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New pattern: the Plantain t-shirt

Published on January 6, 2014 by Eléonore in The patterns

Hello, there! I hope everyone is well and back on their feet after celebrating the New Year, because here at Deer & Doe we’ve been working at full speed on a new pattern… And you know what? It’s free! (Oh, yes!)

It’s been a while (actually, ever since I started Deer & Doe) that I’ve wanted to offer a free pattern (read why at the end of the post). It took me more than a year to carry out this project, but the Plantain t-shirt was finally born!

DSC_0023 plantain

I’ve wanted to sew my own simple t-shirts for a long time, with a pattern to use infinite times, with many possible variations. After trying a few patterns (free or for-pay), I was still unsatisfied: the existing designs never really suited my body shape… So I decided to work, in parallel with my other patterns, on this “perfect t-shirt” side project. And that’s how Plantain was born :)


Plantain is a t-shirt fitted at the shoulders that flares out at the hips for a loose but elegant effect.  It has a nice, low neckline, and includes three sleeve variations: short, ¾ length and long, with elbow patches. It’s ideal for cocooning on cold winter days, worn alone inside the house, or layered to face the cold outside!

DSC_0044 DSC_0084

Plantain is to be made in a knit with a stretch percentage between 40% and 50% (you’ll find a way to determine this percentage in the pattern instructions). The two versions you see here are made in two suuuper soft organic cotton jerseys, from the lovely shop Les Trouvailles d’Amandine. You can also make it in fleece, but in that case you’ll need to go up one size.

I know some of you have never sewn with knits, and are a little afraid to try out this new technique, so I included in the instructions a mini tutorial on sewing with knits: I promise it’s not difficult, even if you only have a simple sewing machine (the two t-shirts here are made without a serger and without a twin needle!).


How does it work?

The pattern is downloaded in the form of a ZIP file, that you open by double clicking (for older versions of Windows, you might need to install a program like Winzip to open the file).  The zip includes three files:

  • The bilingual pattern to print: Deer_and_Doe_Plantain_Patron.pdf
  • Instructions in French: Deer_and_Doe_Plantain_Instructions_FR.pdf
  • Instructions in English: Deer_and_Doe_Plantain_Instructions_EN.pdf

Open the pattern file and print it, then assemble it following the instructions at the beginning of the document. Refer to the English instructions file for the size chart, the list of supplies and the construction steps :)



Why a free pattern?

As I said at the beginning of this post, I’ve wanted to offer a free pattern for a long time. First of all, to thank you all for your support, for your kind words and for your energy that helps recharging my batteries since the beginning. And also because I wanted to present Deer&Doe to a larger audience, especially to those who might be afraid of delays in international delivery (living in Australia or in the US) or of the price of a printed pattern.

From time to time, I receive messages asking me if Deer&Doe patterns will be eventually available in PDF, a format becoming more and more popular that allows to get patterns quickly and at a low cost. Instead of offering you pay-for PDFs that would be a sub product of already existing patterns, I decided to make available this little pattern for free, hoping that you’ll like it – and maybe it will tempt you to take the plunge and try printed patterns, who knows?

But be mindful, free pattern doesn’t mean cheap pattern! Even though this is a simpler design that needs less pieces, it received as much care as all our others products: detailed instructions and testing in all sizes. And, as always, that little D&D touch :)


I hope you’ll have fun making your Plantain. Don’t forget to share your finished projects and your variations on the Flickr group or on Instagram (using the hashtag #deeranddoe)!

Translation by Anna ♥


  1. Jessica

    - January 6, 2014

    WOW! that is one cute tshirt!
    I cant wait to make it!! Thanks so much for making a free pattern! I haven’t tried one of your patterns as yet, but I have had my eye on them for a while!

  2. tworandomwords

    - January 6, 2014

    Oh this is lovely! Perfect for us uber-pear shaped ladies. And the name reminds me of eating plantains every day when in Costa Rica and Cuba. I also love LOVE the elbow patches!!

    I’m going to print this out RIGHT now at work, hopefully it wont distract me TOO much from other sewing plans

  3. Nicole

    - January 6, 2014

    How very kind and generous of you.
    My girls and I adore your patterns.

  4. Maike

    - January 6, 2014

    That’s so kind of you and comes at a perfect time. I definitely wanted to try out sewing with knits.
    Oh and yay for the blog in english!

  5. Francesca

    - January 6, 2014

    Wow – what a nice Epiphany present! you are so sweet! I am also very pleased to see the blog in English – I could underestand most of it in French, except for colloquial stuff, but this way I also feel less dumb commenting in English :).
    Thanks again Eleonore – I hate PDFs, and am glad that you are not switching to them full time! but for something this cute, I will print and stick :)

  6. Francesca

    - January 6, 2014

    Oh – and I signed off too quickly – your cat is adorable! What eyes…. Reminds me of my Twiggy….

