Monday, April 25, 2016

Cashmerette Concord Tee - The Reveal and Review

I'm done. Tee shirts used to take me a 2-3 hours. Now, it seems, they take weeks. Hmmm. :-)

It's not the pattern that's the problem here. The Cashmerette Concord pattern is really great. I just started to dislike the fabric and had to force myself to keep at it. Now that it's done, I like it again. I just hated sewing with it. It's a thin rayon/lycra knit and it wanted to wiggle all over the place. At some point early on, once I declared this a "wearable muslin," I pretty much just gave up on stripe matching. If it happened, yay. If not, I wasn't going to care. I see a few spots in the pics that could be better but I still just don't care. This is a casual tee. No one in real life will even notice. It's fine. I just point out these things for other sewists, to keep it real. In actual life, nope.


So, as you can see, I used 3 different fabrics for the tee. Had I known how much I hated sewing with this fabric, it would be a b/w-only striped tee. :-) But I soldiered on, and here's a crappy cellphone-pointed-at-the-mirror pic.


And another cell pic from during the process when I was gauging the neckline width. (Did you notice the cool-geeky dinosaur necklace?) If you remember, I had some concerns last post about the open-ness of the neckline since I'm a bit narrow-shouldered. To compensate, I cut a 14 for the neck/shoulders. This is 2 sizes smaller than my size per the instructions (using my full bust measurement). It worked well. In the photo below, the neckband isn't attached and my bra straps are only just visible. Meaning, with the neckband, I'd have full coverage. Jenny (from Cashmerette) confirmed the neckline is "pretty open." My conclusion, it's a nice width but definitely go narrower if you have narrow shoulders. Or, cut a wider neckband. :-)


Close-up of neckband, sewn on with the sewing machine, and then coverstitched. I used the pattern piece for the neckband and I was a little concerned that it was going to take a ton of stretching to get it to fit the neck opening. It did but it also worked absolutely fine for this fabric. Still, I think I'm going to add a wee bit of length for poly knits such as ITYs. I have a really good feel for neckbands at this point in my sewing so it's one of those "I'll know it when I see feel it" kind of things. :-)


I also added the contrast band to the sleeve hems. (I like things in odd numbers, especially threes.) Although I cut the shortest sleeves in the pattern with a hem allowance (I didn't know I was going to use bands), I trimmed it off before attaching the bands. I like the finished length of the sleeves. The width is also good for me. I don't have skinny biceps but they aren't particularly meaty in proportion to the rest of me.


I color blocked the back as well as the front. I whacked at the pattern visually (meaning without measurements) so the back yoke length has no relation to the front. I was more interested in pleasing proportions viewing head on vs. how the two met around my armpit. The back yoke joining seam is one of those places where things could be more even. But it's my back. I just don't care.


I started with the shortest length and then proceeded to add 2 inches to it. And, yes, you guessed it …it's about 2 inches too long. I know it technically looks OK but 2 inches up is better on me. Since this is rayon, I'm going to see if a trip or two through the laundry takes care of things. This thin rayon does tend to like to keep shrinking a bit.


So, what I haven't specifically mentioned yet but I think is obvious from the photos is how well this tee fits me and the girls. The pattern is divided into C/D, E/F, and G/H cup sizes. I used the E/F as instructed because it was closer to my waist measurement. Yes, I said waist. It's an hourglass v. apple kind of thing, I'm guessing. I think the neckline options are nice. My only criticism on the necklines is the finish for the vee. It's more of a "scrubs" neckband, which I think is eh. I'm sure it's aimed at beginners, but I don't necessarily agree with "dumbing down" a tee pattern. But if I had been an actual tester as I initially agreed, maybe I could've changed some minds. We'll never know. :-) As for differing sleeve and hem lengths, these aren't really aimed at me since I can easily make those adjustments. For those who like to have it all in the package, it's good to have so no complaint there.

You may be thinking it's difficult to get excited about a tee pattern which costs $14/$18, but if you're a curvy lady who hasn't found tee nirvana in any other pattern, I say go for it. It will pay off in the long run. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I love my Ottobre TNT. Well, that Ottobre magazine was probably in the $12-$15 range and I've made SO MANY variations on that tee that the cost of the magazine isn't even a factor anymore. (Yes, I know there are multiple patterns in the magazine but I didn't sew them.)

Don't tell my Ottobre bestie, but I think this Concord even fits me a little better. I like it enough that I'm subbing it into the bodice for the Kwik Sew dress pattern I showed last post.

51 comments:

  1. Great top. I love the colors you put together, especially the neckband. (And your hair looks fab too!)

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    1. Thanks Dawn. The hair comments fr8m everyone are cracking me up since I'm soooo overdue for a cut.

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  2. Yeah I'm glad you liked it! When I looked at the instructions for the v-neckline they didn't bother me because I was thinking beginner but you are right. Only thing an advanced sewist like you or I would change the band anyway right?! I love this pattern especially since most of the other indies aren't graded by cup size and you have to do so much work after you tape the dayum thing together. Can't wait to see what else you do with it. Me I'm just making a whole bunch of solid colored tees.

