5.03.2014

Madewell Boxy Tee Knock-off

Sooooo I was lurking around the Madewell site the other day cause I like to pretend that I'm a 6 foot boho chic kind of girl.  The kind who has lobster bakes on the beach and thinks casual games of volley ball are great fun. Of course the reality is that I'm 5' 6" and way to curvy to look anything but frumpy in the baggy unstructured styles. Volley ball is my mortal enemy and I don't much care for the beach. "The sunlight, it burrrrrnssss! Where is a grotto where I can lay on a cold rock?"  But I will take any lobsters you have on hand and a giant mug of melted butter. Get into my belly undersea creatures!

Now where were we? Oh yes, talking about the Madewell site.  I had one of those, "Pfffft, I can make that," moments upon seeing this knit linen T-shirt.  My normal MO is to think that, pinterest it and then do nothing about it for a year.  But this time being desperate for some tops that fit, I got out the Lady Skater pattern and made it happen. 
The Lady Skater pattern you say? Are you in some sort of secret contest to hack Kitschy Coo patterns as many times as possible?  Weeeeell, let's just say Froggie and I have a little side beating action going on in that department.  Even so, using the Lady Skater seemed practical since it has the exact neckline needed for the top.  All a girl had to do was play around with proportions.
For my first go at the T-shirt I decided to trace the Lady Skater pattern 2 sizes larger than the recommended size.  The bodice was then lengthened, with a little checking against the Trifecta top, and I decided on about 2" of ease around the hip.  The Madewell garment looks more roomy at that area, or else it's just that the models have no hips.  I've found for my figure just a little bit of of ease in that location is best.
What did I get?  A proper over sized 80's T-shirt. I just needed some gathered yoke jeans to tuck it into.  *Side note -Is anyone else completely horrified that gathered yoke pants are coming back into Vogue? I want to yell at the young kids, "Don't do it, learn from your elders who made that mistake!"*  So as I was staring at my 80's T-shirt in the mirror it dawned on me that the neckline area was fine.  The problem was with the sleeves being too long/baggy.  I went back to the drawing board and retraced the armhole area/sleeves in my recommended size.  The rest of the shirt was left over sized and I mocked up another muslin. Guess what? It was perfect! 
I've broken out the hacking steps below, so you don't have to read all my drivel while you hack. The steps are exactly the same for the front and back pieces so I've only shown the front.

Hacking Steps
1. Trace Lady Skater neckline/shoulder and neckband two sizes larger than your regular size.
2. Trace armhole and sleeve in your recommended size.  I added an extra 1" of length to the sleeve so it could be hemmed instead of attaching the sleeve band.
3. Extend the CF/CB line down to the length you want the shirt to be. I used the trifecta top pattern as a guide for my length, but you could use any T-shirt you like.
4. From your desired hem length, square out a horizontal line from the CF/CB.  The length of the line should be 1/4" of your hip circumference plus the amount of ease you desire.  On my shirt I wanted about 2" of ease at the hip for my 40" hip circumference.  Both my front and back pattern pieces have a 10.5" hemline.
5. For the side seam connect the hemline and bottom of the armhole with a diagonal line.
6. You can leave the hemline straight or go back and slightly curve it up a the side seam area.
7. Finished pocket dimensions are  4.5" wide and 5" long.  Draw a rectangle that size and add about an 1.5" to the top of the pocket so that it can be folded over and stitched. Add a narrower seam allowance to the other edges of the pocket.
Construct as you would any knit T-shirt, though I would recommend sewing the pocket on first thing.  It's a lot easier to do on a flat piece of fabric. I used my sewing machine with a little longer than normal stitch length to attach the pocket. All other seams were serged and the hems were coverstitched.

You will want to make up this style in a knit that has some drape.  My shirt is made out of a 2 ply rayon knit, it has good cross wise stretch but limited length wise stretch.   If you'd like to try a linen knit, like the original shirt, then you can pick up some yardage at Marcy Tilton, Emmaonesock and Mood Fabrics. Scroll around and look for "knit" in the description since these are grouped with the normal woven linen fabrics.
As always, happy hacking my dears.  In the meantime I'll be in my evil lair thinking of more ways to cut up patterns. Muhaaaaa!