  7. camelia

    - January 6, 2014

    Thank you for this beautiful pattern! Regards and a very good 2014 ! Camelia

  8. gb

    - January 6, 2014

    thank you for this beautiful pattern. However, I can’t seem to access it as it is asking for a “sign in to download the pattern”??

    • Eléonore

      - January 6, 2014

      Thank you! You need indeed to sign in in the online shop to download the pattern :) (there is a link at the top left corner to sign in)

  9. Kim

    - January 6, 2014

    Yay! I’m really happy with the blog in English and also with the freebie! It looks like a lovely pattern, I just need to have a look in my stash to see what I’ve got in knit fabric :)

  10. Geo P

    - January 6, 2014

    Thank you so much, Eléonore! You look lovely in it, I love the scoop neck. I will definitely make a few :)

    • Eléonore

      - January 6, 2014

      Thank you very much! But it’s not me in the pictures, it’s my gorgeous model Camille ;)

    • Geo P

      - January 31, 2014

      I always thought that was you :)

  11. Amanda

    - January 6, 2014

    What a lovely pattern!! I myself have been looking for a tshirt pattern that has a more swingy hemline – nothing too clingy. And the elbow patches are just the icing on the cake. ;) Thank you – THANK YOU – so much for all your hard work on creating this pattern for us. ;)

    I’m also excited to read the blog in English!! I’ve been following along and understand a little, because of my Spanish, but sometimes I do get a little lost in the French. ;)

    Best of luck to you in your new endeavors in 2014 – I’m really looking forward to see how your business grows in the coming year. :) I’ll be right here cheering you on!!

    • Amanda

      - January 6, 2014

      Hello again, Eléonore! Just wanted to respond back with a quick question about printing (it’s really a question, in general, about printing pdf patterns, so others in the conversation might be able to reply as well). ;)

      Anyway, I followed your instructions to print the document “actual size”, and when I go to check the test square, it measures about 1 and 15/16″ (rather than 2″). I know this is very knit-picky, but I was wondering if others might run into the same problem as well. This isn’t just for this pattern, but all pdf patterns I’ve printed off in the past – and I didn’t want this little detail to make a difference in the fit of the garment.

      Thanks so much for any help you can offer!! :) And thank you again for the lovely pattern. Bisous – xo.

    • Eléonore

      - January 6, 2014

      Hello Amanda ! Maybe I can help :)
      What software do you use to print the pattern? I recommend Adobe Acrobat, as I never had any problem with it and it can be installed on Mac and PC. In Acrobat, in the “Print” window, you need to select “Actual size” and it will print correctly (if it doesn’t, maybe it’s a problem with the printer itself ?)

  12. Tatiana

    - January 6, 2014

    This is such a nice pattern, thank you so much! I am really looking forward to the other patterns as a pdf version, I really hate to trace patterns, haha! I bought the Sureau dress ages ago, and I never even opened the envelope… all of the patterns that I sewed last year were a pdf pattern…

    • Eléonore

      - January 6, 2014

      Thank you very much! I’m sorry I think you misunderstood the part on PDF patterns in my post: I chose to not offer the patterns as pdf in the future, and instead offer you this free pattern as a preview of “regular” ones :)

  13. Magyswelt

    - January 6, 2014

    Thank you very much, the pattern is wonderful ;o)

  14. carlalissa

    - January 6, 2014

    Lovely pattern…. just in time… merci beaucop!

  15. Andea

    - January 6, 2014

    Merci bien Eleonore! I can’t wait to try out this pattern and especially like the slight flared bottom. Being pear shaped I always have to alter T-shirt patterns to fit me in that area :) Also, for the record, I’ve ordered quite a few of your print patterns (which are superb!) and shipping to Canada is always impressively fast so those who are concerned about delivery delays needn’t be. It takes only just over a week to receive my orders and the short wait is well worth it. Thanks again!

  16. Laura

    - January 6, 2014

    Wow! Two good things in one… just discovered your English button (silly me!), and this T-Shirt Pattern!! Thanks!! xxx

  17. Nicki

    - January 6, 2014

    Thank you so much! I can’t wait to sew this up. All the best for the coming year.

  18. Amy

    - January 6, 2014

    So lovely! Thank very much for this pattern. The elbow patches are adorable.

  19. Roseana Auten

    - January 6, 2014

    Merci beaucoup, Eléonore!