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    1. Thanks Carolyn. Next up is morphing this tee with a knit KS dress.

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  3. Okay, you look adorable in these photos. :) It's obvious that you like the result (especially considering how you felt during the construction)! I'm hoping to get back into my sewing room soon, and I'm seriously considering buying this pattern now.

    I hope your next version plays nicer with you!

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    1. Oh man, forgot to mention that I love how your colourblocked this tee! Nice job there. Also also, I want your necklace! How cool is that!!

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    2. Thanks Heather! I say go for it!

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  4. I"m so glad you like it! I haven't been tempted to try the other necklines or lengths yet, but I'm glad to have a heads up that the scoop is on the wide side for when I do!

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    1. Shouldn't you be packing?? Lol. I do like the pattern but I'm the opposite of you with the necklines. ๐Ÿ˜€

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  5. So glad you made this up! I was pretty sure I wanted it, but seeing your results (and those of a few other bloggers I trust) has convinced me it's worth the price. I'm so looking forward to a tee that fits my bust and waist!

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    1. Just follow the instructions for picking your size and you should have a wearable tee first try.

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  6. I love your shirt! It looks fabulous on you. I plan on buying this pattern. And your haircut is gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you. Hope to see your Concord tee soon!

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  7. Very nice tee Debbie. I really like the blocking.

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  8. Great tee, Debbie! I love your fabric choices - sorry they were a pain to sew with, though!!

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    1. Thanks Meg! I'm still coveting your orange tee!

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  9. I like your color-block versions. I also love the ottobre tshirt - it fit as drafted, so I might bring it out and try me some color blocking.

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    1. Thanks Kathy! I love custom details. Plain colors isn't who I am.

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  10. You did a beautiful job, and the shirt would have been so blah if you had used one fabric instead of 3. I rarely sew knits. My first attempt in 1980 wrecked the timing on my sewing machine. The replacement machine quickly became known as the Snarl-O-Matic, and did not lose the name until I bought a Bernina. The only thing you oil on the Bernina is the one thing I had not oiled on Snarly, because there were no instructions to oil it. Ive loved your stories of sewing on knits for years. Thanks

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    1. Give knits another try. They're so forgiving.

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  11. Great colour blocking! I agree on the neckband, I'll also add a tiny bit of length for my next version.

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    1. Yeah the neckband pattern is 9not a suggestion depending on fabric. ๐Ÿ˜€

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  12. It is a great fitting t, love the fabric choices even if they were a pain to sew, the contrast neck and sleeve bands are really cute.

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  13. I read both posts regarding the tee. Thank you for providing an honest review. I've been on the hunt for my tee-vana and I think that this pattern may be the one. What I noticed first is that you don't have wrinkles above your bust. That alone is worth its weight in gold! Fiddly rayon aside, your tee fits beautifully.

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    1. Yep. No bust wrinkles is wonderful. It's part pattern shape and part negative ease.

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  14. It looks good. I'm really looking forward to sewing mine up!

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  15. I like everything about your version of this tee. The color blocking & neckline make it ok so professional. I also love your honesty & tips ! Having cup sizes makes this pattern worth a try by me !
    Thx

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    1. I don't think you'll be sorry Mary Ellen. Thanks for your nice comments.

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  16. I love the fit, and your choice of fabrics. The trim is what elevates this tee I think. Just lovely!

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  17. Great sense of color! I think you look fabulous.

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  18. It looks great on you. I love the color blocking. Great choice of fabric.

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  19. Add me to the list as loving your hair. I am soooo glad you are sewing and blogging again. This pattern is on my table to work on today! I am one that needed to have the shoulder info. I knew there was a reason I let it sit on the table for the past 2 days - I was waiting to hear about that adjustment :) Going for the wearable muslin in 5, 4, 3, 2 ....

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  20. I may sound dramatic, but when I scrolled to the 2nd pic I sat straight up and gasped!

    This tee fits you SO WELL!!!!!! It looks fantastic!

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  21. Where did you get that gorgeous dinosaur necklace? I think i need one!

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  23. This T fits you beautifully and I love the mix of fabrics. Your persistence certainly paid off!

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  24. I am on the fence with this pattern as I have Pamela's Pattern's Perfect T Shirt pattern. What gives me the most pause is that open/ballet neckline. Yours came out really nice. I like your necklace too. I am glad to see you sewing and blogging again.

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  25. You look wonderful in your new Cashmerette concord.
    Debbie could you send me your email address at fayedoll(at)cox (dot)net! I have a favor to ask.

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  26. Great shirt. I love your fabric combos. Reminds me of Boden USA.

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  27. If I could get my neckbands to look as good as that I would think I had died and gone to heaven, flipping perfect.

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  28. Hi Debbie... You look great! (love the color and length of your hair) and I also LOVE this T. Inspiring, as always!

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