The self-proclaimed “Fast & Fabulous” La Strada T-Shirt is a recent release from Hot Patterns. I received it in the mail a couple of weeks ago and sewed it up immediately since it did seem like a quick project. There are only four pieces to the pattern: front, back, yoke, and front facing. It took a little longer to put together than a regular t-shirt with all the gathers, but I think the extra effort was worth it.
The pattern recommended a light to medium weight drapey knit. I used a tissue rayon knit from Fabric.com (see here).
I like this pattern because even though it recommends knits, it has positive ease which means you can sew it up with a regular straight stitch and not have to worry about the seams needing to stretch. I measured the pattern for my size and calculated about 2” of ease around the hips, but I ended up going up one size because I thought I’d want more ease for this look. I might rethink that next time and just go with my size – 2″ of ease in a knit feels looser than 2″ of ease in a woven.
If you like video tutorials, Hot Patterns has a free video showing how to sew this up.
I recommend watching at least the bit around the 8:00 minute mark, which explains a technique to sew the facing to the v-neck in order to get a nice sharp V.
It’s possible I mis-read something sewing it up, but I sewed the side seams from the bottom hem up to the notch and ended up with armholes that (combined with the looseness of the top) showed off… a lot. Think of those sleeveless open sided muscle t-shirts from the 80’s… not the look I was going for.
To fix this, I sewed up another 3 inches above the notch – MUCH better. (Just imagine the armhole below 3″ lower… actually, don’t!) You can see the curved yoke a little better here, and the gathers along it. Very flattering, and works for a lot of bust sizes. By the way, the top is very wide on top and tapers down to the hip, but the gathers collect the extra volume on top. This means if you usually need a FBA, forget it! It’s taken care of already!
The only other change I made was to shorten the whole thing by 4”. Good news for tall ladies – this is a very long top. If you lengthen or shorten, do so on the pattern towards the bottom where the side seams are straight, don’t worry about finding a waistline. Obviously this pattern has no waist definition to worry about.
I like the finished result – it’s a little dressier than a regular t-shirt: a great top to wear over skinny jeans. However, I think next time I’ll try a knit with a little more weight (but still plenty of drape), like the knit shown in the Hot Patterns video. My tissue weight knit isn’t heavy enough to keep the v-neck hanging straight down and tends to cling around the chest, causing the neckline to sag. A bamboo or silk knit would probably have enough weight to keep the v-neck hanging nicely.
The back yoke would look great in a stripe too…