Sunday, July 16, 2017

Some So-So Concord Tee Hacks

I thought it was important to share two Concord Tee hacks that didn't quite work out as I'd planned. I know it seems like experienced sewists turn out beautiful garment after beautiful garment. However, I don't know about anyone else but sometimes I have less than spectacular results. I believe it's important to keep it real and share the losers as well as the winners!

So here is the first one ~


I am calling this one a failure. I bought this white & black polka dot lace from Fabric Mart a couple of months ago...maybe late 2016. I've always wanted a slouchy top from it. I thought I could use the Concord Tee to achieve that look.


First the top is too tight. While the lace has some stretch, it doesn't have enough. I thought on it and added some triangle inserts into the sides hoping it would help. It doesn't. Now the top just looks sloppy not slouchy. 


The sleeves are also too tight. Why? Because not enough stretch. These could be shortened and it would relieve some of the stress. 

Even though the pictures make the neckline work, it doesn't in real life. Again this could be fixed by adding the band that I omitted. 

I could fix all of these issues and make this work but I've got other things to sew and am calling uncle. I'm admitting that my fabric + pattern hack just didn't work the way I wanted it to.


I tried my black maxi dress with this too and it looked just as bad as this black ponte skirt does. Though my daughter did take some amazing photos of this fail!

The second one is a black tee with a ruffle ~ 

Technically it isn't a fail until I turn around...


See I added a ruffle to the tee because I wanted more than just a black tee. Why? A black tee is a staple in almost every woman's wardrobe, why did I feel I needed to do more to make it special?

So the ruffle cups right underneath my backside.  You can see it better here...


I just find this look so unattractive from the back and side views.  Though to be honest, the top is quite cute from the front...


This is the look I was going for and would actually wear this to work.  Now though, I'm totally on the fence about this tee. 

To solve this, I could cut the ruffle off and hem the top to have a normal tee. Or I could cut the top off around the top of my hip and add a lace peplum, which would be great. I even looked in a couple of my fave trim stores in NYC for a lace that was precut but found nothing in a price point I wanted to pay. I'm sure I have a lace in the fabric collection that I could use but I've been to lazy to look. 

Or I could just wear it as it is...


BTW, I've lightened the heck out of these pictures so you could see the ruffle details, cause as we all know black is hard to photograph.

These tops have been hanging on my wall for about a month. The polka dot one is definitely going to be disassembled. I will save the scraps to use in a future garment. The black one will have some alteration done to it...even if it is just removing the ruffle...so it hangs waiting for me to be inspired. Though now that I've seen these pictures I may be a little more willing to figure something out! *LOL*

I've been home from vacation for a week. My sewing mojo obviously went on vacation with me since I'm struggling to come up with ideas to sew. I don't think it helps that I have a back log of things I've photographed for the blog but haven't worn in real life yet. Working only four days a week in the city and one day at home, definitely affects what I wear. Especially since I tend to make garments quicker in the summer than in other seasons, thus the back log.

I know that I've been desiring some woven dresses with a looser fit. I have a ton of maxidresses, short tank dresses from ITY knits and a wardrobe of t-shirt dresses now. I would also like a couple of shirtdresses but those take more effort than I have in my sewing tank right now.  So we shall see what comes out of my sewing machine...

...as always more later!


38 comments:

  1. Carolyn, I so appreciate how you keep your sewing blog 'real'. As sewists we all have wadders. Some can be fixed while others should just go in the trash or donated. Garments that are too tight just can't be fixed up to standard but I think the black top would be fine removing the ruffle. Thanks for all your posts. Karen

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    Replies
    1. Karen - I know it will work if I remove the ruffle but then all the sparkle is gone and I kinda don't want to lose that! Thanks for the suggestion, it and you continuing to follow along and comment is so appreciated.

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  2. I totally see what you were going for with the black top, but I think the idea of taking off the ruffle and adding a black lace trim to the hem would take it from so-so to fabulous. I'm actually inspired to make a lace trimmed t-shirt now. I hope you find something that will work for you, cuz I'd love to see what you come up with!

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    Replies
    1. I haven't given up on the lace idea yet. I just have to find the right one...so we shall see!

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  3. Yours is the first blog I ever followed, I love it! I appreciate that you tell it like it is! Even those of us with tears of experience have things that just don't turn out as we envisioned.

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    1. Sonya - I know right?! I wish I never had a wadder but I do have a few every year cause even designers don't get every idea they have to work!

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  4. The black tee is so terrific from the front, how about just removing the ruffle from the back and leaving it in the front?

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    Replies
    1. Carol - I can't even imagine how that would work. But thanks for the suggestion.

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  5. Carolyn, I haven't been spending much time in blog land lately (forced into activism by unspeakable current events) but with every visit to your blog I notice that you look younger than the time before. Happier, too. I hope it is true. Thanks for years of inspiration!

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    1. KC - thank you that's so kind of you to say! Though I definitely don't feel younger - hahahahaha! And thank you for continuing to visit, it is appreciated!

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  6. I love the polka dot material
    what about removing the sleeves, splitting it up the front and putting some fabulous tie/knot/jewelry closure and wearing like a vest topper..

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    1. Pam - that's an interesting idea. I will think about it since I was planning on deconstructing the top anyway.

