10

Plantain t-shirt and cardigan

Sewing basics… So boring, amirite! But so useful, and really necessary when you’re trying to go RTW free (I’m about 11 months in. I would have broken it recently, had a certain shop sold jeans in my size). Contrary to what you’d think if you looked in my wardrobe, I do actually really like wearing casual outfits – tshirts and pants. Unfortunately I only have ONE pair of pants (it’s reeeaally hard to find pants that fit me) and they are polka dot. So they don’t go with many outfits. I am going to change the no-pants thing soon, just waiting for the pattern to arrive 🙂

In the meantime, I decided to make a super-boring-but-versatile black t-shirt. Yawn, I know – but I have ONE black t-shirt (one of the 3 black items I have) and I wear it quite a lot – it’s becoming grossly pilled. And I’m sure you all know how much one needs at least one black t-shirt.

ImageI used the Deer & Doe pattern, plantain. Dang, this is a good pattern for a pear – this is size 44 graded to a 46 in the hips, and it’s perfect: a slumpy/loose t-shirt that doesn’t cling (or wouldn’t if the fabric was less drapey) but is still shaped/flattering. I love the deep scoop neck and that it’s a free pattern.

ImageThe fabric is an absolute dream in viscose jersey. I spent about 20 minutes in the fabric store stroking two different bolts of black jersey, trying to decide which was more lush and which would be better in a t-shirt. It’s not uncommon to see me in the fabric store, stroking bolts of fabric.

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The whole thing didn’t take very long either, only a couple of hours which includes taping and tracing the pattern. I overlocked all the seams and top-stitched with a twin needle. I had to loosen the bobbin tension because there was a wee mountain forming in the middle – something else happened to the bobbin thread though (maybe I loosened too much) so it doesn’t want to stretch quite as much as it should.

Just so it wasn’t 100% boring, I top-stitched with blue thread rather than invisible black. This caused Mr. Guy to ask if the t-shirt was “sportswear”, but I quite like it.

ImageYou all know by now that I like to give my clothes a bit o’ sparkle.

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The top worked so well that I thought “hey, this pattern is PERFECT to make a cardigan”. I bought some navy merino a month or so ago with the thoughts of making a cardigan, but have been waiting until I had the motivation to alter an existing t-shirt pattern.

All I did was add 2cm to the CB to give it a bit more ease, and added 6cm to the centre front (which wasn’t cut on the fold), so when I folded it back it made a 3cm button placket, which I interfaced. I also lengthened the binding by a couple of cm, and was able to enclose it all nicely at the top of the button placket.

Construction wise it worked well, but it didn’t quite end up how I had envisioned. I asked Mum if she wanted it, and even though I now look at the photos and thing “it isn’t so bad”, I think it will be better on her, and no take backs, right?ImageI think it’s just something to do with the scoop neck. The look in the above photo is actually exactly what I wanted; a drapey cardigan that just fell from the shoulders, and that’s what I had in mine when I picked the fabric. Unfortunately I kind of forgot that when I was making it, and I was looking at four square wall’s ponte renfrew cardigan, and had it in my mind that the fabric would hold the shape I was sewing crisply. Had I remembered, I would have just altered the way I sewed the front (particularly the neck/placket corner).

Instead, this is what it would look like it was done up:

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Odd. And don’t try and tell me otherwise! It’s much nicer undone.

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And of course it’s not a total disaster – Mum loved this fabric when she was up, and was trying to think of something I could make her out of it. I just hope it suits her!

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PatternDeer & Doe Plantain, free

Fabric – Black viscose knit, $24, and French navy merino knit, 1.5m at $34/m and 30% off = ~$36

Notions: Thread and interfacing from stash

Total: $24 and $36

27

Ships ahoy! Sew Dolly Clackett #2

Y’all are wonderful, truly. Every comment on my last post gave me warm fuzzies. The shorts got a good workout today, too, when we went out on a boat ride. I got to drive a boat! And previously I would have had to wear a dress (not exactly appropriate for a speedboat) or running leggings.

