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Carol’s budget friendly Mandy boat tee.

Hello you lovely readers, I hope you are all well?

As we in the UK emerge from the bleakest of winters, I wanted to share a lovely and simple, spring make with you. Its been a tough winter in the UK, cold and dreary, but with Spring on its way, I really wanted to share a little inexpensive inspiration with you.

So, when the lovely Fliss and Caroline asked me to chose my next blog project, I opted for this gorgeous cotton jersey –

https://felicityfabrics.co.uk/shop/cotton-jersey-wavy-stripe/, isn’t it pretty? 

It has the prettiest pink stripes over a white base, interspersed with a deep grey stripe which I really like as I’m not really a maker who naturally chooses pink much. The grey just makes it a bit more “grown up” in my opinion.  

As times are tough for some at the moment, I really wanted to keep the cost of my make to the minimum and so I chose a free pattern. The pattern I chose was the “Mandy Boat Tee” by Tessuti 

Mandy Boat Tee Pattern – Tessuti Fabrics – Online Fabric Store (tessuti-shop.com)

I have made the Mandy before and using the size 2 I made no alterations. For my gorgeous top I received 1.25m of fabric, I already had the thread in my stash, I used white thread incidentally, and we’ve all got white right!?

I pre-washed and pressed the fabric which of course laundered like a dream, do you pre-wash? I’d always recommend anyone to do this, as fabric can shrink the first time it’s washed, and I’d hate for one of my beautiful me-mades to shrink after I’d lovingly made it!! I usually wash my clothes at 30 degrees and line dry so that’s how I pre-washed my fabric, but treat your fabric pre-make as you’d like to treat your garment.

I really like this top, and whilst I always try to match up any patterns this stripe was really forgiving as the stripes are a little bit “wobbly” meaning I allowed myself to not stress too much about a perfect pattern match. It is perfect for dressing up with a nice skirt, trousers or jeans, but I also love it as loungewear, so I’ve styled it two ways, which is your favourite?

Here are some other suggestions for fabric using the pattern, because once you’ve made one you’ll need so many more in your me-made wardrobe!! 


Just a note here, free patterns are often a way for you to try out a new to you pattern designer and if you’re on a budget and can’t/don’t want to buy a new pattern then check out this list of >100 free patterns on this website. It’s a great resource! PS. I am biased the writer is my daughter!!

Free Sewing Patterns List – 2022 – Making and Books