Plus-size Kabuki Tee from Paper Theory

I’ve had the extended sizes of the Kabuki Tee from Paper Theory printed out for ages now, and it’s been in the back of my mind that I ought to find some lovely linen for this for ages now. A couple of weeks ago I tried to find some examples of plus-size bodies in the pattern, but found so few of them (which was very surprising since it was such a popular pattern when it first came out).

EDIT: Paper Theory has recently renamed this to the Block Tee and has also changed the grading on the extended size range. If you’ve already purchased the pattern, email Paper Theory to ask for the updated files.

Kabuki Tee

I rarely toile but have done so this time around (which is why I didn’t bother to finish the neckline). I’ve never sewn a right angle sleeve before, so I read the instructions before starting (very rare) and also watched this video that Tara put together on how she does it.

I haven’t pressed anything for these pictures (sorry), but the instructions were good and the sleeve will sit perfectly once I iron it out.

The reason I chose to toile this is that so many folks got in touch with me to tell me to be careful with the pattern because they’d ended up with something very oversized that they weren’t very happy with.

Kabuki Tee

I chose my size based on my bust measurement and didn’t grade out at the hips (which, as you can see was a mistake)! I made a straight size 22 for my 47″ bust and 54-ish” hips (I was relying on positive ease in the hips for the size 22). I don’t mind oversized but thought it was best to play it safe based on the advice from the hive mind.

I’ve popped some pictures which show the sample garments from the Paper Theory socials- the area between the neckline and where the sleeve portion begins is much wider on my size 22 than it is on the samples in white.

Kabuki Tee

Unfortunately, I have pretty narrow shoulders, so where the sleeve starts is practically already at the edge of my shoulders (as opposed to sitting quite close to the neckline as it does in the samples). I’m not sure if this is an issue that’s unique to me or if the extended sizes drafting presumed I got a bit broader in the shoulder or perhaps it was trying to make the top in similar proportions).

What do you think, is it worth moving the sleeve in, lengthening the sleeves and grading out at the hips before giving it another go?

By Jess, fat.bobbin.girl


    1. I definitely love the look of the original so think it’d be worth spending the time to make the changes needed! I’m glad that seeing the fit was helpful for you!

  1. I did 2 of the 3 changes you mention to my Kabuki tee (longer sleeves, graded out hips) and now I love it! I think you should move the sleeves in too. In the end, the general shape of the top was more a-line than box, but I like how it looks on me.

    1. I love the boxiness but the cute sleeve details get a bit lost around the arms when they start too far out. Perhaps I’ll make those changes my job for the day!

  2. I think the sleeve is a nice detail that would definitely be worth trying a second time with the kids you’re suggesting. They definitely need to start closer to the neckline to mimic the original pattern.

  3. I think the fix is to embrace the angles, take a panel out of the CF and CB and move it into the side seam. That’ll give you more room in the arm and fix the shoulder. You’ll need to recut the neckline but not a biggie. Either add some more room into side seam for the hip, or take the geometry further and add a triangular gusset into a side slit.

  4. Your timing is perfect. Or my discovery of your blog is perfect.

    I finally bought this pattern. I love the square insert detail. I actually have the fabric on my ironing board. I was planning to trace it and attempt it today. I will now attempt to wrap my head around pattern adjustment and hopefully persevere 😓.

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