And, speaking of boats…Ta da!

ImageA dress with ships on it, of course.

This is my second entry in the Dolly Clackett Sewalong. I’m sure I’ve said before that I draw inspiration from Dolly Clackett – she knows what suits her, and uses TNT patterns to let the fabric take the center stage. I decided that the sewalong was the perfect time to crank out some similar dresses myself, as I’m generally lacking in this kind of casual dress.

The dress is made from a Michael Miller quilting cotton (see Dolly Clackett’s own version here). I’m not sure why so many sewers/bloggers are against quilting cotton – sure, I had some disasters when sewing with poor quality stuff when I was younger, but I would have had MORE disasters had I tried using anything less stable than a sturdy quilting cotton. ImageI’ve now learned how to sew with a heap of different fabrics, but it’s nice to come back to a fabric that you know will treat you well.

The pattern from this dress is my bodice sloper, and an a-line gathered skirt: basically, I put down my cambie skirt pattern with about 15cm extra width, so it would still be shaped but I had room to gather it.

ImageIt’s best worn with a belt because a gathered skirt isn’t the most flattering shape on me, and because there’s something squiffy going on at the front – I think the lining is sewn in a bit shorter than the shell, so it pulls up at the waist seam. It’s also a bit loose on me but I’m liking the amount of ease.

Image*Sigh* still having some fitting issues with this sloper. The shoulders are pulling a bit which I know is because the slop is drafted to have sleeves, and sleeveless dresses should finish higher on the shoulder. There’s also that combination of gaping and pulling at the bust/underarm, which I think means the bust of the dress is a bit too high. If I tighten my bra straps a bit it goes away. One day I’ll get rid of all gaping, or I’ll just get over it. Do other people not have gape, or am I just blinded and much more critical of my own sewing?

ImageI’m also happy to say the dress has pockets! Only semi-matching polka dot pockets, because why not?

ImageI made sure to hold the skirt up to me to make sure the pockets are the perfect height, as I’ve found a few patterns put them too low for me. The skirt itself is a bit too short – I initially cut it quite long then had to hack it off. And, well, I hacked off too much! It’s not like this dress would have been work appropriate anyway, but I would prefer it 1-2″ longer.

ImageConstruction wise, it’s all pretty standard for me. I lined the bodice with cream cotton (it’s all I have, okay). Bodice seams were just trimmed, and the skirt seams were overlocked. Hem is just turned over twice – should have kept the length and done a blind hem. I used an invisible zipper.

If anyone cares, my trick is to interface both sides where the zip will go, then sew the first side. Mark on the zip tape where you want the second seam to be, then pin and sew up from just below the seam. After making sure the seams line up, you can go back and finish below the seam. You do have to make sure the TOP of the dress will line up when it does up but that’s way easier than trying to get the seams lined up when sewing top-down.

ImageI’m way angrier than this when the seams don’t match

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Details

Pattern: My own sloper + gathered skirt

Fabric: 3 yards of “My Favourite Ship by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller” from fabric.com, approx. $30 after shipping, and lining from my stash

Notions: Thread and zip from my stash

Total: ~$30

What are your thoughts on quilting cotton, and how much do you think your opinion has been swayed by popular bloggers either way?

ImageLook how BIG she is now! She’s going to be huge.

47

A brave and fun-ghi: the Chataigne shorts

Okay, a disclaimer before the post proper: I am rather.. apprehensive, shall we say, to put these photos up here. I don’t have the best bod and never have, although I’m pretty happy with what I’ve got (an in-proportion pear shape). While I do have a reasonably good body image, I do still get down in the dumps, and I know that I have rolls and my legs have dimples.

Being self-conscious is part of the reason why I’ve never worn shorts. That, it’s hard to find nice ones that fit me, and I always get the horrible inner-thighs-riding-up thing. Also, some people feel they have the right to question what people wear, because it “offends them”.

