True Bias Rio T-Shirt dress

In the autumn and winter I live in layers and love a t-shirt dress over tights. One of my regular 'on repeat' makes is my Sew Over It Molly dress, (after I altered the sleeves), so having something similar to mix it up a bit would be nice. I thought the Rio Ringer pattern from True Bias might be a good bet, and would be interested in making more in the dress and t-shirt top version as well. It was and the fabric choice was a great match for having that comfy, cosy it was only a very little over a metre which is a win in my book!

True Bias Rio Ringer t-shirt dress


This was made from 1.1m of Brushed Ponte Roma Double Stretch Knit Fabric in the colour Anthracite from at £13.99 per metre. It is perfect for this dress as it has a little structure - I didn't want anything with lots of drape like a viscose jersey as for me, t-shirt dresses work well when they hold some shape and aren't clingy. The brushed effect makes it soft and the detail of the fine lines in the fabric also adds interest so it isn't a solid block of colour, but still minimal on detail. It was super easy to cut and sew with, and is holding up well to wearing with no pilling.

Pattern and Instructions

This was made using the True Bias Rio Ringer T-Shirt and Dress sewing pattern; I bought the paper pattern which costs £23.99 from Minerva. It is cheaper if you get a pdf (£14 direct from True Bias), but I do think both versions are quite expensive. Looking back now, I'm surprised I bought this as I already have the Tilly and the Buttons Stretch book which has something very similar in it (and you get a whole book with 5 main patterns, instead of just one). Not quite the same, and I was after something very specific which this pattern did bring with the set in sleeves and higher neckband. The paper one comes in a glossy card envelope with an instruction booklet and the pattern pieces are on tissue. It's a simple pattern comprising of 5 pieces and a further 2 for the other version, which I suppose is partly why I think it's expensive (even with the fancy packaging). I have to say the instruction book is great, and if this was your first t-shirt, the detail and diagrams would be super helpful.

I used a medium weight knit fabric, which is in the recommendations, but I wonder if it would be better a little lighter as this one has a weird gathering into the neckline. I did follow the instructions precisely, but you can see that it doesn't quite sit right for me (happy to assume that will be my sewing skills rather than the pattern's fault, but I am usually pretty good at this). or maybe I stretched it, or didn't even it out properly? That said, I took advantage of the rare opportunity to use my twin needle for the topstitching and glad I did as it looks more professional.


I made a Size 12, which is a size larger than for my measurements, but when I looked at the finished measurements, it shows that this pattern is written with negative ease and I didn't want anything that tight. Going up one size worked really well and the measurements on the envelope are a good guide. It said you need 1.4m of fabric for the dress version, and I used 1.1m. I usually have to shorten everything for my 5ft height and had plenty. 

Would I recommend this pattern?

Yes, and I would use it again, but I would also to say to have a real good look around as if you are not picky on details, there are alternatives, like the Molly dress in the Sew Over It ebook (here's my t-shirt dress version with hacked set in sleeves, for comparison). 


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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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