Introducing the Cashmerette Lenox Dress

Edit: The Montgomery dress had to be renamed to the Lenox dress. The url reflects the old name, but I have updated my blog post for the new name.

Let’s get this out of the way… Yes, I tested this. Yes, I received the pattern for free. Yes, I am biased. But seriously, it’s a shirtdress and I was going to be biased toward the pattern anyway. And sure I am biased, because I am friends with Jenny and I’ve tested for Cashmerette for a while. I am biased because the fit with her patterns is usually really good and works for me. I am biased because I get the patterns for free. I dgaf. This dress rocks.

The Lenox shirtdress has so many great features: princess seams in the front and back, a back yoke, a waistband, full collar and collar stand option, gathered or pleated skirt option, banded sleeves, v-neck shaping on the button band, and pockets. My go-to shirtdress before now has been the M6696, which I have made several times before. To be honest, I’ve never quite achieved a great fit there. I’ve gotten a good fit, but not a great fit. There are some issues I have with the pattern overall. The side-seam pockets are really shallow and the one time I used them I almost replaced them afterwards because my phone fell out. The back of the dress is pretty puffy due to the gathers. I’ve always meant to go back and alter that part, but generally forget. I also don’t really love the shape of the button band with the collar. If you button it all the way, the collar chokes a bit. In comparison, M7084, which I used for my wedding dress, is a bit closer to what I want in a shirtdress, but my fit on that was still not great and again the collar was a bit high. The Lenox dress sort of hits all my wants in a shirtdress. I was sick at the time I tested it, but could not say no to doing it so I powered through.

The yoke is sewn on using a burrito method and there is an inside waistband for two really great finishes to make the insides pretty. A shirtdress with these details is a time-consuming creation, but completely worth every second you spend on it.

For my tester version, I used the full collar with the gathered skirt. I did french seams throughout except for the sleeves. I find that can be a bit difficult and wasn’t worth my trouble for the tester version. I finished the seams at the armholes with pinking sheers. I made the dress using a white cotton that I got from a friend purging her stash.

After I was done testing, I put the dress on a hanger and left it unhemmed for a bit. I didn’t really feel keen to wear a plain white shirtdress in spite of the fact that when I started I wanted just that. I decided it would need something for me, the colour nut, to wear it comfortably.

Then Ciara posted about the beading she added to her dress. Add to that, all the embroidery I was obsessing over through pinterest and instagram. I kept pinning designs of varying levels of difficultly. I decided to use a variegated embroidery floss in all the colours and do very simple lines of Xs along the collar, arm bands, waistband and hem, as well as using the floss to put the buttons on with an X as well. At first, I was going to do two lines of the Xs at the hem, but several hours later and a pair of sore arms, I just left it at one line. The embroidery details are subtle and lovely. It gives it enough of a pop of colour that I don’t feel like I am wearing a plain white dress.

I'm really excited about how this is turning out. #embroidery #sewing #sewcialists

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

I’m really happy with how it turned out and want to make a few dozen more. I wish I had a crazy fabric budget right now since I want linen like crazy to make another version. I’m going through a linen fabric obsession right now. It’s just so lovely to work with and wear.

Cashmerette Montgomery Shirtdress

Cashmerette Montgomery Shirt dress

Cashmerette Montgomery Shirtdress

Cashmerette Montgomery Shirtdress

Cashmerette Montgomery Shirtdress

Cashmerette Montgomery Shirtdress

Cashmerette Montgomery Shirtdress

I will say that the pictures here are showing weird fit issues that don’t actually exist. I had just cleaned a bunch and was all sore and red from that. I may not have buttoned it correctly since my fingers tend to have issues after cleaning.

This picture taken this morning reflects the bust fit better:

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There is some rippling along the princess seams, likely from doing french seams and not getting it flat enough.