When Deer & Doe released their Chataigne Shorts pattern, I was torn. They were hella cute, and the corseted waist was interesting and probably would be flattering, but could I get away with wearing short-shorts? Was I allowed? For some reason I decided to google the matter and found this excellent website – sure these girls have rolls and dimples and white or dark skin, but they look FABULOUS. The idea that I shouldn’t wear shorts because someone else doesn’t want to look at my legs is surely another form of victim blaming, and I won’t have a bar of it!

So, I bought the pattern and have finally made it up, so here we go and please be kind: my Chataigne shorts.

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The shorts are the first project I’ve made with my pants sloper (which I made at The Dreamstress School of Dressmaking – perfect fit pants class – highly recommended if you’re based in or near Wellington). I used the waist pieces as is, and traced the legs as a combination of the original pattern, and the sloper, making sure to get the crotch length/rise the same as my sloper, which worked well. I also lengthened the shorts by a few inches, else they would be super short. My muslin just showed I needed more room in the waist but otherwise the fit was adequate. You can see the crotch length is perhaps a bit short, or it may be to do with the style, but there’s a bit of pulling down there.

ImageI love the word crotch. Maybe just because everyone else hates it.

The waist pieces are also a bit small still, leading to horizontal pulling and a visible tummy button, although they actually don’t feel too tight. Funnily, these are actually remarkably comfortable, it’s like they just hold everything in place! The only thing I notice when wearing them is that the hems are a bit tight (maybe because of the way I’ve sewn them).

ImageOtherwise, I’m really comfortable in these. I’m not worried about the dreaded “muffin top”, and shockingly the inner thighs don’t seem to ride up!! I’m guessing this is because of the fuller thigh adjustment we did on the sloper, but I always thought it was inevitable (for years I battled with chafe, which is the reason that I never, ever went without stockings or culotte petticoats until I was 23 and lost a bit of weight and could get away with not wearing them). Sorry if that’s TMI!

ImageYou may notice that this is the same fabric as Mr. Guy’s trousers… and, well, I swear this isn’t on purpose:

ImageIn the middle is my face, when realising that we accidentally have quite a lof of matching outfits

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Sorry rachelinred! I swear it wasn’t on purpose.

In terms of construction, I flat felled both the side and inner leg seams. Hems are overlocked, folded then folded again (therefore really strong, and the reason why I think they’re a bit constricting). Crotch seam and pockets were overlocked. The seams in the waistband we pressed open and left to reduce bulk. And because the cotton twill is quite thick, I lined them with quilting cotton:

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The zip doesn’t match, because it’s all I had and it’s an invisible zip (although because they’re fitting I think you can see it a bit at the perfectly matching seam 😀

ImageYusss.

I am pretty sure I’ll make these again; probably using 10mm seam allowances to loosen them and perhaps in a stretch wool or denim for some winter shorts that will look great with stockings.

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Pattern: Chataigne shorts by Deer & Doe

Fabric: Blue cotton twill, and quilting cotton, leftover from other projects

Notions: thread and zipper, stash

Total: zilch.

ImageSo, thanks for letting my bare my legs. With this kind of thing it’s tempting to put stockings on first (despite the heat), stylise the photos somehow or even avoid them altogether, but doing this sort of thing is how you really come to grips with your body image, and if noone does it, people think it shouldn’t be done! There’s not enough plus-sized sewing bloggers out there which can be hard, because you only see how certain patterns look on slimmer people. So there you go – I recommend these shorts for plus-sized ladies, although only if you’re comfortable with a fitted waist!

 

Oh, for Morgan and anyone else who cares, the lipstick is Flat Out Fabulous, by MAC cosmetics: one of my absolute fav colours.

23

Don’t be a Dickie: Thread Theory’s Jedediah Trousers

Folks, there is a reason why Thread Theory was one of my top, all time favoutite pattern companies. Here I am with my first ever pair of trousers, and apart from a few tiny issues, they look just like RTW (particularly like Dickies brand pants).

