If you’ve followed along for a while, you may know that I love me a Mandy Boat Tee and do a good amount of baby-wearing. You may also know that I live in Ottawa, which is an insanely cold place with a depressingly long winter, so I basically spend all of fall preparing myself practically (and emotionally!) for snow and cold. This means that I have been searching for the perfect comfy, chic baby wearing-friendly layers to get me through commuting with two kids in the winter. I thought the Monroe turtleneck from Tessuti Fabrics was that layer, but – spoiler alert – I don’t think it is.
If you have worn a baby in the winter, you are probably acquainted with what my husband calls the “triangle of death” which is the bare patch of clavicle and neck that ends up exposed when you wear your baby in a carrier inside your jacket. In the past, I’ve made neck warmers to solve this problem, but am still not totally happy. I thought a turtleneck would solve the problem easily and stylishly and the Monroe seemed the natural choice since it’s free and basically a Mandy Boat Tee with a roll neck.
My original plan was to batch sew two in gorgeous jerseys I got from Fabrications, but I decided at the last minute to start with only one and save the beautiful striped fabric, just in case I didn’t love the Monroe. I am super glad I did.
The Mandy Boat Tee pattern I use is the old, one-size version from before Tessuti came out with it’s new, three-sizer. When I measured myself for the Monroe, it put me juuuust into the largest size, which was fine by me as I love a good, sloppy top with a drop shoulder. When I made it up, however, it seemed all wrong and did not fit like my two beloved Mandys. I compared the patterns and found they were near identical and so was very confused. I then compared with my two made up Mandys and saw that I must have shortened them significantly and didn’t remember as I had since recycled my altered pattern.
I sliced three inches off the length and was much happier with the fit, but this top is not awesome for baby wearing. Because the top is so wide, it drapes to sit low when worn baggy, but when you strap a carrier on everything gets pulled in and up and it ends up very, very short. I very much need to wear a camisole underneath when I’m baby wearing.
I’ve also decided that I don’t love turtlenecks, so this will probably be my last Monroe Turtleneck. I am, however, going to continue to look for stylish, warm options for baby wearing through this long, long winter.