Expect to see several more versions of this dress  on the blog. I’m getting through my large UFO piles right now, though. Some things in that pile have lingered for almost a year. I got through a bunch of things this weekend and am still working my way through it. Let’s just say the pile is deep…

Blank Slate Oceanside Shorts

April was a busy month for me. I was slow to recover completely from the pneumonia. I am still a little low in energy in comparison to before, but the pneumonia is definitely gone. My chronic cough is now being managed fully by medication. I’m so relieved that it is finally responding to the many meds I am on. I am also not having a lot of sinus issues likely as a result of the antibiotics.

I saw a doctor last week who may have significantly changed how I approach my life. It’s a shame that she was a specialist and is not part of my primary care, because the advice and guidance she gave me was excellent. The biggest take away is that she advised me to focus on keeping a steady weight instead of losing weight like other doctors. She commended my nutrition, but said to supplement that with a long list of vitamins. I’m supposed to stop doing heavy housework and focus on using my hands for the things I can’t give up, like sewing and cardmaking. Guys, I basically got a prescription to get out of housework. Haha!

No braces for me yet. I’m probably going to get finger splints, though, on my own. Other than that, KT taping is working wonders. I actually went to bed last night without a throbbing hip so it seems to be healing my hip bursitis. The overall joint dislocation and cartilage damage is still sadly happening, but the bursitis was extra pain on top of that and terrible to deal with. It was especially difficult for sleeping.

Spring also tends to be a better time for me as there are more warm days. Unfortunately, there has been a steady stream of rainy and cold overcast days which is leading to migraines, but there is sun on the horizon!

I managed to get some of my sewjo back last week with pattern testing. The deadline with pattern testing tends to get me back into the sewing mood. Blank Slate is a great company to test with if your sewjo is low. Their process tends to include tighter deadlines and lots of fitting and fit guidance for the larger sizes. I think it’s pretty effective for getting a good fit, learning fit tips, and testing that the pattern can do the pattern alterations you need. It’s always a positive process and really puts me back in the mood for sewing.

The Oceanside pants/shorts are an older pattern recently sized up to 3XL. I made the 3XL and did 4 muslins to get a good fit in the shorts. There are a couple of changes I would make going forward: add a couple of inches to the hem of the shorts, make them in capris length, and embellish like crazy: I’m talking scalloped hem, laced hem, bias tape finishes…. etc. In other words, I am happy with the fit I have for them now. There are minor issues there, but they are minor. They are great for a relaxed fit short with an elastic band waist.

Blank Slate Oceanside shorts

Blank Slate Oceanside shorts

Blank Slate Oceanside shorts

I made my shorts in a turquoise linen that I got from the thrift store back in the fall and used lime green buttons for the pockets. I need all the linen now to make a bunch more.

Blank Slate Oceanside shorts

Blank Slate Oceanside shorts

Blank Slate Oceanside shorts

Real talk now. I haven’t worn shorts in public since I was really really young. When I was a teen and bullied horribly, I stopped wearing anything that remotely showed my shape for a really long time. When I was 25, that started changing when my friend Lisa took me clothes shopping and challenged me to buy fun clothes. I also self-harmed and my legs were covered in cuts from age 16 to 21. I now have the scars internally and externally, but have emotionally healed so much and haven’t self-harmed or had a suicide attempt since I was 21. I’m so proud of myself for how far I have come since then. Now I mostly wear skirts and dresses in the summer with little bike shorts underneath to prevent chub rub and for the ever fun wind incident. But shorts…. Not sure why they are still a barrier for me. I feel like I must have worn them and gotten some mention from the bullies on how they felt about my legs at 13 and stopped wearing shorts as a result. My legs became a target for me and I stopped showing them. I even stopped swimming for the most part. I loved swimming but I stopped feeling comfortable in a swimsuit. After healing my mind, I’ve done a lot to find joy in my body. I have a genetic disease that has effected me my whole life and I can’t change those genetics. I can only care for it and love it and try to stop it from deteriorating further.

