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From Stitch to Stage: Sewing My Outfit & Sam Smith Concert [video]

It's the moment you've all been waiting for: the grand unveiling of my epic outfit for the Sam Smith concert! But hey, if you're new here and missed out on the first part, no worries! Scroll back and catch up on the initial plan. You won't want to miss a single detail!

In my last update, I mentioned that I made a blue version of the Patterns for Pirates, Men's Muscle Tank to use as a base for my concert tank. In that process, I realized that I needed to make a few adjustments and definitely needed more fabric.

While this pattern had the exact shape I was looking for in the shoulder and neck area, I needed to adjust the angle of the shoulder. I guess the "muscle" descriptor in the pattern title is true to it's meaning because the angle shoulder is very dramatic, and definitely too shaped for my 'less than body-builder' trapezius muscles.

should angle adjustment

To fix this, I raised the shoulder angle at the armhole, while keeping the point at the neckline the same. I started with a 1" adjustment, but after trying on the garment, I found that 1/2" was enough. I made this alteration to both the front and back shoulder angles to ensure they matched. And yes, before you say anything, I intentionally changed the armhole size. I found the original armholes too tight, so by adding 1/2" to the shoulder angle, I effectively added 1" to the armhole. I also lowered the front neckline by 1/2" to prevent it from riding up.

Now, here's where things got a little tricky. I cut the armhole and neckline bindings to the pattern dimensions and then added a little, since I had made both openings a little larger (yes, there was math involved, I'll discuss that a little later). They sewed on beautifully, but they pulled the openings in and made the them tighter than I wanted. I left them, but will adjust this next time I make the pattern.

After completing the entire garment, including the hemming and finishing, I had to decide on the placement, shape, and size of the shoulder cutout. This took some experimentation. I used Burda Style Magazine's Cotton Top 106 from the February issue as a reference for the cutout design. I traced the shape and placement on a piece of paper and used it as a template. Since my shoulder size was different, I used the line drawing from the Burda Style pattern to determine the depth of the cutout. I went through many iterations of tracing, chalking, trying on, and adjusting until I found a placement and shape that I liked. Then I was ready to cut.

But, before cutting, it was crucial to sew a stay stitch around the cutout line. This ensured that the cutout maintained its shape and size without stretching out. I ran a line of stay stitching 1/4" beside the chalked line, knowing that my final binding would cover it. Then, I cut along the chalk line.

Once cutout, I finished it off with a matching binding. I calculated the percentage of binding needed based on the pattern and cut a binding that was 80% of the full length. After sewing it on, I realized it wasn't stretched enough, so I unpicked it and stretched the binding as much as I could around the curves. In the end, I took off an additional 2" or so from the binding. Remember, if you don't like it, you can always undo and try again. I might write a more detailed blog post about adding a shoulder cutout, so let me know if you're interested!

The rest of the outfit came together easily since I didn't make many alterations to the pants, besides hemming them. I loved the wide-legged look and decided to keep it that way.

Finally, the day for the concert arrived and the outfit was complete. The result was thrilling, comfortable, and beautiful. Then the Sam Smith concert started, and it was everything I had hoped plus more. it was an experience to remember and cherish forever, not just because of Sam Smith's amazing performance, but also because of the sense of freedom and personal expression I felt. There was no judgment or fear, and all bodies, minds, and differences were fully embraced. It was such a fantastic environment to be in!

Creating my Sam Smith concert outfit was nothing short of adventurous and exhilarating. The process of designing, making adjustments, and finally seeing it come to life was an experience on its own. But the highlight of it all was the concert itself, that brought everyone together, no matter their background or differences, and celebrated the love for music and humanity. And all of this, dressed in my new outfit, was the perfect way to enjoy an unforgettable, UNHOLY night.


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