  20. Sally

    - January 6, 2014

    When I woke up this morning and saw your e-mail about the Plantain I immediately jumped out of bed, went to make coffee, and printed it out – it looks like a perfect snow day project – THANK YOU!: )

  21. Sarvi

    - January 6, 2014

    I’ve been admiring your patterns made by my friend Nicole, who commented above, and was very curious to try them but didn’t have the confidence to sew for myself yet (I sew for my child). I hope this will get me started!

  22. Ginger

    - January 6, 2014

    This is so lovely! Thank you so much! I’m a huge fan of your patterns and love them very much!

  23. Kelly

    - January 6, 2014

    Oh thank you so much!! This looks just perfect, I can’t wait to try it out! I don’t mind PDF patterns but I always buy printed patterns when I can. I am lucky enough to have a local store that stocks yours and they are lovely :)

  24. baum

    - January 6, 2014

    thanks so much for this free pattern! it looks lovely just as your other patterns. can’t wait to make it:-)

  25. Melizza

    - January 6, 2014

    Woo hoo! Thank you for sharing such a lovely T.

  26. Ginny

    - January 6, 2014

    Oh thank you very much! I had decided to sew myself a tee today, but couldn’t decide which pattern to use — then the lovely Plantain arrives in my inbox! Must be an omen :D!

    I am not sure if my experience is typical, but to anyone who might be concerned about lengthy delivery times for paper patterns, I ordered a Deer and Doe pattern last summer and was astounded by how quickly it arrived. Only 3 days to travel from France to California!

  27. Karen

    - January 6, 2014

    This is my first time to your site, and I love this shirt. I cannot wait to make one for myself. Beautiful work, here, truly! ..and for the free pattern…merci!

  28. Jane

    - January 6, 2014

    Brilliant pattern! Will be trying out ASAP…

  29. Ruth

    - January 6, 2014

    Thank you for the pattern – very generous of you! One of my goals for this year is to conquer my fear of knits so hopefully this will help me along the way!

  30. Astrid

    - January 6, 2014

    Nice, thank you,, I’ll certainly give it a try!

  31. Susanne

    - January 6, 2014

    What a lovely New Year’s gift. Thank you so much!

  32. Cindy

    - January 6, 2014

    Thank you very much for sharing the Plaintain pattern for free! I can’t wait to sew one up.:)

  33. Kerri

    - January 6, 2014

    Thank you for sharing your artistic talents! I love your patterns so much.

  34. Judy

    - January 6, 2014

    Thank you for sharing your talent with a free pattern!
    As for printing issues – for some it helps to select ‘Do Not Resize’ when getting ready to print. I don’t know if that will help.

  35. Julie

    - January 6, 2014

    Well my new years resolution was to try making some attire so this is perfect – can’t wait to try it.


  36. ruth

    - January 6, 2014

    Love this pattern! just like the other patterns. Can’t wait to make it

  37. Laurie

    - January 6, 2014

    I have eyed your patterns for a while but have not taken the plunge as I am in the US. This one looks marvelous and I can’t wait to try it. Then I guess I will have to decide WHICH of your lovely patterns to take the plunge with! Thank you! :)

  38. Nicole

    - January 6, 2014

    Oh my, this is THE tshirt pattern I’ve been hoping for! I’ve felt the same about the other freebie tshirt patterns out there…they look cute on others, but not for my body. I am so excited to make this!

    Thank you for your hard work!

  39. Katherine

    - January 6, 2014

    I just ordered my first paper pattern from you yesterday, and then a free pattern today – two for the price of one!

    I can’t wait to get started on both – thank you for taking the time to release a free pattern :)

  40. Scruffy badger

    - January 6, 2014

    I’m a Deer and Doe lover too – your designs are so pretty. and it’s a lovely tee shirt, thank you ( most excited about the elbow patches !!)

  41. shannon

    - January 7, 2014

    all that time, work, and thought…how *completely* generous of you!!! :) thank you so much!!!!!!!!!

  42. Gjeometry

    - January 7, 2014

    I am currently at work on the Deer and Doe Belladone (nearly finished) and would love to download this cute looking top and give it a try. The elbow patches are marvelous!

  43. Sandi

    - January 7, 2014

    Thank you for the free pattern. I have not tried your patterns yet and I’m excited to give this one a whirl.

  44. Molly

    - January 7, 2014

    Stunning! and super awesome to see the blog in English

  45. carmencitab

    - January 7, 2014


  46. Lorna

    - January 7, 2014

    Hello! This is lovely! Thank you very much. I think the shape of the top will work really well for us apple shapes too. I completely understand your decision to stick with paper patterns rather than use pdf – I much prefer a ‘proper’ pattern, complete with envelope – although I don’t enjoy tracing, but I’d still rather do that than print a pdf off! Thanks again – lovely shirt, you’re very kind! xx

  47. Erin

    - January 7, 2014

    Cute T-shirt! I’m looking forward to sewing it :) Thank you!

