New test: The updated Montlake tee by Straight Stitch Designs

I’m on holiday in Montana, and what a beautiful state it is! We’ve holidayed in states to the south of us a few times – Oregon and California mostly – and had been meaning to check out some of those lying east. I’m so glad we did, because it is probably my favourite state so far, scenically speaking. So diverse and absolutely the match for the image I held in my head of the “wild west”, which is fascinating. I took these pics of the updated Montlake tee right at the beginning of the vacation in the Rockies and it was a rather dull day, but you can still see some of the beauty of the region.


I tested this tee for Kimberly from Straight Stitch a few weeks ago. It’s not a new pattern, but she has updated it with a whole new size range and it now runs from size 0 to 34. it also comes in a B and D cup, which is nice for a tee, and there’s a new V-neck option too, which was the decider for me, because I’ve only made a V-neck tee once and it didn’t go too well. I really like a V-neck though, so wanted to crack it. My measurements fell between the 12 and 14, and I plumped for the 14. I also took 2 inches off the length as Straight Stitch Designs patterns are drafted for taller sewists (5’8″) and it worked just fine.


I’ve made a fair number of tees now and the process is pretty similar for all of them, but everyone writes instructions slightly differently, so I followed these faithfully, as you should if you’re testing them someone! I found them clear and the illustrations were also good, so you shouldn’t have any issues if you’re a beginner sewist. I liked the way the V was put together and I think it ended up with a really nice, sharp V. The other testers who did the V-neck also seemed to have a great shape at the neckline, so I’d say it was a good method.


The Montlake pattern has three sleeve length options and a scoop neck as well as the V, but the aspect I like most about it is the swingy ease of it. It’s not loose, but it’s also not clingy and has a little more room than some other tees I’ve made. Recommended fabrics include cotton lycras and so that’s what I decided to use. I have a stack of gorgeous cotton lycra Euro knits (this is from Lillestoff), but I’ve found them to be a little too form-fitting for my liking in the past, when making a ladies tee. As you can see, the ease in the Montlake means that the cling factor is largely eradicated, which is a huge bonus for me and my stash!


As a bonus pic, my mum also made one, even though she wasn’t an official tester and as you can see, it looks great on her too! She’s only 5’2″ and went for the 3/4 length-sleeved scoop-necked version, also in a cotton lycra. I think it suits her very well.


All in all, Kimberly has produced a great update to the Montlake tee, and if you’re looking for a versatile tee with a more relaxed fit – this is a good bet of a pattern! It’s available from today, Monday the 23rd, and if you already purchased the pattern, you’ll be receiving an update soon!


As an addendum, if you ever find yourself in Missoula, Montana, I can highly recommend popping into The Confident Stitch. Great store with beautiful fabrics and the owner, Kate, is really friendly and knowledgeable. A great stop!

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