Shorts are something I’ve been making over the past year in various forms, but I haven’t made a pair that I felt comfortable leaving the house in. I have a few more cut out and one UFO needing a quick fix. But these really helped me remember my goals to overcome these irrational clothing fears. I also need to get back to that UFO two piece swimsuit that I was making back in the summer so I can join the YMCA and get back in the water.

It was great to have the opportunity to test the shorts and be reminded of the things I want to make to support loving my body.

Look at that butt:

Blank Slate Oceanside shorts

That’s a good butt.

Verity Dress Plus Sized Re-launch by Moxie Patterns

Disclaimer: Received the pattern for free. Opinions my own. Dragons were not harmed in the making of this dress.

My blog has a contact form and occasionally I get contacted by companies for weird promotional purposes. It’s pretty rare that happens and I usually actually ignore the emails. I know, terrible, but sometimes they have nothing at all to do with sewing so why would I even bother wasting my spoons on people that are clearly spamming anyone with a blog? I’ve been contacted about posting promo for men’s fashion, women’s fashion, ray bans, etc. Recently, Rebecca, the creator/owner of Moxie patterns, contacted me for a pattern testing opportunity about her increased size range for the Verity dress plus a new collar. I generally leap at free stuff and decided to go for this. I will say, though, I’m probably not going to leap at future pattern testing unless it is from Cashmerette or Muse Patterns. I’ve had a lot of spoons go toward it lately and I really need to focus on an accessible wardrobe instead of the next new and shiny new pattern. Of course, I am a magpie and generally have trouble saying no to the next new and shiny. If I go back on that, please remember I am a weak human creature.

verity-dress

The Verity pattern grabbed me because it reminded me of my favourite ModCloth pattern, the Coach Tour dress (fyi, none of these are affiliate links…I’m not making money from my blog at all). Back in the day, when I was buying clothes instead of making everything, the Coach Tour dress was my favourite ModCloth dress. I got a similar looking dress from eShakti later on, because the $60 US price tag was a big rich for my blood. eShakti dress was purchased on sale during a buy one get 2 free sale so it was afforadable. I also added sleeves to it. I still wear it to this day because it’s a gorgeous red. But every time I wear it, people ask me if I made it and I have to say no… I would buy ModCloth on sale and then take a hit with customs prices. I also loved the Windy City dress and actually had it in a bunch of colours and styles (okay…three). So if someone out there could make a knock off pattern for that or recommend one for 51 inch bust…that’d be great!

Back to the Verity dress. I had trouble saying “No, I can’t test this as I really need to make new bras and a swimsuit and costumes for the end of October and a crib set for a friend…” So I didn’t… I said YES and made grabby hands motions.

Although, I did make sure that Rebecca was okay with the fact that anything I post anywhere is accompanied by my honest opinion of the pattern. She was! So I hunted for fabric for it, because clearly I suck at stashbusting…

I found this lovely soft cotton/rayon knit at a local store.

It’s medium weight with a quilting texture and is super soft. It was a bit more that I was looking to spend for a pattern test, but it was definitely the right choice for the dress.

Rebecca has really made the instructions for the pattern great for beginners. A person of any level can sew this dress with all the detail in the instructions. She also includes alternative options and ways of constructing the dress so that if one way seems too complicated for a beginner, they can try another way. Or if you prefer one method over the other, it helps to see the two methods there. For experienced sewers, there are shorter instructions in the style of say…Burda or StyleArc where it tells you sew up side seams instead of taking you through how with pictures. Of course, all these details make for an incredibly long instruction booklet. I would recommend viewing it digitally if you want to save paper. The pdf pattern is 60 pages as well as the 42 page instruction booklet. That’s a lot of paper! The pattern includes three different sleeve lengths, as well as sleeveless options, shirt versions and a dress version. The sleeves are puffed and have bands. You can also make it with various neckline options: band, cowl, split cowl like the ModCloth dress, and the new peter pan collar version. There is gathering under the bust, a waistband, gathering at center back, and a circle skirt.

