Ottobre 2/2017 merino statement t-shirt

After a few successful garments, I’m back to sharing one of those creations which I love but will likely never wear. I really should have known better – I overheat easily over summer, and tend to spend my days inside in cool cotton and viscose, huddled near the air con. Yet after extolling the virtues of wool fibres and seeing Amanda’s gorgeous merino Plantain tee, I couldn’t resist making myself a merino knit t-shirt.

Woman stands in front of garden fence. She wears pink merino knit tee, light blue jeans and clogs.

As usual, Ottobre delivered for the pattern. Their “#1. Statement t-shirt” from the Spring/Summer 2/2017 issue was pretty much what I was after, once I visually subtracted the “statement” print. I brought the neck in significantly to make it more of a crew neck style, and used a self band for the neck and hemmed the sleeves instead of the ribbing suggested by the pattern. You can read all the fitting and style changes I made in my summary at the end of the post.

Woman wears a tee embellished
From the Ottobre Design blog.

I also decided to sew the hem and topstitch the neckband with a zig-zag stitch. After years of struggling with twin needles, I am so done with hems that inevitably undo themselves in the wash, no matter how securely I finish the ends. I would have ditched them sooner if my machine didn’t stretch out knits beyond recognition when sewing a zigzag. It was only when I used wash-away stabiliser for a particularly lightweight fabric that I realised it would stabilise any fabric under a zig-zag stitch. It’s time consuming and a pain to wash away, but it works.

A woman stands in front of a garden fence. She is wearing a merino knit tee with zigzag neck and hems.

The fabric I used was actually a remnant from The Fabric Store merino jersey I used in my Merino Paola Turtleneck Tee. I found it a little chilly for winter, and figured it might work in summer. Of course, with my body it didn’t. I chose to try it out on one of those muggy, oppressive mornings, when the whole house felt like a sauna and you know it will be brutal outside (ie, any day from November-February), and found it so hot I had to change after a few minutes.

Woman stands in front of garden fence. She wears pink merino knit tee, light blue jeans and clogs.

I should emphasise that this is entirely a problem with my temperature regulation issues, and this fabric is actually of extremely fine quality. This style is also exactly what I would have worn before I became sick, summer or winter, so I felt for the cost of materials ($0) it was worth the try.


I actually do like everything about this tee, besides the fact that it might have to sit in my wardrobe for a few years before I can wear it. I’m glad I made it if just as a muslin for the Ottobre pattern, as I’ve been looking for a basic yet stylish, slim-but-not-too-tight, short sleeved tee pattern for a while now. Trust Ottobre to deliver! This will definitely be the pattern I turn to if I stumble across some quality knit fabric.

Woman stands in front of garden fence. She wears pink merino knit tee, light blue jeans and clogs.

The deets:
Pattern: Ottobre Spring/Summer 2/2017 #1. Statement t-shirt
Pattern details: “Our T-shirt here has a slightly looser cut than usual, and its neckline and sleeve edges are finished with narrow ribbed binding.” Available from Ottobre Woman magazine, Spring/Summer 2/2017. Sizes 34-52.
Fabric: Premium merino single jersey 180gsm – Ballet Pink from The Fabric Store. 100% merino, 180gsm, 19.3 micron.
Other materials: Clear elastic to stabilise shoulders, from Aliexpress. Wash-N-Gone soluble stabiliser for hems.
Mods: Size 42.
– 6mm forward head adjustment, moved sleeve cap forward to match
– Brought neck in 2.4cm at shoulder and up 7.6cm front, 1.8cm back (it is quite an open design at neck/shoulder with a casual fit)
– Added 2.5cm body length
– Hemmed sleeves instead of adding ribbed band
– Cut neckband 4.5cm from self-fabric and eased to fit (6mm SA) rather than 3.5cm from ribbing as pattern suggests

Author: Siobhan S

20 something, living in country Australia. Spoonie profile: ME/CFS, dysautonomia, anxiety. All about sewing, knitting and food. Unapologetic disability advocate.

13 thoughts on “Ottobre 2/2017 merino statement t-shirt”

  1. It’s a lovely shirt and I hope you’ll get some use for it in winter for layering. I just wanted to comment also on your note that your machine turns knits wavy – mine also used to do this until I realised I needed to reduce the presser foot pressure for knits and also not stretch them at all on their way through the machine. You may have already tried all this, but thought it worth mentioning as it is certainly frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It looks so comfortable! But the icing on the cake is your sewing! Beautiful tailoring! I could stare at it all day admiring the seams, hem and neck band! LOL! I know- I’m crazy like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this pattern too – with a few fitting mods it has become my TNT t-shirt pattern. Love your version in wool!!


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