31 comments:

  1. Fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. katherine perrottMay 3, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    looks great! really like your necklace too.

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  3. Perfect! I like it better than the inspiration. Thanks for the hack instructions!

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  4. This is really cool, I also absolutely adore the Lady Skater, here is my last hacking, thanks for this hack instructions!

    http://themonthlystitch.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/4955/

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  5. That first paragraph made me laugh so hard I woke up my boyfriend. When you said you made an 80's T, I was like HEATHER ARE YOU CRAZY YOU MADE THE GREATEST T-SHIRT OF ALL TIME. And then i kept reading and see you agree. Proportions are perfect. Perfect drape, sleeve. Everything. I made a similiarly drapey gray tee recently and I wear it about 8 times a week so obviously I need more and I may have a go at your hack here.

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  6. Perfect reproduction! I actually like your fabric better though.

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  7. I'll take one in every color of the rainbow!! This is an awesome tee, Heather. Amazing.

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  8. Awesome sauce! You are a genius pattern hacker.

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  9. Super cool shirt, it looks great.

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  10. Linen knit! Yum! I stay away from Madewell as my wallet doesn't need any more temptation, but this is so fab!




    PS: I may have a pair of pleated yoke pants on deck. I AM ABOVE THE LAW.

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  11. Stupid evil volleyball!!! Oh sorry. I can take the beach and sun but don't ask me to cook anything or do any of those "sporty" things [hiss and spit]. Your T-shirt looks way comfy. It would fit in well with my current 'hanging around the hotel room avoiding people but want to be super comfortable' attire. Yeah sewing win!

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  12. It's a great shirt! Looks super comfortable yet stylish.

    And those big '80s sleeves will get you every time! I swear I didn't own anything in the correct proportion for my size until I got to college in the late '90s. I'm so glad big sleeves have pretty much disappeared. The only trend I'm happy to see that has returned from the '80s is all the fluorescent colors! I love bright colors! (Which would look fun in accessories with your grey t-shirt come to think of it...)

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  13. Soo cute!! You are a hacking master! Better than Madewell! Want to try this immediately!

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  14. Brilliant! You and your t-shirt are brilliant! I am copying this STAT

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  15. It helps having such a great pattern as a base. :)

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  16. Thanks Katherine. Necklace is from Esma Jewelry just in case you want one. :)

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  17. Thanks Trumbelina, thought everyone should make one if they wanted. :)

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  18. Thanks Tatiana. The Lady Skater is so much fun to hack isn't it? What a great pattern.

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  19. LOL Thanks Heather and my apologies to your boyfriend. We both need more of these, guess we better stop getting distracted by other patterns. ;)

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  20. Thanks Debbie, I have so much rayon knit in the stash seemed silly to go buy something else. :)

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  21. Heck yeah Margo, all the colors! I'll be making up a few more for sure. Thanks lovely lady. :)

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  22. Hee heee Thanks VickiKate. Probably should change my motto to always be hacking. ;)

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  23. Thanks Lori, I have to make it some buddies. :)

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  24. I know Ginger! Why can't I have all the things from the Madewell? Where my money tree at?
    PS. You'll look good in pleated yoke pants cause you don't have GIANT ass. ;) Get down with your bad self,

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  25. Haa haaa, just let Jamie cook herself into a crispy brown and bring her some lobster. I'll make you a nice roomy shirt if you want. Though frog says you gotta pay in chocolate.

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  26. Thanks Brooke. I'm pretty sure the 80's sleeve will never come back. But then I thought that way about gathered yoke jeans. :) I think the fluorescent colors look great on you. They just bring out the green in my skin tone and I look like a sick alien. LOL.

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  27. Thanks Angela. Do it, Do it, hack that pattern up. It's what our founding father's would have wanted...OK maybe not. ;)

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  28. Haa haaa! Is it weird that I thought, "Morgan would like this." Probably. Swear I'm only blog stalking you. ;)

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  29. Thanks Jo, go get that pattern and do it. I'd love to see it on you.

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  30. It's not weird, just flattering :) I'm also kind of obsessed with linen knits but haven't wanted to fork over the $20/yard just yet!

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