Verity Dress by Moxie Patterns

 

Verity Dress by Moxie Patterns

For my test version, I chose to make the dress with elbow length sleeves and a split cowl neckline. You will notice in the pictures that the sleeves are not puff sleeves or elbow length (in the picture of my back, the sleeves are bunched up slightly to the elbow; they are readjusted for other pictures). The issue with puffed sleeves has been resolved in the final pattern, I am told, as well Rebecca said that she was going to deal with the length of the sleeves/skirt. I am also 5’4″ so on the short side with tyrannosaurus arms so take that into consideration. This is something I told Rebecca to take into consideration for the length. The pattern is drafted with a 5’6″ height in mind.

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I really enjoyed making the dress. I made it in one evening including cutting using my serger for the most part. I used my machine for stitching the collar with a lightening bolt stitch. I just serged the hem. I originally was going to do a proper hem, but the fabric isn’t flipping and the hem looks pretty good as is so I’ve decided to leave it as is.

Verity Dress by Moxie Patterns

In terms of fit, it’s pretty good. I actually am between a 5X and a 6X in this pattern. The extended sizes go up to 8X or a 57.5 inch bust. I settled on making a 6X. Looking at the fit of this, I’d definitely size down next time since I have no negative ease in the bust and have a bit of positive ease in certain places. I was very impressed with how the shoulder fit on the dress. I didn’t need to narrow the shoulder at all!!! I usually narrow the shoulder by about 1-2 inches on any pattern I use. The only adjustment I made was to cut the length for 3X instead of 6X, because I was pretty sure I would need to shorten it. Even with that, it ended up longer than the above the knee length of the pattern photos, but, like I said, that is something that was adjusted for the final pattern.

Verity Dress by Moxie Patterns

As I have stated in the past, I don’t do a star-rating system for test patterns, but when I make the pattern again, because I will make it again using the final released pattern, I will give it a star rating at that point. I have a brilliant idea of making it out of some gorgeous two-tone stretch velvet for a classy winter dress. There is some locally that I might splurge on for my birthday next month!

Verity Dress by Moxie Patterns

Anyone else get Western vibes from my dress? 😀 Do-si-do!

The increased size range with the peter pan collar is available in the Moxie Patterns Etsy store along with the straight size version or through Creative Notions, Rebecca’s blog.

Verity Dress by Moxie Patterns

Introducing Blank Slate Pattern’s Auberley dress

Disclaimer: I received the Auberley dress pattern in exchange for testing. All my opinions and cheese are my own. Stay away from my cheese.

I do pattern testing already for Muse Patterns and Cashmerette Patterns. Both are run by sewing friends who I adore. I was pretty sure for a while that I wouldn’t do any more testing. Recently, before the Rue Pattern was released, Colette Patterns put out a call for pattern testers. I almost filled out the form. I’m so glad I didn’t, because I don’t think the pattern would work for me (or possibly anyone…) and I am not certain that “testers” were used for much beyond promotional purposes.

When I test a pattern, I expect my feedback to be taken into consideration and help make the pattern better. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled with two wonderful companies that really respect the testing process and take time to make changes to the pattern before the pattern is released. I can confirm that Cashmerette and Muse do this and both really appreciate their testers. It never feels like work. Instead, it is an exciting process and I get patterns I love out of it. See examples of all my Muse Patterns and Cashmerette patterns garments for proof of how much I love testing for these two companies.

Recently, Susan from Blank Slate put up a call for testers in the Curvy Sewing Collective facebook group. They specifically needed testers at the higher range of their sizes. Susan described it as “babydoll dress/tunic pattern with a square neckline, princess seams, and bell sleeves” and my heart went “I fucking want that right fucking now.” My heart swears a lot…and so does my mouth…

The turn around time was pretty tight. The post was up on September 17th and then I provided my feedback by September 25th. Originally, the feedback was due by the 21st, but a pattern change happened right in the middle of testing along with a change in the neckline and it got us all a sweet extension.