Image I traced off this pattern yesterday, washed and dried the calico for a muslin, and made the muslin which I initially thought was going to send me into a spiral of fitting-doom. From Mr. Guy’s measurements I traced a 36 in the waist and 34 in the hips, but when he tried the muslin on there was all sorts of bagging and pulling, and to be honest I had NO idea where to start.

Then I remembered that he had told me earlier that he wore a 34 in RTW (why does he never remember that when we’re in shops?), so I went back and re-cut the pattern and muslin to a size 34 all over… and hey presto! Almost perfect fit. The waistband is still a touch loose so he will have to wear a belt (which he does will all his RTW anyway) and the back crotch seam needs to be lengthened; otherwise, that’s it! Thank goodness for him being a “standard” shape, I get enough fitting issues with my own clothes.

ImageI’m almost hesitant to say that the entire process of tracing, muslin, and making the pants only took me one day: I don’t want you all to hate me. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re all sickened by how many garments I’m cranking out; I would be too! I guess I’m just relaxed and, well, there’s not much else to do here once you’ve taken the dog for a walk.

ImageJessie-dog and Travis the cat love to tussle.

The quickness it got made* was largely due to the pattern itself though. All of Thread Theory’s patterns I’ve made so far (which is all of them other than the Goldstream Peacoat) have been so well drafted, with excellent instructions that include little tips to help with the construction. There is also a sewalong for the trousers/shorts on their website which is always helpful for the confusing bits, and Morgan did a video on how to sew the fly – which made it so easy I didn’t have time to be apprehensive about it!

*now I have Sublime stuck in my head..

ImageI will admit that I made the fly a bit too shallow (I’m not sure how to explain that better), and am glad that my fly top-stitching isn’t contrasting so you can’t see that it’s a bit too close to the opening. That, and a few areas where my topstitching isn’t so straight on the corners (and the inner waistband – must remember to sew it on back to front like the La Sylphide neck tie) are the only areas that I’m not completely stoked about.

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I pretty much followed the instructions for the construction. Both inner and outer leg seams and the yoke are flat-felled, crotch seam is overlocked. I didn’t have any bias binding or the inclination to make any, so the waistband seam is just tucked away and stitched.

ImageThis is one of those projects that, although I was there every step of the way, I can’t quite believe that I made it. I was looking at each leg when I had finished them (prior to sewing the crotch seam), just admiring how good they look – now that is a good feeling. Obviously sewing menswear is good for my patience in ensuring I do everything nice and proper. Now I’m keen to try making shirts and pants for myself, once I have the fabric (I have the Archer shirt and the Thurlow trousers patterns, and I’d love to try making jeans).

ImageOf course not everything in the pants is “proper”, I had to sneak some kind of personalisation in there:

ImageOut of my stash, Mr. Guy chose this lobster print cotton for the pockets (yusss). It’s almost a shame that the pants are so well designed and you can’t see the pockets from the outside! He’ll have to just pull them out to show people, and next time I might copy Meg’s first pair and sew the pockets inside out so you can see the fabric when the trousers are off.

I didn’t actually do any decorative top-stitching on the pocket – should have just gone with the suggested stitching lines, but I want to have something really cool but couldn’t think of anything – plus I’m no good at machine embroidery. ONE DAY. The back patch pockets are also a bit small, too, as for some reason I only traced off the stitching template rather than the actual pocket piece!

Image See what I mean though? Only teensy tiny problems which aren’t even real problems. I’m getting a lot better at this sewing game!

Details

Pattern: Jedediah Trousers from Thread Theory

(I bought the PDF version a while ago, but just bought all the paper copies because I’m a fan girl ❤ )

Fabric: Cotton twill from The Fabric Store, 2m at $18/m (on sale at 40% off) = $21.60

Notions: button and thread, stash. Interfacing, $2

Total: $23.60

Take that, $90 pants (although mine aren’t wrinkle resistant or “stain release”, whatever that means).

27

The never ending (linen) story: La Sylphide blouse

I promise this is the last you’ll see of this navy linen!