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  7. Have you considered taking off the ruffle, shortening the tee about 2" and adding the ruffle back? Try pinning the ruffle in place first, it might give you the look you wanted. My seam ripper and I are on a first name basis. Good luck!

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    1. Sherry - this is a great idea but if I go up 2" and add the ruffle back it's right in the middle of my backside. Again, not such a great look but thanks for the suggestion!

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  8. The body of the t looks a little tight at back where joins onto ruffle. Would go with Sherry's idea above for a fabulous t.

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  9. I totally relate! I have had some fails hanging in my sewing room for nearly a year. Finally I decided they could go away and I can stop feeling like I failed.

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  10. Aaaaargh!!! I love that black one so. so. so much from the front and the back but then see from the side that it's hugging the butt. Gosh it's so cute.

    I like the polka dot one very much. Too bad it's not a hit for you.

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  11. You could do like I do and wear your makes to the grocery store! (I am not kidding. :) )

    I totally related to this! The more risks we take, the more we fail, but I don't mind!

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  12. Hi
    (Regular reader but don't think I've commented before)
    That black top is cute from the front.
    Could you take a tuck right around it (possibly lay the tuck over the top of the ruffle) to shorten until the back problem is gone? I think the front could be shorter and still look good. Look forward to seeing it post fix, whatever the fix is.

    And thanks for your blog, and continuing to blog! I've enjoyed reading you all these years. And should have said so before!

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  13. Gosh ! When I first saw the picture of the spot top I thought it looked really nice and was surprised to see it was a wadder for you but then I could see the sleeves were tight . All I can say is the black T looks OK as well in the photos too but I think this is the fun in sewing is having a go at different styles and techniques etc.

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  14. Hi Carolyn, could you split the sleeve of the first top like you did with the floral one a few posts back? I thought that was a great sleeve option. I think the top looks great.

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    1. Carol - that's a great suggestion but I really am just going to let that one go!

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  15. Not just me then? Three wadders on the trot for me, I am making a Luna Lapin as a palette cleanser - toy making relaxes me when clothes go rogue! I always enjoy your makes and love your move to a less corporate wardrobe, it suits you.

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  16. This may sound like an oxymoron but I enjoyed this post, because why...it is so real! It makes me realize once again that I am not the only sewist on the planet that experiences sewing fails!

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  17. Carolyn, I appreciate you being so honest about your wadders. We sewists are in love with the process of creating, and learn by trial and error. And I have plenty of trial and error experiences! LOL I love the black tee from the front! Looking forward to your refashion.

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  18. The black one does look rally nice from the front , Carolyn!! I agree the the polka dot one doesn't look as good on you as your garments usually do. We all have wadders and it does feel good to make the decision to move on in my experience . Have a great week !

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  19. What a great tutorial! I'm just working on a woven top (muslin stage still) that has a peplum (View Ridge by Straight Stitch Designs) and like you I'm a huge fan of peplums! But where they start is so important as you show here AND the other aspect that's critical is how much gathering you want (less is better on me anyway. Great examples of how things can go so awry and can seriously threaten you off your sewing game!

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  20. That black top looks great on you! The ruffle only needs to be attached a couple of inches higher in the back to solve the problem. And the ruffle is longer in the back, so you have the fabric to do that. I would try cutting the ruffle seam away from the top, from one side seam around the back to the other side seam, and then reattaching it a couple of inches higher.

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    1. Sydney - actually the ruffle is the same length all the way around. I pulled it down a little in the side photo so that the full effect could be seen. My challenge with raising the ruffle is losing the coverage because I really wanted it tunic length.

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  21. Sometimes it's just better to let it go, as you've decided. It's too aggravating to keep working on it and as you say better to move on. Especially since you always have lots of ideas and lots of fabric!

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  22. I really appreciate your sharing the ho hum ones. And the less than flattering photos. Because that's how sewing goes sometimes. I've been sewing for the House of Dud myself lately. And then it gets better.

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  23. I really like the black top Carolyn...yes it could be better in the back but I don't quite know how...I think you should just wear it as is! For the polka dot, what if you split the sleeve and made ties like M7562? Then take out the triangle pieces you added to the side and left slits instead, making it a straighter silhouette? As always...I really enjoy you blog, even if I don't always comment, know that I'm reading :)

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  24. Carolyn, seems to me your top would look better if you removed the ruffle,took out a couple of inches in front and tapered it to maybe an inch off in the back, then replace the ruffle with one made from a black burnout knit. The burnout knit could give the lighter look than the self-fabric ruffle yet would not be as pricey as the elusive lace you wanted. Fabric.com has some possibilities. NAYY

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  25. Hi Carolyn-
    Like you, I've been looking for a cute variation on a basic tee that looks good on my very large round butt. I bought a Lands End tee (on sale right now, btw) that I've copied and have so far made 3 times. The back has a gathered peplum, which I didn't think I would like, but what makes it work is that the back/peplum seam is a little above the waist on the sides and curves upward about an inch at center back; the peplum piece is straight across at the top but curves downward at the center back hem. It just hangs really nicely.

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  26. I have called uncle several times in the past and will do so again I am sure.

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  27. About the black top: The ruffle dips down in the back to a position that's not as flattering as the front which is cute. Why not try raising the ruffle so this seam line is more level all around? It may seem counterintuitive to have the shirt and ruffle seam on the backside but I think it would look better if the ruffle was in a position to skim the behind. Just my 2 cents.

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