  48. Kathy

    - January 8, 2014

    I’m printing mine now! I love the Sureau pattern and have made it a couple times already. I’ve been looking for a ‘perfect t-shirt’ pattern and am excited to try this one. Thank you for sharing!!

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  50. Rachel @ Sew Happily Ever After

    - January 11, 2014

    You are too kind!! I’ve been anxious to try one of your patterns and this will be the perfect place to start!! I know what I’ll be working on all weekend!!! :)

  51. brooke

    - January 11, 2014

    Thank you so much! I have been looking for a new tee pattern for ages and this looks like lovely summer wear…..I am already planning my summer….

  52. jaya

    - January 11, 2014

    thanks for the beautiful pattern!

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  54. ComoIgual

    - January 12, 2014

    ¡¡¡Muchas Gracias!!!

  55. Vanessa

    - January 16, 2014

    Merci! Beautiful pattern. Check out the top I made on my blog:

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  60. Sandra Barnette

    - January 30, 2014

    Just love the look. Thank You

  61. Claire

    - January 30, 2014

    This is such a perfect t-shirt! If you ever expand the pattern for plus sizes, let me know! It might motivate me to overcome my fear of sewing and give it a try.

  62. Smstefania

    - January 30, 2014

    Thank you! It’s very pretty!

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  64. Becky PS

    - February 1, 2014

    Thank you ever so very much!!!!!

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  68. Dalya

    - February 28, 2014

    Thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into this! I’ve never sewn clothing before but really want to! I’ve been looking online for t-shirt patterns but they just don’t look right or use the right fabric (knit). Some sewing blogs say to just trace a shirt but ugh, I want something professional and I need that pattern-piecing skill. I can’t wait to raid my collected jersey stash and make something.

    I downloaded it and whoa! I’d definitely buy this pattern if it wasn’t for free!

    Thanks again :)

  69. Marta Skeete-McKenzie

    - March 26, 2014

    Thank you so much for the Deer and Doe t-shirt pattern. I look forward to giving it a try. I will let you know how it works for me. Thank you again! Marta

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  71. Jan

    - April 8, 2014

    I’ve been trying to get this pattern. It says to sign in and then download. I don’t find any place to sign in. Am I missing something? Thanks

    • weriem

      - April 9, 2014

      Hi Jan! When you’re in the shop, the “sign in” button is at the top left of the window, near the “FR” and “EN” buttons! I hope it helps :)

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  75. Marita

    - September 2, 2014

    Thank you for sharing such a great pattern!!

  76. Kimberly

    - September 14, 2014

    I just made this tonight here in Florida in the USA. I made it with a very lightweight knit and it turned out beautifully. I’m going band the bottom and sleeves for a more finished look since I don’t have a serger. It fit smaller than I thought because I wasn’t really sure with the European sizing but it’s great nonetheless..

  77. Kimberly

    - September 19, 2014

    I made another one! I have photos and I wish you could see them. I made mine a bit longer so it fits more like a tunic and I added cuffs to the sleeves and a banded hem along the bottom. The front of the shirt is a white and navy blue nautical stripe and the back is a mauve or light pink color. The sleeve cuffs, neckband and bottom band are the same pink color and I added those cute little buttons and tabs to the sleeves!!!

  78. Kathy Crawford

    - January 12, 2015

    Thanks for the free pattern.

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  81. Esther

    - January 29, 2015

    Hi. I’d love to try this pattern but I only have iPad. So I can not open a zip file. Is it possible to get it emailed to me? Thanks so much.

    • weriem

      - February 5, 2015

      Dear Esther,

      We hope you can download the pattern from an other device: we don’t send the pattern by email, sorry!

      Happy sewing :-)

      Weriem, PR assistant for Deer&Doe

  82. Ka Yun

    - January 30, 2015

    When I click to download the pattern, it takes me to an error message. Is the pattern still available? I’d love to sew a t shirt out of a new cotton I just purchased. Thank you!

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  86. neli

    - February 23, 2015

    Hola. No me descarga el patrón!!! Sera q finalizo o q estoy co
    n el celular??

  87. Katie Bennett

    - March 15, 2015

    I love your pattern (and the fact it is a freebie is a bonus!) – my version is on my blog.
    I have bought Belladone so I am excited to start on that.
    Thank you!

  88. Lauri M

    - May 17, 2015

    Thanks so much….I have 2 patterns in my cart, I’ll be anxiously watching my mailbox for them! I’m in the US…hopefully it won’t take too long! But patience is a virtue, right? :)

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  90. julieth

    - June 23, 2015

    no puedo descargar el patron :(

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