Pattern testing with Blank Slate was pretty different from anything I’ve experienced before. It was actually such a great process and testers got to see results as we were testing in the pattern. I used up a lot more muslin (thrifted bed sheets) than I ever have during a testing process, but it was a great learning process. It prompted me to finally print off my Marigold dress/top/skirt pattern for a sweet flowy peplum top. I will need to make some adjustments, but I am pretty confident in the pattern drafting and that it will work out. I’ve already been in love with Michelle’s dress version for a while.

All of this is to say that I’m really pleased with the process and, as long as timing is right, I hope to do more testing with Blank Slate in the future.

Testing the pattern also came during a major slump in my sewing. I haven’t posted in a while and well…. I have so little to show for all the sewing I have done and I’ve done so much sewing…. I have four or five (lost count) unfinished objects (UFOs) and several pieces cut out. I have two pairs of shorts and one pair of cropped pants on the go that will likely not be worn out of the house until the summer and still nothing finished. I’m dying here. Some of it is fit issues, others are sewing issues (like my serger decided to drop stitches and I need to resew because all the stitches are popping but I have to change my thread back to the other colour first to finish it…), and others are cutting the god damn wrong size of waistband for three damn skirts when I have no more of the damn fabric left to cut it out again…. SMH! It’s just been a series of unfortunate events and Count Olaf is off laughing in a corner somewhere.

Testing this pattern has revitalized me thankfully. My final fit isn’t perfect, but I love the dress and really love the style so I can go forward with confidence now and finish those UFOs.

The construction of the Auberley dress is pretty straight forward. It doesn’t have any zippers and simply pulls over your head. For the tester version, I was asked to sew it up as is. Susan did ask if that was okay given my shoulder issues and I figured I could go back and add a zipper if I absolutely needed it. I have found pulling the tester over my head isn’t too difficult, but I will be putting a side zipper in my next versions. The bodice has princess seams and is lined giving the notched neckline a lovely finish. The skirt is an empire waisted gathered skirt and there are ties at the back. The sleeves have two options: long bell sleeves, which I used for my tester version, and elbow length straight sleeves. In the hack pack, there are two additional necklines: v-neck and scoop neck; and three sleeves: cold shoulder sleeve, and long or 3/4 length bishop sleeves with ties. Lots and lots of options there. Also pockets!

With my version, I did two muslins before sewing up this final version. I’m not 100% happy with the fit since there are some lines along the centre panel of the dress, which I think are a result of two things: 1) the front panel needs to be widened slightly so the princess seam is actually going through my apex and 2) the front panel needs to be shortened. I’m sure I will get many other helpful suggestions on how to fix the wrinkles, though.

Look at me play with the wrinkles:

Blank Slate Patterns Auberley dress

What an hilarious outtake! My husband took these pictures before we went to the new Second City show Come What Mayhem. Great show btw! Definitely a must see if you are in Toronto!

I also need to widen the sleeve a little bit since the upper arm is a bit tight and shorten it (although, my hands are in a fist in some of these pictures… I was cold). I used a size 26 sleeve. For reference, my upper bicep is 21 inches. In addition, I will widen the front skirt to match the gathering on the back skirt.

Blank Slate Patterns Auberley dress

I started with a size 20 to match my upper bust and did a 5 inch FBA. I also added 2 inches to the side seams in order to make it easier to get over my head as well as have the size 26 sleeve fit. I used the size 26 skirt and ties, as well.

The fabric I used is a hunter green poly crepe that I got at the thrift store. It was a dream to sew. I have a navy blue poly crepe that might also become a Auberley dress, but I have a million ideas in my head right now so that might change!

Blank Slate Patterns Auberley dress

Blank Slate Patterns Auberley dress

Blank Slate Patterns Auberley dress

Blank Slate Patterns Auberley dress

I will reserve a full review for when I actually use the final pattern and try out the hack pack. I don’t assign a star rating to the test versions of patterns. I’m excited for more versions. One of the testers used a black lace in the front panel and sleeves and I really want to try something similar. I’d also like to lengthen the waist ties, too, so they wrap around the front. I see so many possibilities with the dress once the fit is completely tweaked. It will be a great winter dress to wear with some lovely leggings or knee high socks. I think I’m going to get some double guaze and some chambray and try out some fabrics I’ve never used before. Should be fun! I also am in love with the bishop sleeves so those are definitely going to be used like crazy.

