Concord Dress #3

Look, I hope you follow my blog because you like the sort of thing I sew… because all I’ve sewn this summer are endless rayon jersey dresses! And I’ve got one more for you today – a last-minute Cashmerette Concord tee hack before my first class teaching local sewists Concord and Lark tees!

Concord Dress

Essentially, it’s a regular Concord, lengthened into a dress, with a partial wrap over the bodice. It’s inspired by these dresses I pinned lately: 1 and 2 ! I’ve also been admiring all the Named Keilo dresses that have been popping up again this summer. My goal with this hack was to get the wrap effect with minimal extra fabric around the waist. I think it worked!

I know this print makes it pretty impossible to see the design lines, so here’s how it looks up close:

Concord Dress

The “hack” could work with any t-shirt pattern. The wrap is cut double-layered, with a fold on the diagonal edge. I just laid the pattern piece over the folded fabric, eyeballing the angle of the wrap, and cut the shoulder and side seam to match the pattern. You could slash and spread for more drape, but I didn’t bother!

Here’s the order of construction:

  • sew shoulder seams, sandwiching the wrap on one shoulder
  • finish neck with a folded band, staying clear of the wrap
  • finish the armscyes with folded bands, treating the wrap as one with the bodice
  • sew long ties, leaving about 30cm unsewn on the end of one tie
  • turn the ties inside out, and fold/iron the seam allowances of the unsewn section
  • slide the bottom edge of the wrap into the unsewn section of tie, and attach by topstitching
  • sew the side seams, catching the wrap and the back tie into one side
  • hem

Concord Dress

I picked up the fabric for cheap on one of those shopping trips where you just can’t find anything fabulous… it’s a little pale and warm-toned for my usual palette, but in the end, I like how it works in a very summery dress! It’s a slubby rayon knit.

One accidental detail I like is how the straight edge of the wrap makes the neckline asymmetrical. And how perfect is this necklace my mom bought me a few years ago while we were on vacation?

Concord Dress

It was a little tricky to finish the neckline once the wrap was sewn into the shoulder seam, but the solution was to cut the wrap narrower at the shoulder than the dress, so that there was seam allowance for the neckline. The neckline band is folded inside and topstitched down. The shoulders are cut in slightly for a better sleeveless shape, and finished with folded bands.

When I wore this dress to my t-shirt class, I pointed out to the students that the hem is totally crooked. It’s higher in the centre front, and slightly shorter on one side than the other, because I was cutting sloppily and almost ran out of fabric. But did you notice? Nope! And I doubt anyone would in person, either. It goes with my general philosophy of of sewing: No one is going to notice those tiny details when you are wearing it on your smiling self! Plus a garment is almost always in motion, and viewed at an angle. Don’t stress the small stuff!

(Unless you are going to present in a large venue, where people have time and space to inspect you more closely! Then, aim for perfection.)

Concord Dress

I can picture a winter version of this dress: slightly longer, with sleeves, and maybe in ITY knit? I think it could be quite chic! (Of course, I’m planning to use some royal blue and white polka dot knit to try it out, so it will probably be cute instead of glamourous.)

This is now my third dress version of this pattern, and I love how different they all look! (Well, ok, they are all short shift dresses, but I don’t think the average person would look at them and say “Wearing your favourite t-shirt pattern again, Gillian?”)

PicMonkey Collage

In other news, my 2009 MacBook seems to have bit the dust, and I’m faced with dropping big bucks to replace it. I’ve had a Mac laptop since about 1994 though, and they’ve always been worth it. If it wasn’t for blogging, I could probably get by with my iPad – so it’s time for my biggest ever blog expense?! Console me, dear readers!


24 thoughts on “Concord Dress #3

  1. I like the pattern on the dress and want to commiserate with you on the annoying inconvenience and great expense it is when your Mac Book bites the dust. Great hack, which inspires me to keep hacking my favourite tshirt which I’ve made so many times.

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  2. You’re always so inspiring and creative Gillian! Beautiful and I agree no one would ever guess these are all from the same pattern – I own this pattern and absolutely love it too🙂 My sympathies re your laptop! Serious investment but can be fun shopping for a new one too. The worst of it besides the daunting expense is the setting it up the way you like it. That’s the part that stops me in my tracks to be honest!

