12 t-shirts (& t-shirt dresses) for summer

It's spring! The wattle is blooming and there is a fresh spring to my step - it feels like anything is possible. My heart lifts with the change of season, and I start to review my wardrobe in anticipation of warmer weather.

Last year I kept reaching for non-existent knit shirts. So this year I have set myself the target to make three new tees that I'll reach for every time. What's your staple? For those days when you want the comfort of knit - without surrendering style - we've got you covered and coloured!

Vera // by Fibre Mood

Sizes: XS - XXXL
Purchase the pattern here.
Light, breezy, and just a little bit fancy! That neckline is an ingenious use of rib knit that you wouldn't see on any shop rack.  Make it yours in perfectly matching rib and knit or colour block for a dramatic contrast!


Woman’s Woodley Tee (also available in men's) // by Thread Theory

Sizes: 0-18
Purchase the pattern here.
A relaxed fit shirt, the perfect length for tucking in or leaving out? A sleeve that means I can reach the top shelf, or catch a child jumping out of a tree, that's roomy and yet not baggy? Yes please! This 'workhorse' shirt is a wardrobe staple and I'm dreaming of making it up in a beautiful linen jersey.


Briar // by Megan Nielsen

Size: 0-20 (Curve sizes 14-30)

Purchase the printed pattern here. Purchase the Curve PDF here.

Megan Nielsen has the classic 'beach babe' look nailed. Fitted yet loose. High/low hems and a splash of 'sas' with the patch pocket look. This shirt is a serious contender for the new linen jersey or perhaps the silky bamboo? The perfect amount of drape, with the perfect amount of chic!


Beachcomber T-shirt, Tunic and Dress // by Waves & Wild
Size: XXS - 5XL
Purchase the pattern here.

Comfort is the priority with this versatile pattern. A casual and playful take on the t-shirt dress. Sometimes you just need a blank canvas to play on! Moreover the size range is generous, and the models have diverse body types. (It's also really nice to showcase a designer who is off the beaten track.) Enjoy choosing a jersey print with contrasting knit!


Merlo Field Tee // by Sew House Seven
Sizes: 0-20
Purchase the pattern here.
Sporty, soft, drapey, goodness! Now all you have to do is pick only two beautiful bamboo knit colours - I don't envy you! 


The Rio Ringer // by True Bias

Sizes: 0-18
Purchase the pattern here.
Moving into fitted and retro - the Rio Ringer t-shirt and dress is your quintessential ice-cream eating dress! It's all in the contrast ribbing. White is traditional, but what's to stop you from playing loosie-goosy with the rules and mixing it up with a complementary or contrasting colour? Have fun matching ribbing with an abundance of jersey knits!


Camas Blouse // by Thread Theory
Sizes: 0-18
Purchase the pattern here.
This shirt is all of the 'so chic' style of a blouse, crossed with the pyjama like soft jersey of a tee - amazing! This is another one for drapey knits. Luxe linen or beautiful bamboo jersey will really make this shirt shine! Pro tip: you can make the shoulders and back yoke out of a woven material for something a little different. 


Panama Tee Dress // by Alina Sewing and Design Co.

Sizes: 0-18
Purchase the pattern here.
Vanilla. Delicious. I would be making this dress in a ponte or jacquard knit for a tinsy bit of smoothing over the curves. 


Ceder Dollman Top // by Cashmerette

Sizes: 12-32 (up to G cup)
Purchase the pattern here.
A flattering staple tee with a twist! (Quite literally - there's a sweet front knotted option.) What I really like about Cashmerette patterns is that although the shapes look simple when worn, there is a stunning amount of pattern making magic that goes into each design. You can trust your curves to look their best with this 'simple' tee. There are some really nice cotton jersey prints in florals currently in stock. Colour it fun with a print on the front and solid colour on the back!


Givre Dress and Top // by Deer and Doe

Sizes: 34-52
Purchase the pattern here.
Simple, comfortable, stunning. The clean lines and classy colour block of the Givre Dress and Top is exactly what we love about French pattern company Deer and Doe! I love the progression of light to dark colours as they really draw your eyes down the dress. I'll be making this one in ponte or jacquard knit (just like the Panama Tee Dress) but it would work equally as well in your average solid knit


Wardrobe Building T-Shirt // by Wardrobe by Me

Sizes: 0-24
Purchase the pattern here.
90 different possible combinations - 90!! (This pattern sure lives up to its name.) Overwhelmed like me? Start with your current wardrobe - which t-shirt is your favourite? You know, the one you reach for time and time again, even if it is a bit scrappy now. Note the fit, features, neckline and sleeve lengths and then make a carbon copy with this pattern as your base. Once you've made your new favourite shirt feel free to riff off it with your next 8 to truly make this pattern a TNT! There's almost a matching number of jersey knits to choose from!


and here's one for the fellas...

Sayward Raglan // by Thread Theory

Sizes: XS- 4XS
Purchase the pattern here.
Thread Theory has done it again; another workhorse staple garment designed specifically to cater for men. Great pattern making. Thoughtful details about sleeve lengths and shaping. Let's not let the menfolk miss out on the MaaiDesign summer shirt making fest! Our solid jersey collection will not let you down. 


Hmm... I think I'm leaning towards the Merlo Tee in bamboo jersey. What's your staple for this season?

2 Responses



October 13, 2021

Metro tee by Liesl & co – I bought the family pack and have made the pattern 5 times.

Jarrah sweatshirt turned into tee – I’ve made a few! Slouchy and comfy in your bamboo!

Linda Hedger

Linda Hedger

October 06, 2021

The Basic InstincT is a great free T shirt pattern from Sasha Secondo Piano. My other favourite is Butterick 6848 – the pattern includes instructions and markings for bust adjustment, which I followed – now I have a pattern I’ve used several times, the fit is perfect

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