Sunshine in New Orleans | French Navy The Stellan Tee

Tee: Pattern: French Navy Stellan (free!), Fabric: Joann  │  Jeans: Levis*  │  Hat: Sunday Afternoon  │  Sunglasses: Knockaround  │  Handbag: TJMaxx (Similar*: 1 2 3)  │   Bracelets: Made by Me  │   Watch: Ted Baker*  │   Shoes: Keds*

Our lovely home-away-from-home, Ashton's Bed & Breakfast

So, this top definitely represents one of the things I love about sewing my own clothes - I'm not bound by trends and I'm free to mix "styles" as much as I like! Mind you, this isn't a ground-breaking tee, so let me explain. The pattern easily reminds me of the slightly slouchy, boxy 90s tee that is back in, but is generally only available in neutrals or pastels. The fabric, while the weight of a 90s tee, is definitely more vibrant than what I've come across in this style in rtw. And the color was absolutely a very important detail in the making of this tee. You see, I haven't worn yellow in years. As someone who is very (very) fair, yellow doesn't feel like a color I can "pull off" and, in fact, certain variations of it have made me look ill in the past. But one day, I decided I simply had to have a yellow tee shirt! And, it seemed meant to be when I browsed Joann to find the perfect yellow jersey and they actually had it! The perfect sunshiney-yellow, not too green, not too orange, and with beloved stripes to boot! How could I not!?


The Pattern

By now, I'm sure most of you have seen French Navy's The Stellan Tee, but if not, allow me to introduce you. This tee is everything you want if you love that slightly retro, Everlane vibe! It has slightly dropped shoulders, a comfortable, slightly boxy fit, longer sleeves which look rather cute rolled (I left my down because I rolled up my pants. And because this jersey is white on the reverse.), a semi-cropped hem which can still be tucked, and a beautiful inner-neckband finish (see below). Oh, and did I mention it's a free pattern!?! Seriously, this is a great opportunity to see how lovely Sarah's drafting and instructions are! To read my reviews of her other patterns, click here.

From the designer:
A modern take on the basic T-shirt, the Stellan Tee has a boxy, slightly cropped fit, proportionally long sleeves (super cute when rolled-up) and a subtly curved hemline. The perfect length for tucking-in to all your favourite high-waisted pants, the Stellan Tee is a versatile addition to any handmade wardrobe. 
Yep, I'd say that sums it up!

Okay, so obviously I love the finished tee, but how was the pattern?

☐ Do notches/pattern markings match?  Yes
 Do seams match?  Yes
☐ Are the lining pieces separate?  N/a, though there is an optional neckband seam finish and the piece is separate and well-drafted.
☐ Are all pieces clearly labeled?  Yes
☐ Are the pieces easy to adjust? (l/s lines, etc)  Yes
☐ Are the instructions clear and well-illustrated?  Yep
☐ Is pressing mentioned?  Yes
☐ Are seam finishes included?  Yes, as is the aforementioned neckband finish
☐ Is the pattern beginner-friendly?  Yes, very beginner friendly, I think!

It went together as easily as I expected, though to make things even neater and easier, I opted to serge the hems after I sewed the side seams and added Soft Stretch along the hem.


Fit + Tweaks

I would say my fit is exactly as intended. This is actually my second version of this pattern and I haven't made any changes.

  • My measurements, at the time, fell at the M bust, L waist, and XXL hip, but I opted to cut a size M, blending only to a L due to the length of the tee (my fullest hip point is actually at my bum, so often I find with shorter shirts, it's best not to blend out all the way)
  • The size chart does not give the height for which it is drafted, but I added 1" to the length at the l/s line after measuring a similar Everlane tee I own. Also, I'm 5'10", so it's fairly common for me to need to add a bit of length.

For my next one...

If we're getting really nit-picky, I think I could use the slightest bit of a swayback adjustment. Buuuut, it's a tee shirt, so I admit the odds of me doing so are rather slim. Also, my shape has changed just a bit since these photos were taken, so I'm not sure it's much of an issue anymore. But that aside, I think the fit is really good as drafted. I maaaay experiment with a slight broad shoulder adjustment to get a slightly slouchier shoulder, but I'm not sure. 1/4" maybe? What do you think?


The Fabric (+ Notions)

Right, now the fabric. This tee was definitely all about the fabric, as I mentioned above. I just had to have yellow! And not only was I pleased that Joann had the perfect yellow, I really liked that it was a nice, stable and thick pima cotton. I also really liked that the stripes allowed me to put the slightest sliver of white between the risky yellow and my face. I tell myself it helps haha

How did it wash/sew/wear?

Ah, well... this is where it gets a little less exciting. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a few disappointed Stories about how badly this fabric skewed when I got it out of the wash. The fabric had obviously been warped before printing and then the stripes were printed crooked, which meant all kinds of fun trying to get this pattern cut out. In fact, the fabric was so bad, I didn't actually have room to cut out my neckband, though I had purchased the required yardage (and said yardage had worked well enough on my first version of this pattern). So, I had to buy another small piece of a fabric that was rather pricey (though, I see it's heavily discounted now) and had been severely frustrating. And you know what, that piece, which came from a different Joann location, was perfectly fine! No fair! haha It just goes to show how much quality can sometimes vary between stores and different bolts! And I should also mention, the tee itself washed up just fine and it's veeery comfortable.

Supply list:
  • 1Y + 6" pima cotton jersey
  • Pellon easy knit tape (shoulder seams)
  • Guttermann all purpose thread
  • Maxi-lock serger thread
  • Heat N Bond Soft Stretch lite (for the hem)


Now I think I'll pop this happy tee on and daydream about wandering through New Orleans again. The sunshine in these photos is really making me wish it wasn't currently raining outside. But, the garden I've been working on so hard this spring appreciates it, so there's that.

Do you have any other free patterns to recommend?

Happy sewing! x

Side note: I am so glad I've conquered sewing jeans now too (reviews to come!) because, what is this pocket, Levis!? I mean, really...

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information.


  1. LOVE this pattern and your take looks super fresh and wearable! I hope the pattern is truly beginner friendly - I'm teaching a friend to make it this weekend, and it's her first-ever garment!

    1. Thanks so much :) Oh, how fun! I hope the lesson went well! Did your friend like the pattern?

  2. so beautiful yellow style!
    Attracted by your blog content, like your blog, thank you for sharing.
    (づ ̄3 ̄)づ╭❤~


Let's keep the conversation going! Feel free to comment below or on Instagram!

If you want to comment without linking to your profile (or if you don't have an account), please choose "Name/URL" from the drop-down and leave your first name (website optional) so I know who I'm responding to. I can't wait to read your feedback! x