Look, I hope you follow my blog because you like the sort of thing I sew… because all I’ve sewn this summer are endless rayon jersey dresses! And I’ve got one more for you today – a last-minute Cashmerette Concord tee hack before my first class teaching local sewists Concord and Lark tees!
Essentially, it’s a regular Concord, lengthened into a dress, with a partial wrap over the bodice. It’s inspired by these dresses I pinned lately: 1 and 2 ! I’ve also been admiring all the Named Keilo dresses that have been popping up again this summer. My goal with this hack was to get the wrap effect with minimal extra fabric around the waist. I think it worked!
I know this print makes it pretty impossible to see the design lines, so here’s how it looks up close:
The “hack” could work with any t-shirt pattern. The wrap is cut double-layered, with a fold on the diagonal edge. I just laid the pattern piece over the folded fabric, eyeballing the angle of the wrap, and cut the shoulder and side seam to match the pattern. You could slash and spread for more drape, but I didn’t bother!
Here’s the order of construction:
- sew shoulder seams, sandwiching the wrap on one shoulder
- finish neck with a folded band, staying clear of the wrap
- finish the armscyes with folded bands, treating the wrap as one with the bodice
- sew long ties, leaving about 30cm unsewn on the end of one tie
- turn the ties inside out, and fold/iron the seam allowances of the unsewn section
- slide the bottom edge of the wrap into the unsewn section of tie, and attach by topstitching
- sew the side seams, catching the wrap and the back tie into one side
I picked up the fabric for cheap on one of those shopping trips where you just can’t find anything fabulous… it’s a little pale and warm-toned for my usual palette, but in the end, I like how it works in a very summery dress! It’s a slubby rayon knit.
One accidental detail I like is how the straight edge of the wrap makes the neckline asymmetrical. And how perfect is this necklace my mom bought me a few years ago while we were on vacation?
It was a little tricky to finish the neckline once the wrap was sewn into the shoulder seam, but the solution was to cut the wrap narrower at the shoulder than the dress, so that there was seam allowance for the neckline. The neckline band is folded inside and topstitched down. The shoulders are cut in slightly for a better sleeveless shape, and finished with folded bands.
When I wore this dress to my t-shirt class, I pointed out to the students that the hem is totally crooked. It’s higher in the centre front, and slightly shorter on one side than the other, because I was cutting sloppily and almost ran out of fabric. But did you notice? Nope! And I doubt anyone would in person, either. It goes with my general philosophy of of sewing: No one is going to notice those tiny details when you are wearing it on your smiling self! Plus a garment is almost always in motion, and viewed at an angle. Don’t stress the small stuff!
(Unless you are going to present in a large venue, where people have time and space to inspect you more closely! Then, aim for perfection.)
I can picture a winter version of this dress: slightly longer, with sleeves, and maybe in ITY knit? I think it could be quite chic! (Of course, I’m planning to use some royal blue and white polka dot knit to try it out, so it will probably be cute instead of glamourous.)
This is now my third dress version of this pattern, and I love how different they all look! (Well, ok, they are all short shift dresses, but I don’t think the average person would look at them and say “Wearing your favourite t-shirt pattern again, Gillian?”)
In other news, my 2009 MacBook seems to have bit the dust, and I’m faced with dropping big bucks to replace it. I’ve had a Mac laptop since about 1994 though, and they’ve always been worth it. If it wasn’t for blogging, I could probably get by with my iPad – so it’s time for my biggest ever blog expense?! Console me, dear readers!