t-shirt project

Well readers, I must admit something.  Kind Maria of Maria Denmark fame sent me some Onion patterns to test, write about, and giveaway a long time ago–like at the beginning of this whole T-shirt project thing, and I’ve totally been holding out on you.  I kind of planned to get going on them at the start of fall because all 3 patterns really read fall/winter to me, but the summer heat was unrelenting and longer than average and this wacky thing called pregnancy really zapped my energy, so I have not got around to testing out the patterns until the past couple of weeks.  Mea culpa.  I’ll be making up for it in the next couple of months.

t-shirt project

Pattern #1 is Onion 5032, a wrap or faux wrap top with an empire seam with gathered cap sleeve, 3/4 or plain, long sleeve flared slightly then gathered at the hem.

T-shirt Project #9: Onion 5032

I really appreciate that the empire line on this top is lower than average (it’s almost low enough to look more like a peplum seam, and it certainly could be flared a little more to make it into a peplum top)…it makes altering for a full bust so much easier because you don’t have to first adjust the height of the empire seam.  Jalie 2804, for instance made me crazy because the bust line was so high, I had to adjust it 3 times before I could even bother with doing something about my full bust.  The fact that I could just do the FBA out of the gate and not worry was fantastic.

The crossover also extends all the way to the side seam.  I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that before on this kind of top, and it’s kind of interesting.  I have no idea what that does from a fit or drafting perspective, but it is nice to know that you won’t have the crossover cutting across your bust diagonally when you’re already cutting your top in half with the empire line.

As much as I am not a fan of empire lines in general, the addition of one makes it so easy to alter for maternity.

I also appreciate that the gathered sleeve cap is pretty minimal.  I’m not a poofy sleeve kind of girl, but the amount that’s added in the cap is just enough to add a little interest and femininity.  I used clear elastic to gather it which was really easy to do.

t-shirt project

This fuchsia fabric was a score from the $3/lb table at Denver Fabrics.  I love pound fabric–it’s like treasure hunting, and if you’re willing to look, occasionally you come up with something really lovely like this dense (probably) rayon/lycra.  I initially thought it’d be a muslin, but it was so lovely to sew, I decided to finish it properly if it turned out even remotely decently.  This version, I used the plain back, the gathered 3/4 sleeve, and the empire faux wrap.  Though the pattern has different versions, they’re all drafted to fit into each other, so you really can pick and choose what details you like not unlike a Project Runway pattern.

t-shirt project


I picked up this fine strawberry peach sherbet rayon jersey at Stone Mountain & Daughter on my 30 minute shopping spree there before we went to the Giants’ game (Yay–go Giants!) this summer.  For it, I chose the long sleeve (but kept the 3/4 length) instead of the gathered cap.  I don’t like elastic in sleeve hems–it always feels restrictive and binding to me, and ultimately leaves marks on me.  Instead, I cut a strip of fabric 1.5″ wide to face the sleeve hems.  Towards the front of the sleeve, I made 2 small buttonholes (which I had to do manually because my attachment was not working on this fine fabric).  I stitched the facings into place on the wrong sides of the sleeves, and threaded through strings I made from 1.25″X15″ strips of fabric, serged, turned, pressed, and knotted.  The strings are the mechanism for gathering the hem–I like that this adds a little decorative element, and it’s a lot more comfortable on my arms.

Overall, this is a great pattern with a lot of room for modification and variation.  My only beef about it is that the neckline is low.  I traced off the highest line, did a 1/2″ petite adjustment, and it’s still too low to wear without a cami.  Not a big deal–this is rather a common problem on this type of pattern.

My full review of the pattern is here.

As for the giveaway,  I have a fresh, sealed copy of this pattern ready to go into your own stash.  I’ll ship internationally, so all you lovely ladies reading in Oz and elsewhere can participate.

To enter, I want to know about your Onion patterns experience.  Have you sewn any Onion patterns before?  If you haven’t, take a browse around Maria’s website ShopOnion, and dream a little–what looks fun, how would you make it up? Please comment on this post so I can stay unconfused and fair.  Comments will be open until 7 pm mountain time on Sunday, November 11th. 

Elizabeth Made This

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.

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  1. Have never used an Onion pattern before, but I love the styling of several of them. Your wrap top looks great and that would be one patten I would love to try out first..

  2. Maria has some very interesing patterns on her web site. I checked out the pdf patterns there also. I noticed there is one t-shirt that is free at this time, It would be a great way to try out her patterns. I have not been sewig this year, staying busy knitting.

    I really like what you did with the pattern. I still find you an amazing woman enjoying all the choices sewing can give you.

  3. I have used Maria’s kimono tee pattern and really love it as a basic – I have used it to do some fun alterations with other patterns.

  4. I have never made on Onion pattern, but checking out the website I think I would like to try one! Thanks for he opportunity!

  5. I purchased my first Onion patterns about a month ago, and am going to try the #4021 pants just as soon as I get my pants block finalised. I also ordered two of the jackets, at least one of which I would like make before next winter.

  6. I haven’t tried Onion patterns, but they look great! The top you made looks lovely. I like their cowl neck top, too. Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. I’ve been ogling Onion patterns for a while now whenever they pop up on Pattern Review, but I’ve never thought I could easily get them in the US – thanks for the link! I like a lot of their knit dress designs, and this shirt is definitely up my alley too. Your versions are both great!

  8. Great tops! I never make enough t-shirts. I don’t need the pattern–being small busted, the lower empire line likely wouldn’t look great on me–but how nice of you to ship internationally!

  9. Pingback: What should flannel smell like? | ~E Made This!

  10. I’m glad to see you’ve still got the energy to sew. These tops look great on you and the colours work well into your wardrobe.

  11. I’ve never sewn an Onion pattern before, but I get the emails and I like what I’ve seen online. Your tops are all lovely on you. One of these days I’d like to try these patterns.

  12. I really like the style of this top. I’m not familiar with Onion patterns, but I’d love to try one out.

  13. I’ve never tried Onion patterns before, although I’ve had my eye on them. I’ve been looking for a pattern to make up with some silk jersey I have and your top looks like the perfect style for that. I also think the knit wrap dress would be awesome to sew up.

  14. Jane Soule Reply

    I’ve never heard of Onion patterns, but would love to try one.

  15. Pingback: The t-shirt project: Styling a cowl? and a giveaway | ~E Made This!

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