a fab fit. So summery!

  3. You couldn’t have NOT made a top with that name – I mean, it was named after you after all! Despite being dumped by the French seams, it looks brill, captain.

    Don’t worry, Pimble will eventually forgive you. Once she has scratched and chewed up your best frock as revenge that is.

  4. Such a household of stylish, summer-ready ladies! I’m sure you’ll be forgiven soon, a new ‘Do’ can take getting used to! Love the top, the important thing about the french seams is that you made them beautifully – irrespective of where they ended up! 🙂

  5. It was a perfect top and name match, I say! And Pimble is curled up on the couch with me now- all it took was a big walk in the park. teehee!

  6. oh yeah, you are rocking that Mandy Tee. I’ve got another one on the go now in a yummy drapey rayon knit. Luverly.

  7. Beach side booyah indeed! So this ‘print at copy shop’ option – does this mean that someone else does all the sellotaping together of the pages for you? Cos that sounds amazing! Love the t-shirt, looks great with the shorts.

  8. Fabulous french seams – what a shame they bit the dust bin!! It looks very comfy and I might have to check out that Tessuti copy option! Cheers, Karen

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