 

 

Cashmerette Springfield Top (and some Concords)

Earlier this week, Cashmerette released the Springfield top. I was a tester for the pattern. It came at the exact time I needed it. I was on the look out for a tank top pattern for wovens. My issue with most woven tank top patterns is that they don’t go up to my size. The Springfield top goes up to 58″ bust and 58″ hip. It also has a version with really nice back yoke and princess seams. I really love the way the back adds shape. The front has bust darts and can have a bottom band for some interesting colourblocking. It’s also a great way of using a small amount of expensive fabric for a project. Recommended fabric requirements are under 2 yards for 60″ fabric and a little over 2 yards for 45″ fabric. However, if you use bias tape, you can reduce the amount by quite a bit. I was able to use 1.3 yards for the final top and 1 yard for the tester top (both were 60″ wide fabric) with bias tape instead of self-fabric bias tape.

My tester version is made with a colour palette fabric that was the first to make it into my stash with no project in mind. I got it in a swap and have been hoarding it since. It’s a rayon fabric and is quite lovely.

Springfield Top

Springfield Top

Springfield Top

Springfield Top

I really love the top. The tester version was a bit short for my taste, but I also like much longer tops.

We received the final version and I immediately made it up in a green leopard print rayon. It’s even drapier than the above and has an extremely soft texture to it. I’ll be posting a full review of the top over on the CSC in the next little bit. I’ll let you know when, but here is a preview of the final version. You can see the longer length.

Springfield Top

The wonderful thing about have a good fit in a woven tank top is being about to hack the pattern as well. I hacked the pattern into a tent dress and made a mock-up in cream linen with yellow birds stamped on it. Check it out:

Springfield Tent Dress

Springfield Tent Dress

Springfield Tent Dress

Springfield Tent Dress

Springfield Tent Dress

I love it. I used the tester version on this. I will be using the final version for future version because the darts fit me much better in that version. I’m not too happy with how the back fits so I will be making tweaks for my next version. I need more room back there for my butt. Ha!

I also made a few things from the Concord t-shirt pattern:

Concord tank dress in feathers fabric!

Concord Tank Dress

Concord Tank Dress

Concord Tank Dress

A 3/4 sleeve Concord tshirt in bunny fabric!

Concord T-Shirt

 

Concord T-Shirt

Concord T-Shirt

I also made a tank top using kitten fabric, but I need to redo the arm bands:

It’s nice to have my sewjo back. I also got a bunch of other things cut out:

Can’t wait to get those done! 😀

Muse Pattern’s Philippa Pattern

I’m back from the honeymoon. I had a great time and will talk a bit more about that here in the next couple of weeks as I get over my jet lag. That’s a real thing. I was a zombie by 4pm last night and fought to stay awake until 9pm and then woke up at 1am ready to get up and go to work…. SMH.

Before I left, I tested a pattern for Muse Patterns: the Philippa dress, top, and skirt. Dress and top can have cap sleeves or be sleeveless. As with most Muse Patterns, the pattern is very versatile and can be customized for several different types of garments and different looks. Philippa also has the added bonus of different types of fabric. It can be made in light-medium weight for the top, medium to heavy weight for the skirt, and in either for the dress, depending on whether you include pockets. You can also use a stable ponte or mix and match with ponte side panels and woven in the front. It’s a 1960s mod-inspired look with princess seams on the front and back. The sizing is a bit different for this one as you choose your size based on your high bust.

I chose to make the top out of ponte because it was right before I left and I knew I could whip it up fast on my serger. I made it with blue ponte on the front and green on the side. I used polkadot rayon fabric for the collar. I left the zipper off as the ponte had a slight stretch to it making it easy to get over my head. I also made a triangle peakaboo detail at the back with a small band of fabric across to join the collar. I love the detail.

