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Sarah's Sweet Strathcona

Person in green top

Sarah is a talented maker who has been helping us fulfill curbside orders at Fancy Tiger Crafts. Check out her work on Instagram!

This Christmas, I promised my partner, Tim, his very own handmade shirt. I let him pick the style and fabric, and then I found a pattern that would work for what he was looking for. I have wanted to try a Thread Theory pattern for some time now, so with limited options for mens garment patterns, off I went with the Strathcona Tee! We both met each other in Vancouver, so making a top named after a neighborhood there seems serendipitous! This shirt will hopefully be a new staple for him... At least temporarily replacing a very worn-out, moth hole-ridden Smartwool® top for long enough that I can take a stab at mending it!

Pattern: Strathcona Henley by Thread Theory
Fabric: Bamboo Cotton Stretch French Terry in Heather Forest
Modifications: Added top-stitching detail

Man in long-sleeved shirt

The fabric we chose is the Bamboo Cotton Stretch French Terry in Heather Forest. Coincidentally, this color almost matches his torn Smartwool® top exactly! This knit fabric is on the thicker side for t-shirts, but that makes it easier to handle and to sew with. The subtle loops on the back add to the thickness while making the fabric feel lusciously soft and great for next-to-skin wear wardrobe staples.

Man in long-sleeve shirt

For the pattern, I made a long-sleeved version of the Strathcona Tee without the button placket. I am not a beginner at garment sewing, but Thread Theory provides detailed information for beginners who are sewing with knits on a regular machine. The printed pattern even includes a woven label for your finished top! This is a very quick top to sew up, and you can speed up the cutting process by folding the main body front and the back pieces in half, longwise, and cutting on the fold of your fabric. Don’t skip out on the shoulder and sleeve notches, they will make attaching the sleeves an absolute breeze! I have made many tops with different construction methods, and this sleeve attachment is, by far, one of the easiest. I top stitched (with a straight stretch stitch) the neck seam and shoulder seams to add a bit of detail.

Shirt stitching detail

The top came together quickly, and for not making a muslin it fits rather well! By “slim” fit, they really do mean that - even on Tim’s slim figure, this is a tight-fitting shirt! It will make a great base layer for colder hikes and I am excited about the eco-friendly qualities of the bamboo fabric. This is a great wardrobe staple and I hope that Tim will let me make him some more - next time with a bit more ease around the torso.

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