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I scraped this blouse out of the very last of what was originally a 5m piece of linen that I bought for $3/m at The Fabric Warehouse’s crazy sale late last year, previously used to make my Bleuet Dress and Mr. Guy’s Negroni shirt. There was so little left that I had to compromise with shorter sleeves (which is actually rather good in the heat we’re having) and the bow is half the width it should be. Even so, I’m somewhat impressed that I managed to fit everything on!Image

From my last dress, I knew that I didn’t need to make many alterations so made it as is; although now I realised that I didn’t alter the dart height, so they’re still a bit high.

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The sleeves are made using my bodice sloper pattern, cut as long as the fabric would allow me; the back is the original La Sylphide pattern piece and it fits me so well I’ve actually started using this pattern piece for other dresses. I lined up the pattern piece with my back bodice sloper and the armscye is EXACTLY the same so now I have this darted version, and the old princess seam version. I still need to turn my princess seam sloper into a darted version, for when I feel like using one.

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The waist seam is sitting a bit high, I guess because it doesn’t have a skirt to pull it down, and I feel that the peplum is a bit too short – it would be a lot more flattering if it was a couple of inches longer.

This isn’t a real issue, because of course the top looks even better tucked in:

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The back waist seam still sits a little higher than the skirt waistband, but I don’t think anyone will notice!

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The buttons are navy ones with gold pieces in a circle around the thread holes (if that makes sense) – oh goodness do I love them. I think I might need to buy up all the stock that Made on Marion has to use for future projects.

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What else, what else. Why can I never think of anything to say in my blog posts, even though I love reading everyone else’s blogs? Too inpatient and succinct, I guess.

Anyway, I think this top will only really be worn tucked in. I never thought peplum tops would suit me (despite being recommended for pear shapes), so even after finding out that it looks alright on me, I’m not used to seeing that shape on my body and I feel it’s a bit too fru-fru. Maybe it’s just the placement/length of the peplum so I may try it again, at least until I work out the best way to turn this into a normal blouse without the peplum.

I’m quite pleased with the construction of the top, too, and the whole process of making it shows me how much I’ve improved recently. I wasn’t in the best mood when making it (tired) and Mr. Guy even told me “you should stop sewing, because you’ll make a mistake and be even more upset/angry”. I kept sewing but was mindful of what he said (it was true), but I didn’t make ANY mistakes. In fact, I noticed myself subconsciously fixing mistakes I would usually make, before they happened – things like accidently getting fabric caught in a seam, messing up the narrow hem (thanks to Mrs. C I have ditched the special “narrow hem” foot for my machine and am much happier for it), not catching all the layers when edge-stitching down the neck tie or when stitching in the ditch.

This is how cool I feel about  that:

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Details

Pattern: La Sylphide blouse by Papercut Patterns

Fabric: Linen scraps, ~1m $3/m

Notions: buttons, $2 each = $10. Thread and interfacing, stash.

Total: $13

In other news, I know I have mentioned that my parents have been visiting this week, which has been lovely. I took a few days off work and yesterday we drove up to Cape Reinga, the most northern part of New Zealand. Reinga means “underworld” in Maori, and the alternate name “Te Rerenga Wairua” means “leaping-off place of spirits” – this is where the spirits of the dead pass (by leaping off the old knarled pohutikawa tree that is clinging to a rock overhanging the ocean) before travelling to the underworld/the spiritual home of Hawaiki.

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Behind us is where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean mix, a spot that is constantly unsettled. The Māori refer to this as the meeting of Te Moana-a-Rehua, ‘the sea of Rehua’ with Te Tai-o-Whitirea, ‘the sea of Whitirea’, Rehua and Whitirea being a male and a female respectively.

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A lovely day, finished off by a beer at the Kohukohu pub, talking about fishing rights with locals, then pies for dinner from the organic shop.

11

New: Comox Trunks

So I’m obviously quite hot off the gun with these ones (Mr. Guy tells me that’s not a real saying). Thread Theory released their new pattern for the Comox Trunks on Monday evening, I had the pattern printed and in my hands at work on Tuesday morning, and Mr Guy was trying on the finished pair that night.

