The T-shirt Project #3–White House/Black Market summery cowl knock off

I hesitate to call this a knock-off because seriously, this could not have been a simpler project.  But honestly, that’s the kind of project I needed these days.  My energy is still up and down and I’ve often felt kind of gross.  After I finished this yesterday, I have to say I felt about 1000% better if not in body, than mentally.  It was good to have a new something to wear and more than that, the act of creating was just good for my heart which always gets a little down when I’m physically limited.

As for the details of the top, I’m using Ottobre 2-2009-5.  It’s just a basic knit cowl.  I stuck with it though because Ottobre’s drafting is really similar to Burda and I find them easy to compare to my Jalie TNT.  This is a fairly slim-fitting pattern–I need to double check, but I’m thinking that even with the slight maternity alteration that I did, my end result still makes this narrower than my Jalie TNT.  It’s possible that I need to revise that TNT at some point given this, but I’m keeping it for right now when things they are a changin’.

The cowl is constructed by gathering the shoulder seam and then matching the shoulder seam to the shoulder seam on the cowl and basting them together before joining the front and back at the shoulder seam.  It’s fairly clever–the angle of the shoulder looks all out of whack, but then it magically makes for the drape at the front once you sew that seam.  Never having sewn a cowl before, I can’t say if this is always how it goes down, but I like it.  I’m all about clever construction.

Instead of just gathering the shoulder seam, I made a casing on the right side and some self loops.  The casing acts as the gathering mechanism as well as adding the detail at the shoulder that’s in the original White House/Black Market tee.

White house black market  love the sleeve ties

The cool thing is though that the loops fit very snugly inside of my casing and this combined with the fact that I basted the gathered seam to the cowl’s shoulder seam per the top’s construction, the gathering is completely secure.  So I will never have to fiddle around with tying or adjusting the casing so that that seam maintains the gathered look I want.  See what I mean–could not be simpler.

I did have to raise the bottom of the armscye considerably to get undergarment coverage.  I just put my French curve against my pattern, matched the bottom of the armscye on the curve and pivoted it upwards 5/8″, blending it back into the original line somewhere like halfway up.  This worked perfectly, and for the first time, I have a sleeveless top that covers my business which is 100% impossible for my petite self to find in RTW and the #1 reason why I never wear sleeveless tops.  So this alteration feels for sure like a bit of a triumph.

I’m going to change the pattern up a little after I check it against my Jalie and remake it in a lovely frosty aqua knit I have sitting on a chair downstairs.  This marigold knit is a little too sheer to wear without a cami, but it’s very breathable, so remarkably it’s been keeping me cool.  And the bright happy color really lifts my mood.

I will put up a review of this top after I’ve done a check with the pattern against my Jalie.

How is everyone staying cool with their sewing (aside from you clearly enviable Aussies who do not have to endure the icky 90+ degree days this time of year…would that I were you right now)?

7 thoughts on “The T-shirt Project #3–White House/Black Market summery cowl knock off

  1. Gorgeous! Love the color! The only thing I would suggest (and you may totally disagree) would be to make it a little bigger in the bust and maybe even the waist, so it drapes instead of clings, like in the WHBM pic. But it does make you look totally HOT the way you have it – which you might prefer!

  2. Lovely bright top and great idea about the ties. This Aussie is loving the cooler weather currenlty 60 and your 90 is far too warm for me .

  3. Really pretty! This’ll be a nice maternity base. The cowl and gathered shoulder details (not to mention the slim fit) are worlds away from the maternity t-shirt tents I had to put up with. Alas, that was before I was sewing clothes ):

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