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  3. Before you mentioned it in class, I thought it was a modified hi-low hem design feature! Beautiful hack Gillian; not so beautiful Mac!

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  4. I love this idea! It’s so cute and flattering! Also I feel you on the laptop. My 2008(!) laptop is really on it’s last legs. It’s no longer compatible with any newer programs. They are so worth it though. I know apple is a bit shit in some policies but man they make good tech! Of course I am about to replace my phone as well which is also a hideous sum (lol my iPhone 4 is just not cutting it!) so I double feel your pain!

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  5. I LOVE this! Awesome! I may have to copy it. And don’t feel terrible about the computer. These things break (but after they’ve lasted for a long time) and they must be replaced. An iPad is not a real computer🙂 So enjoy the process of purchasing something gorgeous and new. It’s the cycle of things and blogging brings you (and us) joy. So really, it’s a gift to yourself and a public service.

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  6. This is a fabulous dress and a really, really inspired hack. All your versions definitely don’t look like they are from the same pattern. Cheapo or not I LOVE this fabric on you, the colours look amazing. This is my favourite version of your makes. I am sorry to hear about your laptop. My old Toshiba one has been mothballed for a while and I am using a borrowed Macbook. I was a bit scathing of Apple stuff as my iPad was a bit of a let down but I quite like this. You really get attached to computers don’t you (or is that just me)?🙂 Xx

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  7. OK, this is super cute and I love that fabric—the half-wrap is a really neat detail as well!

    That’s a bummer about the laptop! That is the problem, though, with laptops in general… When they go they tend to go. (And, um, I’ve had mine since about 2008-2009 too so let’s not say that too loudly….😦 ) I have a Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad which makes it ALMOST as functional a laptop for most things (including blogging, although I find the WordPress app kinda slow when you’re typing)…. But you do a lot better photo editing than I do!😉

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  8. The faux wrap is such a great detail! And as usual, I love the print that you chose.

    Sorry about your MacBook. Hopefully you’ll get it straightened out without too much expense!

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  9. This is so cute! What an excellent idea for the front wrap. I can totally commiserate about the Mac laptop… I’ve used a Mac since 2002, and my current laptop is from ’08… it desperately needs to be replaced! So expensive!

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  10. Great pattern hack. I like these colours on you too. As for the Mac, look into genuine Apple refurbished ones. I’ve done that a few times over the years with no complaints.

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  11. Faux wraps forever! Simplicity 2369 is one of those patterns I keep going back to because the faux wrap thing works so so well. No accidental flashing people! Your version is really great since you already have the high neckline under the wrap part. I keep sewing in a little chunk of fabric into the wrap part to make a faux cami, but it’s a little rough looking. My Jalie 2921 might need some more hacking still!

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  12. I love what you sew and am never bored reading your blog. I also love the way the clothes you make flatter you. I get ideas for dressing nicer by watching what you choose.

    How “new” of a Mac do you have to have? Do you buy used? How old is too old? I’m trying to convince DH that we need to sell our oldes MacBook but it’s really, really old. I’m asking selfishly in order to learn if it’s even possible for us to sell it here locally. It won’t run the latest OS I know that much.

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  13. Cool dress! I love how you hack a wrap!

    About the Mac, you might check out ifixit.com. I recently replaced the hard drive on my 2009 MacBook, and she’s better than ever! Worth a look, especially if you’ve got it backed up so can risk taking it apart!

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  14. I love your new dress, the added wrap piece makes it so much more interesting and the asymmetrical neckline! fantastic! I can totally sympathize with you about computers. I got a macbook when I started university in 2009, and I LOVED that one so much, but I had to say goodbye to it over a year ago. I have to say that my love affair with my new computer (a macbook air) is going very well though- it’s funny when you get a macbook air and get used to it, you realize just how heavy your old macbook is!

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  15. This is awesome Gillian!! Your hacks continue to amaze me – I would have never thought of doing this myself. You’re so clever and it looks so great!

    I’m sorry about your Macbook. It kind of seems like something you have to replace every 4-5 years as the hardware can’t seem to keep up with the ever changing software. ;(

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