I am loving the flexibility of basic patterns at the moment which I can alter to create different styles and designs. I’m following on with the “ mini theme” of manipulating the basic Lillia T-Shirt pattern to get more look for your buck.
The addition of an exposed zip gives a modern casual or sporty styling to the top.
Choose a zip which has either decorative tapes or is a contrasting colour to your fabric, or has chunky teeth and an attractive slider.
I have added a back centre seam in order to have an attractive exposed zip detail. It is completely possible to put the exposed zip in without adding a seam but it is a bit simpler to do with one, so thats what I’ve done. I changed the basic back pattern piece by adding 1.5 cm/ ⅝ inch seam allowance at the centre back line and cutting it out of the fabric as two back sections instead of one on a fold.
The insertion of the exposed zipper means that the assembly of the T-Shirt varies slightly from the basic style. The shoulder seams are still sewn together first but then the neckband is attached. The neckband is left open and attached from the left back opening to the right back opening. Then topstitched around the neckline.
The jersey fabric recommended for this pattern really needs stabilising with iron on interfacing before sewing in the zip, to prevent the material from stretching and puckering out of shape. Add interfacing to both sides of the back seam about 4 cm/1 inch wide and as long as your zip.
I’m interested in the different looks you can get from the one pattern so here are some ideas;
As well as the surprise opening in the back and the exposed zipper, you could have side vents with it longer at the back than the front, a wide hem of a contrast fabric, either contrasting in colour or weight. Don’t forget that with the Lillia pattern you get the ¾ sleeve option as well so you could change that to be a contrasting jersey fabric on the sleeves. You could use a binding on the sleeve hem to match with the neckband. Play around with your use of fabrics, lace on the back, jersey on the front. Silk or cotton on the front and jersey on the back.