Please see the bottom of my post for information regarding a minor error in the pattern.

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Unfortunately there is no one modelling these photos – unlike Morgan and Matt I don’t have willing varsity students to strip to their gruts! Mr. Guy almost said I could take photos of him wearing them, but decided against it like I had expected.

I was so keen to make these that I grabbed the only suitable knit fabric I had in my stash – this red polka dot cotton knit. All the other fabrics are merinos and waiting for other projects. I was able to use the matching blue polka dot fabric for the binding on the front of the shorts. You’ll also note that the overlocking thread doesn’t match, because blue is the ONLY COLOUR I brought with me.

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These shorts went together VERY quickly. It took me 2 hours in total which included multiple try-ons and a 20 minute period where my dad (who is visiting along with my mum) stole my computer with the instructions on it.

Please don’t look too closely at the waistband; I didn’t have any wide elastic in the limited stash I brought up with me (Made on Marion is sending some up to me today) so I unpicked some from a pair of RTW that had seen better days – it works but it’s not so pretty.

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Even after making several pairs of underpants for myself (not blogged), I still struggle a little with keeping everything neat – underwear and lingerie has a whole different skill set to garment sewing, and it takes a while to get it looking nice. These have ended up being quite good except the only twin needle I have is 1.5mm wide (whyyy) and the fabric attaching to the waistband is a bit scruffy. Usually I would overlock the edge to the elastic, then fold and top-stitch down; on this pair I didn’t want the waistband to be permanently attached, in case it got too scruffy and I wanted to replace it.

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Although I can’t say that Mr. Guy has ever complained about the idea of a center back seam, the bum piece is quite nice. I do know that back seams can be annoying on ladies undies and we don’t have anything, erm, pulling the fabric forward.

In terms of fit, I made a straight size 36 (based on his waist measurement) and it fit well except for being too large in the legs. I’ll have to think about how exactly to fix that, whether I hack and the piece I have or just cut a smaller leg piece. They’re still comfortable, apparently, but aren’t as snug as they should be.

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The front opening makes them look professional, but the opening is a bit small. Does anyone actually use that? I imagine it would always be easier to just drop your trousers to go to the bathroom but IDK I’m a girl.

All in all I looove this pattern. I’ve tried making mens underwear before (using Jalie 3242) and even after several tries, I couldn’t get the fit right, and the crotch facing is always confusing. The Comox Trunks are easy peasy if you have any experience with sewing knits (even those who don’t would be able to as the instructions are very clear, but underwear involves smaller pieces of fabric which can be tricky).

 

Now, please note that there is a small error with the pattern as is: pattern pieces 3 and 4 should be cut on folded fabric so you have two mirrored versions. Follow the instructions as written, however step 3 should instead read “Lay the trunk front pieces on top of each other with one WRONG side facing one RIGHT side.”  From that point onwards, instructions are the same as before. This will mean that you’ll get self-fabric peeking out of the gap (unlike mine which has the white peeking through), but will have self-fabric on the bound piece facing the inside. This should make sense when you’ve got all the pieces in front of you.

It’s no real biggie and Morgan will be fixing the PDF version and sending it out to those of you who bought that version, and will be adding an errata to all the paper versions.

 

 

26

I made a freaking mens shirt!! Negroni by Colette Patterns.

So there I was, on a Saturday morning, saying to Mr. Guy “I really want to make you something, but don’t know what yet”. I have fabric for another Newcastle Cardigan (my first one here) but TBH I dislike the fabric – but he chose it and loves it so I will make it up. I have fabric for some Jedediah Trousers but haven’t traced the pattern yet. I also recently bought the Negroni Shirt but didn’t have any fabric for it – I always have a had time finding/buying/imagining “shirting” so have never bought any.

And then, I realised that of course I could use the linen I had set aside for shorts, for a shirt. Therefore, I can present: my first mens shirt.