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Sizing was spot on. I was a little concerned about the size since my middle has gained a couple of inches since the fall and I’m a bit above the size range in that area now, but there was no issue with the top, except that I do prefer longer tops. So I will be lengthening it in the future. I think with the dress I would grade out at the waist a bit in a woven material. Here is a mirror picture showing the length of the top. Excuse the leggings as pants look.

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Like all Muse Patterns, the instructions are detailed and easy to follow. The patterns are drafted really well and all the notches match perfectly. I will be making the top again in the future and making a muslin of the dress. 1960s mod-inspired dress isn’t really my style, but I adore this one. Instead of the basic shift dress, the princess seams and style lines really give this dress more shape and interest than the basic mod-inspired dress. The collar is so awesome, too. It’s so cute. Since the skirt is an A-line skirt, I probably won’t be making it. I don’t think the A-line shape looks great on me in a skirt. You never know, though! It does have pockets!

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These two pictures where taken outside our hotel after a day of sightseeing when we were in Amsterdam for 9 days before our Baltic Sea cruise. I was freeeeeeezing my butt off. It was around 5 degrees celcius. My husband took these pics. ❤

I love the way the top looks with my green Pavlova skirt. Instead of finishing the arms with bias binding, I used a narrow band for this version.

I won’t put in a review for this as this is the test pattern. When I sew it up using the final pattern, I will do a full review.

 

 

Cashmerette’s Concord T-Shirt

Disclaimer: I am a pattern tester for Cashmerette and received this pattern for free. All my opinions are my own. I’m also under no obligation as a tester to post a review to my blog.

If you’ve been following along for a while, you know I’ve been on the hunt for tops patterns that work well for me. I’m kind of picky about tops, it’s true. I want something loose-fitting at the hips, long enough to go over my booty so I don’t have to worry about pulling the shirt down at any point in the day, nicely fitted with negative ease over my bust, and not wonky at the armsyce.

Of course, I didn’t tell anyone that my hunt was over when I tested the Concord t-shirt a few months ago. I did keep to my plan of making the StyleArc tops and I do really love the Cate’s cousin top. My Eva top is growing on me… I wanted to say last time that for my next Cate’s Cousin top I will be using the curved hem from the Concord t-shirt, because I adore it. And for the Eva top, I wanted to say I had a much better v-neck top to make with the Concord. But I am a good pattern tester, because I was quiet and kept it a secret. *pats self on back* After I get back from the trip, I will probably sew a few more of the Concord t-shirts. It’s a great pattern for a quick project.

For the fuller figure, there is actually not a lot of options for t-shirts, especially when you enter my size range. I certainly haven’t found one that has cup sizing.

When Jenny sent off the information for the Concord t-shirt, I was pretty excited. The great thing about the Concord is all the options: hem length can be cropped, mid, or long curved, sleeve length can be short, 3/4 length, or long (plus the short or 3/4 length can have sleeve tabs and all lengths can either be hemmed or have sleeve bands), and, finally, the neckline can be high, scoop, or v-neck. You get one pattern with a ton of options in it and that is my dream t-shirt.

Another amazing thing about the Concord t-shirt is that it includes cup sizes C/D, E/F, G/H and can fit women from 40 inch bust / 32 inch waist / 42 inch hip to 58 inch bust / 48 inch waist / 58 inch hip. It’s meant to have negative ease across the bust and skim the hips with a bit of positive ease (an inch or less).

My measurements are 51 inch bust / 46 inch waist / 56 inch hips. I chose to make a size 22 C/D graded to a size 26 at the hips for my tester version and then for my others I used the G/H cup size due to some wrinkles at the arm above the bust at the armsyce. I could have just graded to a 24 or left it at a 22, but I like it pretty loose around the hips for my booty.

For my two tester versions, I used the scoop neck and 3/4 length sleeves. One version was mid-length and the other the long curved hem.

