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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Reworking a Retro-Style Polka Dot Tee

 Way back when (OK it was a little over two years ago) . . .  I made the fitted, cowl neck tee shirt above. I journaled about my attitudes toward polka dots, as well as my attitudes about retro style inspired by I Love Lucy.

I'm a firm believer in not picking fault with my own sewing projects. So, at the time, I focused on what went right with my polka dot tee. I'll fess up now, however, that I wasn't perfectly happy with the project. Though I took it out of the drawer several times, finding both fabric and cowl neck appealing, I actually wore it only occasionally. And I'm glad to say that, because I had plenty of leftover fabric, I've got a chance to rework the tee. I started doing that this last week.

With my new tee, I'm working to improve the following:
a) The original tee shirt is just too short. It's OK tucked into my black trousers but it doesn't look quite right over a pair of jeans.
FIX- I added two inches to the length. The pattern showed lengthen or shorten at the hem.
b) There's something not quite right about the shaping on the side seams. It had a very slight drag. OK, I always noticed it because I sewed it. It wasn't that noticeable.
FIX- I'm so pleased I had written notes on the first version of the pattern I traced and used. Apparently I had reshaped the front using a Burda pattern, but I didn't reshape the back in a similar way. I don't know why I did that, but at least I know what happened! The adjustment was more sharply inset than the actual side seam I expect to use. This time I added extra at the side seam, even though I think I don't need it. I'd rather mark in the size I think I want, possibly reshape it a little more - both front and back!- and cut off the extra.
c) I didn't really like the look of the white fold over elastic I used. This time around I've bought black fold over elastic :-)
d) The cowl neck is self-lined. It didn't extend high enough, so that the spot where the lining hit showed when wearing it. 
FIX- I fixed this on the original garment by adding a strip of selvage. That worked fine, but since I'm remaking it I'm  extending the pattern for future versions.

So far . . .  I've traced a new master pattern, made the alterations and cut out most of the front out of an inexpensive commercial tee (as a muslin). I say 'cut out most' because the commercial tee isn't as long as I need it to be for the actual garment , but it will work for testing the pattern.
McCalls 6078
My version is style 'A'

1. Retro Inspiration: Sewing with Polka Dots

2. Retro Polka Dots, Why I Don't Love Lucy

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