Cashmerette Concord Tee – sewing win!

Cashmerette Concord Tee – sewing win!

I was soooo excited when this pattern was released (link here). A t-shirt drafted on a curvy block, with cupsizes- awesome! I had actually had disappointing results from the Cashmerette Washington dress (unblogged) but was determined to make this work. My end aim was to make my own graphic printed tees that fitted perfectly by refashioning commercial tees, and this has totally worked out!

Iteration 1
I used an old t-shirt of my husbands for this – is is 100% cotton jersey with not much stretch, the neck and sleeve bands are stash fabric.

I emailed Jenny for a sizing suggestion and she got back to me quickly – such good service. This is a straight 20 C/D. My measurements are 45-40-52 (with cup size much larger than C/D but it works). I went for a size that gave me zero ease at the bust rather than negative ease as the knits I was planning to use are not very stretchy.

Iteration 2

This is cotton-elastane jersey from the stash, and the V-neck option. Wearing this around convinced me that I needed a smaller size in the shoulders and a full bicep adjustment. I also added an inch of length at the waist.

Iteration 3

This is a refashion of a mens 3XL short sleeve shirt from threadless on clearance. Sadly these lovely designs are printed on a 45% polyester shirt – ugh.

I feel that the fit is getting very good by this tee. It is an 18 C/D down to the underarm and then 20C/D on down, with 1″ full bicep adjustment and 1″ added length at waist. You can see I reused the sleeve hems from the original tee.

My only regret is that I straight stitched the neckband seam allowance down. I did stretch as I sewed, but is has still caused unsightly gathers and pulling in. I have worn this shirt a lot though.

Iteration 4

This is my favorite, another threadless mens 3XL.

You can see I had to cut off the top of the design to get my pattern piece on, but I still think it looks ok. I zigzagged around the neckline this time. This version gets worn straight from the wash – I love it!

Iteration 5 – a tangent.

Well actually this threadless mens 2XL long sleeve was too narrow in the hips to fit my Concord pattern piece so I refashioned it for my 8 year old. Lucky girl! I love this print. This tee is also 100% cotton.

The pattern is Ottobre 3/2010-31 Funky Sisters. This is size 152 with 3cm added to each side seam. I compared the pattern pieces to some of her current tees and this pattern is super-super slim fit as drafted.

So I’m now in search of some more awesome graphic tees to refashion. unfortunately I’m going to have to use a raglan pattern to get long sleeves, but I’m ok with that. And the Cashmerette Concord tee pattern – 100% thumbs up from me, it’s a super curve flattering draft with great instructions. Thanks Jenny!


Maternity skirts, repurposed and converted.

So the recent slowdown in sewing, knitting and blogging can be directly attributed to the fact that I am pregnant! Due with baby #3 in late March. All is going well so far but between quite awful morning sickness (thankfully mostly over), exhaustion and having two older kids, a household and working three days a week (at the moment) – well, my plate is pretty full!

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One fun discovery has been this skirt that I made last summer – like a year ago. The pattern is Simplicity 2195 (pattern reviews here) and the striped cotton I bought from Rathdowne Fabrics a long time ago, planning to make a pleated skirt from it. This was actually much more of a pain to sew than it looks, mostly because I had to grade the pattern up a few sizes and I ended up tracing off four skirt panels (they are all the same) to try and get the chevron pattern layout right on the fabric. Because of the irregular stripe pattern it was impossible to get all the stripes to line up, so I decided that matching the pink stripe was most important.

Despite taking in the waistband and side seams, this skirt still turned out a bit big for comfort last summer, and it kept slipping down onto my hips. I do really like the knit waistband treatment, even when not pregnant, it’s so comfortable and you do see it quite a bit in RTW, though more often plus sized styles, or styles aimed at a more grown-up demographic. Well now that I’m pregnant I’m quite happy to have a skirt that sits low on the hips so this wadder has been salvaged.

I have also recently had a big wardrobe clear out and found a bunch of skirts that I wasn’t wearing pre-pregnancy and decided to convert them to maternity skirts, my maternity wardrobe being pretty lacklustre.

Enter Kwik Sew 3362 (sadly out of print) which is perhaps my favourite skirt pattern of all time, I’ve made it at least three times. This denim version was fairly recent.

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I modelled the waistband panel on my favourite RTW maternity skirt, which I wore to death last pregnancy but sadly this time is a bit too tight and is also a bit short, which was fine with leggings but not so great with bare legs.


The waistband is deeper at the front and is made from a double layer of cotton-lycra jersey with side seams.

My conversion method was pretty basic. I put the skirt on (side zipper didn’t do up all the way) and marked with chalk about where the waistband should sit. I then cut the skirt 1cm above this mark, evening things up as I went. I then ran a line of stitching around the new seam line to prevent stretching and zig zag finished the raw edge. I also lazily just cut through the zipper and zig zagged on top of it rather than unpicking and removing it, which would have been the slower and nicer thing to do. I was after instant gratification here.


I then drafted up a front and back waistband based on measuring my RTW skirt. The back panel was 22cm x 50cm, for a 10cm deep folded band with 1cm seam allowances. The front panel I cut on the fold, 25cm wide (so 50cm unfolded) and 30cm (folded 15cm) deep at the centre and 22cm (folded 11cm) at the side seams.


The front panel. The waistband turned out a bit big but because I had side seams it was really easy just to run in the sides once I’d tried it on. You do need a decent amount of negative ease to hold your skirt up. I tend just quartered the skirt and waistband and sewed the waistband on, stretching quite aggressively as I sewed to make the waistband fit skirt. On this version I didn’t bother neatening the edges together with a zig zag stitch but for the next skirt I did. That’s it!


It was super easy and the skirt has been very comfortable and has had a lot of wear already. If the skirt was very unfitted at the hip I would probably have need to add elastic (which would be quite easy to do – unpick one waistband seam, sew a casing and insert elastic), but with a fitted skirt it was unnecessary.

In fact I was so happy I went off and converted a RTW Laura Ashley linen flared skirt. This one will be useful for work.



I might even convert more!