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I love my test versions. I even made my mom a Concord t-shirt for her birthday in March using the tester pattern:

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I made her a straight size 16 C/D with a scopped neck and a longer short sleeve since she likes to have her upper arms covered. I made it in her favourite colour. Like mother, like daughter! I wish I had saved some of this gorgeous pink fabric for myself, but I’m sure I will be able to get some more from Fabricland. I did make my Eva top with it. I just wish I had made a Concord t-shirt with it. 😉

Once Jenny sent me the final version, I knew I was going to make up several more tops. I had a bunch of fabric set aside for them. I chose to make the larger G/H cup size to get an even better fit and still grade up at the hips.

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I made two with the long curved hem and a v-neck. On the left, is the 3/4 length sleeve with tabs. On the right is a long sleeve with a band. Of note, the printed fabric is a mid-weight rayon jersey and is quite weighed down. It was difficult to sew with and resulted in some waviness in the hem as well as a lower hem than the shirt on the right. I might resew the hem using stay tape at a future date, but for now I am leaving it. My sewing machine seems to hate mid-weight rayon jersey for some reason. To be honest, I think I am probably going to be needing a new sewing machine in the next year, because the problems keep multiplying with it… The rest of the fabric I used is a lightweight poly rayon spandex jersey and is my preferred material for tops. It’s a dream to sew with and presses so nicely.

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For these two versions, I made short sleeves with bands. The blue one has sleeve tabs and the neckline is high. On the back, I made a scoop neck for fun and like it, but it does pull the shoulder forward a bit unfortunately. The blue shirt is a cropped length but hits me just above my full hip. I am 5’4″ and short-waisted. I can certainly shorten it to make it cropped but am okay with this length. The black has a long curved hem, no sleeve tabs, and the neckline is scooped. You probably guessed by now that is my favourite hem style in this shirt considering 4 out of 6 of mine have the curved hem. It’s long enough to fit over the bum and never have to worry about it riding up.

Construction was easy. The curved hem is done before the sleeves and side seams. The neckline is actually the second thing you do after the shoulder seams. It makes it a lot easier doing it in that order without all the rest of the bulk of the sleeves in the way. The sleeve tabs are sewn on to the sleeves before the sleeve is attached in the flat. Final steps are to sew a button through all the layers to permanently attach the tab. You could add a buttonhole to the sleeve tab, if you want.

Instructions are very easy to follow. The pattern is labeled as beginner and I think that fits. I mostly used my serger for constructing all the shirts, except for top stitching the curved hem or sewing the hems for sleeves or the bottom. The tabs are sewn on with a regular sewing machine and the v-neck is started with a regular sewing machine. I also topstitch all my neckbands down with a zig zag stitch, because I truly hate twin needles and so does my ornery machine. You can construct it entirely on a sewing machine if you don’t have a serger.

I love the fit of the shirt. I could maybe use a narrow shoulder adjustment like with any pattern, but I don’t mind where the shoulders sit on this top.

The pattern is already a TNT for me with six versions for myself. I absolutely adore it and have been waiting for a basic t-shirt with all of these options for a while in my size range. The size range is great and the cup sizing is a dream. You can see how the change in the cup sizes made the fit a lot better for me removing the wrinkling at the armsyce above the bust. A lot of people don’t want to bother with an FBA in a knit garment and, with the cup sizes, you are less likely to have to do one. I really love all the options in this t-shirt and think it offers a lot in a small package.

Concord t-shirts have been popping up a few places so far. Check out Tanya’s, Meg’s, and gMarie’s versions! Now I need a striped one, an orange one, and a fun patterned one. All the Concords!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Cashmerette Concord T-Shirt
  • Pros: Cup sizing, many options, goes up to a 58 inch hip. So much to love.
  • Cons: Um…. smaller sized people miss out? In other words, I can’t think of a con…
  • Make again?: Absolutely. It’s the t-shirt pattern I’ve always wanted.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars