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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Winter Wear Designs Tidewater Tee - Draped Back Modification

I haven't really stopped sewing since Me Made May ended and I have several projects to show you, but first, I want to introduce Winter Wear Design's Tidewater Tee.  I was chosen to be a tester for this pattern and Suzanne and her team have been working non-stop to make this pattern a great one with lots of options.

There are three sleeves, two necklines and opportunity for creativity with that back yoke.  You could cut the yoke from a contrasting fabric, coordinating fabric, lace... or cut it on the bias to create a diagonal pattern feature.
Even though I try to be dutiful tester and help the pattern designer by following directions exactly, toward the end of the testing week, I got the itch to modify.  I've made a few cowl necks and draped fronts and backs and I thought I might be able to use my previous experience to create an interesting drape option for that back opening, which is one of my favorite things about the pattern.
Here is how it turned out.

There are some similar style ready to wear versions here, here (in woven) and here (as a dress).

If you like it and think it's something you might like to attempt, I'd be happy to share with you how I did it.

First, I cut the back pattern piece at the lengthen/shorten line and tilted it away from my fabric fold.  The more you tilt, the more fabric there will be to drape, so you can control the drama a bit by tilting it less.  Experiment!

Then I cut it out.  Starting at the inside top of the back opening, I created my own new curve all the way to the fold.  Again, you could experiment with this.  Cut it shallower or deeper for different results.

At this point, you could follow the directions for the rest of construction, but because the wrong side of my fabric is lighter than the right side and I didn't want it to show when it draped, I decided to cut a facing, which is similar to a lining except it's only partial.  For the facing, you just want a duplicate of the top part of the middle back piece.  I took the piece I had just cut out and moved it up about 4-5 inches on my fabric.

Then I cut out the shape of the back opening again.

Now we have a facing for the draped back portion.  Sew right sides together along the top and then flip the facing to the inside and press.  You can under stitch or top stitch if you think it might be helpful in encouraging the facing to stay inside your shirt.

After you attach the yoke, here is what you end up with.

The originally drafted back opening allows for  wearing a regular bra with no straps showing. (awesome!)  With this modification, you could either wear a sticky bra, or something with a strappy or lacy back that's meant to be seen.  I thought it would make a trendy yoga top if you made it in some tissue knit or activewear.
Or you could exagerate the drape even more, sew it up in a slinky knit or ITY knit, wear it with a high-waisted pencil skirt and heels and be ready for date night.

One more quick tip: Depending on the drape and weight of your fabric, it may not want to lay perfectly in this beautiful puddle.  Mine isn't quite heavy enough to stay like this, so I will be sewing a button or two onto the inside of the facing to give it a bit of weight and keep it puddling nicely.
Happy Sewing!


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