Boxy Tee: Free Pattern But Worth a Purse of Roman Coins

I do not know quite how summer came and went so fast! Earlier, as summer appeared to stretch out endlessly before me, I had plans to tackle so much work ahead of time. Two brand new courses to teach this year? No problem — they will be done in their entirety by early August! Adding new technologies to existing courses? I’ll learn everything I need to know about all. the. technologies. by end of July! Hiring and training a team of people for a load of brand new positions? All bureaucratic paperwork and hiring will be complete and everyone will know what they’re doing before September! Ha. Do you know what *actually* happened? Me neither, but I suspect it had something to do with the mythical slowing-down-of-time-in-summer-to-allow-for-all-kinds-of-work-to-get-done not actually taking place as expected. And now I’m doing All The Work While Crying. I couldn’t trace this meme back to its original creator so with apologies to him or her, you’ll find me somewhere in the green & black area at the end of the status bar right now.


At least now I’m learning to incorporate the Fuck Off phase into my long-term strategic planning. 🙂

Anyway, I figured it was time to blog about this summer tee before all hope for wearing it is over.

Roman Coin Boxy Tee

This is Purl Soho’s Boxy Tee pattern. I purchased the fabric, a very lightweight woven rayon border print with flowers and roman coins, at Designer Fabrics on Queen Street West in Toronto. (Lately they’ve had a lot of ancient-Rome-themed fabric that I found hard to resist, as evidenced by this other blouse I made recently with a Roman theme.) For this Boxy Tee, I only used 2/3rds of a yard of the fabric, particularly because I used pre-made bias tape for the neck facing instead of making bias tape out of the fabric itself.

Roman Coin Boxy Tee

I highly recommend the pattern. It’s simple, quick, uses minimal fabric, and you don’t have to print out and tape together any pattern pieces (just one page that gives you a template for cutting out the neck). If you can measure out a rectangle or two, you’re good to go. There’s also a version that includes directions to add two ties at the waist that you could tie at the back for a bit of shaping. I think I might be regretting not including those on my version.

Roman Coin Boxy Tee

My modifications:

  • I did not add sleeves. I just started by cutting the front and back pieces to have extra ‘flaps’ sticking out at the top sides where the armholes would be…that gives the look of a cap sleeve but built into the body.
  • The pattern calls for two pieces sewn together for each of the front and the back, creating a horizontal seam. Instead I cut out one continuous piece for each in order to show off this amazing border-print fabric.

Purl Soho’s Boxy Tee  — with added sleeves and seam across the front. I love the neon colour blocking they’ve done here!

My version of the Boxy Tee, with built-in ‘sleeve flaps’ and no front or back seams. And crappier lighting.

I’m thinking I should pick up this Roman Coins Bracelet I saw recently at the Pompeii exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum to wear with it. What do you think — too much flashing of cash in one outfit?

Roman Coin Boxy Tee

In this pic you can see just where the top is just a bit too snug around the top of my hips. This is why I’d recommend modifying the pattern just a bit by grading out the front and back rectangles towards the bottom if you’re worried about it hugging your hips too closely.

I also have a little skirt in progress using the same fabric, but I’m kinda stuck on figuring out how to line it, so it may languish in my Work-In-Progress pile for while. (Never fear, I won’t be wearing them both together if I do ever finish the skirt.)

Roman Coin Boxy Tee

As summer comes to an end, I want to wish you Happy Real New Year, ’cause no matter how long you’ve been out of school, September always feels like the real deal when it comes to a new year.

Thanks for reading!

Ranta in Roma: iCandy T-shirt


World’s fastest sew: the iCandy T-shirt (a free pattern — link below). Fun design details: the shoulder seams sit forward on the front of the Tee, and the back is a couple of inches longer than the front.


This t-shirt was lucky enough to have its debut in Rome! (And its model is lucky enough to currently be on vacation in Italy!) Ironically, the fabric is Italian-made, but I got it in Toronto from Downtown Fabrics at 436 Queen Street West. Anyone who’s shopped there knows that the shop owner makes lots of lame jokes (“For you? Only one yard avail-ee-able!”) and also makes you read out the label on each fabric he shows you: “Look at this! What does that label say?” If you don’t play along, he answers for you: “Ee-talian!!!! Best quality! Look at this one! Tell me what’s on that label!” “Ee-talian!!!,” I shout back.

I think it’s viscose. One day I will start writing down what the hell I’m buying when I actually buy it. It’s got amazing drape. I have enough of both the patterned fabric and the solid turquoise to make something else…a swishy skirt, maybe?


In other news, I got brand new Brother electronic sewing machine! In related news, it doesn’t work properly! I used it on this T-shirt but it kept eating the fabric…sucking it right down into the mouth of the feed dogs. Since I got the machine only a few days before leaving for Italy, I didn’t have the time or the inclination to figure out WTF so I finished the T-shirt with a zigzag stitch on my old Singer machine, which chose this very same moment to simply refuse to sew a twin needle stitch. I got this MF done with only hours to spare before it was time to leave for the airport, nerves a bit frazzled, but calmed by the thought of vacation. I’ll wrestle the new machine into submission when I get home…I’ll need the exercise to work off all the pasta, cheese, and gelato I’ve been eating.


I mentioned the iCandy T-shirt is a free pattern. <RANT>Here’s the link, but be warned: there is so much extra advertising garbage on that page that your internet connection will suddenly slow right down while the page AUTOMATICALLY loads no fewer than FOUR unwanted video advertisements.  Seriously? What a pain in the ass. So if you don’t mind either paying for all that extra data download, or patiently tracking down all the video windows to click the pause buttons, then there’s a cute, easy T-shirt pattern waiting as your reward. I’m happy that crafty bloggers are able to pay themselves through advertising on their sites but visiting that page was just ridiculous.</RANT>


One other note about the pattern: it comes only in size medium, but it is such a simple design — it’s just 3 pieces: front, back, neckband —  that you can easily modify it for other sizes. I cut & sewed the medium for a slightly baggy fit. I like this combination of fabrics and I’m sure I’ll wear this T-shirt a lot.