The ‘Not Impressed’ Tee

I was so excited about the black and white challenge.  I love black and white – I have so many black and white fabrics in my stash, and knew exactly which one I wanted to use, and exactly what I wanted to make with it.

Yeah, it wasn’t these stripes, and it it wasn’t this top.

I’ve been under the weather for quite a while, have a pinched nerve in my neck, and have been working full time through both of these.  Basically I’m sick, exhausted, and in massive pain.  Still, I really wanted this week to be amazing, so I forged ahead on my sewing plans, drafting a pattern, cutting my oh-so-precious fabric, sewing, and resewing to get it perfect.  The sewing just seemed to go on, and on, and on.  Every time I thought I’d got something right, I ended up having to re-do it.  Late Sunday night (Sat on the other side of the dateline) it became clear that I wasn’t going to get the project done in time.  I knew I was so tired and worn out that my sewing skills were basically set back a decade, and I was making mistakes that were going to seem beyond elementary when I felt better.  So I set my original project aside, pulled out some black and white striped knit, and figured at least I could make a simple tee.

Or not.

This pattern was so fantastic with last weeks tee, this week…not so much.  I think it’s the allover stripes.  And the slight change in the knit stretch makes the neckline not work.  Whatever it is, I pulled it on, stood in front of the mirror, looked at myself, and realised I was making this face.

Yeah.  Not impressed.

(btw, in the interest of accuracy, why do they call that face a smirk?  It’s clearly a grimace, not a smirk!  Why would anyone smirk when they weren’t impressed with themselves?  I’ve been making that face my entire life whenever I wasn’t happy with something, and I definitely haven’t been smirking).

On the bright side with this shirt, at least I matched the stripes at the sides nicely.

The only other thing I like about this top is the arrows where the sleeve meets.  Maybe that’s why I’m managing to smile in this picture, even though Felicity is biting me (like a true cat, she only wants to be picked up when you are wearing black that has just been de-linted and de-cathaired).

Just the facts, Ma’am:

Fabric: 90cm of mid-weight cotton-spandex jersey, thrifted

Pattern: 3HoursPast’s Blank Canvas Tee, with a boatneck, and 8″ in length added.

Year: 2012

Notions: Thread

Hours: 2

First worn?: Mon 19 Nov to make faces at myself

Wear again?: Erm.  Hopefully I can rescue it.

Make again?: Right now, probably not.

Total cost: $1 (at least the fabric was cheap!)


Leimomi Oakes - The Dreamstress

Leimomi Oakes learned to sew as a child in Hawaii, and hasn't spent a day without doing it in the-more-years-than-she-would-like-to-admit-to since. When she was 18 she was nicknamed 'The Dreamstress' and bought the domain name, and now she's stuck with it. After getting degrees in Art History, Costume Design and International Relations she worked in a number of fabulous museums before going freelance as a textile and fashion historian and historical seamstress. She lives in Wellington New Zealand with a lovely husband and a world-famous cat.


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  1. Oh Leimomi, I’m sorry you’ve been under the weather : ( I know what it feels like to do what you think is your best only to find out you’ve got to do it over. I laughed at the part where you say “at least the stripes are all matched up” and the kitty. I, too, end up with cat hair all over me AFTER I’ve de-furred myself for photos (you might be able to see the Ashton fur on my black dress this week if you look carefully). At least she was able to bring a smile to your face : )
    Take care of yourself and when you finish your original outfit we’re dying to see it!! FIVE challenges left, can you believe it?

  2. Love your grimace! I immediately recognized it too. Even though it’s not your fav shirt, I think it looks cute. You could probably wear it while cleaning the house. ;)

  3. What’s not to like about this shirt??? I like it. The stripes look great.

  4. I think this is a cute shirt. Maybe it’s just not your style (you don’t strike me as a t-shirt wearing type of girl…but that might be a wrong impression after seeing you in all those pretty vintage styles). I have to admit though i like your gay red shirt better than this one but I’d always prefer red over black and white so that’s a very subjective opinion.
    I hope you’ll feel better soon. PS: Love your kitty.