Wednesday, August 5, 2015

FO: Crazy Chevron Tee (That Is So Not Me)

This is one of those projects that starts out with good intentions, but just doesn't end up quite how you wanted. I've classified this as a borderline fail, but I'll get to that below. Here - look at this crazy shirt!
Are your retinas ok? Good. This project all started when I decided to finally try out The Tee by Cake Patterns - a free t-shirt download with kimono sleeves, V or scoop neckline, and mini pocket option. It looked like a cute but simple basic, and we all know I love a freebie. I printed the pattern out ages ago, but never got around to testing it out. I went to my knits stash and pulled out this piece of poly jersey. I bought it as a garment industry remnant at The Sewing Studio in one of their sales when I first decided to sew knits, and then it just sat there. I recall my mother even tried to talk me out of this purchase, saying it's a pretty crazy print. "No, it will look cool in the right pattern," I said, loving the neat lines and cool bordered edge. I was just so excited to find knits that weren't baby printed that I had to have it, even though this print in no way fits in with my personal style. I know this now, but I wanted to use a fabric that I wouldn't be heartbroken over if it didn't work out so I was willing to give it a try.
I've long been interested in the was Cake drafts her patterns. You measure your bust, waist, hip, and distance from shoulder to desired hem, then connect the dots to get your pattern piece. Pretty crazy, huh? I added some length since I prefer my shirts longer, but other than that I made it up just as it was printed. 

I took great care in patter matching and lining up all the chevron peaks to coincide with the pattern lines. Everything about the cutting was heavily pinned and very deliberately done, which took a ridiculous amount of time. I went whole hog into this experiment, and I think my pattern placement shows that. Truth be told, it's not a bad looking shirt on the mannequin. I made sure to use the border on the selvage as the bottom hem instead of a band, and I used the lined edge pieces of the excess fabric to cut out the neckband so it all stayed in pattern.
I did a twin needle hem on the kimono sleeves. The V neck was my first ever, and honestly isn't perfect but it's not the worst thing in the world either. I also took care to line things up at the side seams so it kept the pattern going.

This is the point where I stopped to try the shirt on and had a, "What was I thinking?!" moment. This pattern is super mod and crazy. I mean, don't get me wrong, I obviously love a bold, novelty print. I'm just not one who can pull off something this mod-looking, you know? I was wanting a loose fit tee since the weather has been so muggy and humid that I want absolutely nothing touching my skin, and in that regard this is a loose and comfy shirt. I just am not a fan of the kimono sleeve look on me. I'm not really sure why, but I feel like it makes me look more slumpy than my bad posture already does. Also, the neckline is really high on me. Like puritan high. It ended up kind of looking silly in a, "Oh, look at that poor, nerdy ten year old who's grandmother picks her clothes," and not in a good way. Maybe I just have personal issues with my late childhood years and the frumpy t-shirt and short suits of the 90s I was dress in that did my chunky kid years no favors. Anyone else have these memories? Anyway, the neckline could easily be lowered the next time around if I chose to make this again, but I double I will. Also, have I mentioned that I hate V-neck shirts on me? I really don't know what I was thinking. Well, that's a lie - I was thinking that the v-neck would best compliment the pattern of the material, which I still stand by, it's just not complimentary on me. After noticing all these things that just aligned to make me dislike this shirt, I didn't even hem it - I just left the selvage as the hem. Thank heaven knits don't unravel!
So, sadly this project seemed to be doomed from the start. I don't think the shirt is inherently bad, just not me in any way whatsoever. After all that work though, I've still kept the shirt and relegated it to my sleep ware selections. It's quite comfy :) I'd just like to clarify that none of my issues with this shirt are due to the pattern - I really love how this is drafted specially to your measurements, and if you are into kimono sleeves or want a quick but satisfying sew I would recommend giving this pattern a try :) For me though, this shirt is certainly a fail.


Crazy Chevron Shirt:
Fabric: 1.3 yards of wildly printed mystery knit from The Sewing Studio - $4.00
Pattern: The Tee by Cake Patterns - Free - yay!
Hours: maybe 3 total
Total Cost: $4.00


  1. I also have baggy, frumpy T-shirt issues from my childhood years...The print is actually cool, it has an African feel to it - but yes, it is bold and not everyones cup of tea!

  2. It's funny - I like it as a print, just not on me. I'm getting better at discerning what types of prints I will wear verses what prints I just like on their own, you know? It's taken a lot of honing in.


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