I was taken by Madewell’s Toulouse tee some months ago.
I love the tabs on the sleeves and the hidden button placket. What I came to discover through zooming was a lowered waist seam on the front. The cool thing about this is that you can sew on the placket pieces on each upper front, then overlap them and sew them as one into the lower front. It’s cool because it’s difficult to get plackets lay flat on polo necklines–the bottom is always a tricky biscuit of a corner.
The original is made with a linen knit–kind of hard to find for the home sewist, but a fiber that seems popular in RTW right now. Harts’ Fabric has some, but it’s quite spendy at $24/yd, and the 85/15 linen poly blend at $9/yd would seem to negate the beauty and breathability of the linen. I saw some linen knit at Santa Fe Fabrics, and while totally beautiful, it was sheer. Grr sheer.
I opted instead for a Grecian blue rayon knit with lots of beautiful drape. I should have stabilized the neckline and shoulder seams though as they stretched a bit. So unfortunately I have the unintentional back cowl thing going on again, so while it’s less dramatic, it’s still annoying. The buttons in the placket are hidden when pressed, but it came out of the dryer all squidgy…you can see how motivated I was to fix it.
My base pattern for this copy is Maria’s Kirsten Kimono Sleeve tee. I brought in the shoulder by an inch on the neck edge as I needed more coverage. If I had stabilized my neckline, I think it would have worked out well. After you’ve morphed it into the Toulouse, it’ll look like this (except I have 5 buttons on my placket, not the 4 in my little drawing)
To split the front section into 2 pieces like the Madewell tee, decide where you want the bottom of your placket to be along CF. Draw a line, curved if you want (I made a gentle downward curve towards the side seam with my French curve) or perpendicular to CF if you prefer (if you’re full busted, the curve will actually give you a little more length, something I wish I had done on t-shirt #5, but you’ll see that later). Split apart the pattern along this line and add a SA on either side of the split.
To the top part of the front, I subtracted 1/2″ to accommodate the button placket. I added the placket from Burda 12/2009/121, but if you want to add a placket to a tee, use whatever tee pattern you like, then draw a line parallel to CF and 1/2″ from CF and 10.75″ long. The dimensions of the placket itself are: 1 7/8″ X 10 3/4″, then add seam allowances (I like 1/” because I can serge it). Also, the placket will be folded in half and in the half of the half is the new CF. That’s it.
For button tabs, cut 2 pieces 2″ X 9″.
Cut out 3 plackets, interface 1 completely with a lightweight knit fusible interfacing. Press the plackets along the foldlines and make your buttonholes (I made 5) on the interfaced placket. Layer one placket on top of your buttonholed placket and baste the folded edges together.
Plain placket facing the right side of the right front, sew the doubled placket to the right front (I sewed, then serged to be extra sure, but of course you can just serge).
Sew the other placket to the left front. Crossing right over left, layer the plackets on top of each other and baste together. Sew the lower front onto the fronts, matching CF. As I said, the cool part is that the bottom of the placket is sewn into the waist seam, so no little funny puckers because you’re not an expert in sewing plackets! Construct the rest of the tee per normal.
The Madewell tee has a collar band instead of a binding. This of course looks much better than a binding, but if you’re not up for drafting a separate piece (I wasn’t) you can just turn your binding in so that it’s hidden.
The only other detail is the sleeve tabs. Interface the tabs entirely, then fold the piece so that they measure 2″X4.5″. Cut out an A shape on the raw edge, then sew a 1/4″ seam around the edges. Turn the tabs and press. Add a buttonhole in each 1/2″ from the point of your A.
When you go to hem the sleeves, sew the tabs into the hem, with the raw edge on the inside of the hem so that the tab will fold up and around the hem when you’re done hemming. Add buttons along the shoulder seam and you’re done.