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I really did think that this was going to take me several days, even two weeks, as I carefully made a muslin and slaved over the tailoring details of a menshirt. I find it odd that I can say this took me only two half days, including researching by reading the Mens Shirt Sewalong by Male Pattern Boldness, and downloading David Coffin’s e-book on Shirtmaking (use the code SHARE20 for 20% discount over the next few days).

I actually didn’t do a muslin at all (because I didn’t have any spare fabric!!) but I did make sure the yoke fit well. This was the first version – I measured his back between both shoulder points (I use the tip of the acromion) then measured the pattern pieces and starting with a small:

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It’s a bit tricky to tell because his tshirt doesn’t fit right on the shoulders, but the size small yoke wasn’t nearly wide enough – I unfolded the seam allowance and it was about perfect. That actually gave me exactly the medium size:

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Other than that, I also added 1.5cm to the shoulder seam on the yoke, and cut away a bit at the neckline-shoulder corner. I held up my front and back pattern pieces (traced to a size medium, which matched his chest and waist measurements) and they seemed to fit well; I also measured his arms to make sure the sleeves would be long enough. Then I just got cracking!

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I did make sure I took my time, getting the stitching square, my top- and edgestitching perfect, etc. I did have a problem with the collar being waaaaay too short, which confused me until I remembered that 1.5cm I added, and the fabric I took away at the neck-shoulder corner – this added a total of 6cm onto the neck seam, so I re-cut the collar (so I had no more mishaps like this dress, where the collar ended up being crazy ugly short. I wore this twice then took it to the op shop).

The good thing about sewing for others is that I really take my time, making sure I unpick and fix things that I would often let fly if I was sewing for myself (the bad thing is that sometimes I’m too scared to start; I’ve had some black merino to make my mum some leggings for almost a YEAR now). For this shirt I only needed my quick-unpick three times which is pretty good for me as my haste often breeds mistakes.

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I must say, I am so incredibly happy with this shirt. It’s one of the best (if not THE best) thing I have ever made. The whole thing in constructed without an overlocker or handsewing, yet there are no exposed seams; the instructions for sewing the yoke are brilliant and easily enclose all the seams (why doesn’t everyone use this method? Gertie why does your shirtwaist dress involve so much hand sewing??), and the shoulder, sleeve and side seams are all flat felled.

I did a proper sleeve placket which went together very easily, and I narrow hemmed the bottom without the special foot. After trying it several times and then being shown another method by Mrs. C, I’ve come to realise that the hem foot is basically a gimmick, and it’s much easier just doing it with the normal foot; folding as you go, then trimming and folding again, leaving the iron for the very end.

ImageI probably should have trimmed the neck/facing corner better as it isn’t pressing crisply

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The inside is as pretty as the outside 🙂

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(oops I took a photo of the uglier side – I forgot to pull the wee lever down on my buttonhole foot so there’s extra stitching)

You will have noticed the polka dots – I couldn’t help myself! I asked him whether he wanted the facing to be self-fabric, or the polka dot fabric I had left over from my latest Cambie (asked in a very leading way), and I decided to do the cuffs the same. I didn’t realise until later on that part of the facing would be visible when the shirt folds open at the top – but I like it! As Mr. Guy pointed out, it almost looks like a little bow tie. I also love the flash of spots when he rolls up the sleeves.

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It fits extremely well, for having basically no alterations from the pattern. It’s a slim fitting pattern which is good for my slim-fitting husband. I’m glad it has no darts in it because I’ve taken David Coffins words to heart for a mens shirt – that darts are “merely evidence of ill-cut side seams” (this doesn’t apply in womenswear, obviously). Even the length of the sleeves and body is perfect – he can easily tuck it in and it’s not too long to be worn untucked. We decided to leave off the pockets as it looked so good without them.

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Mr. Guy is also very happy with his new shirt – he’s already requested another “in parchment coloured linen with this exact texture”, not seeming to understand that it’s uncommon to find textured linen. I also asked him if he’d ever wear “crazy patterns” (although I don’t think he could quite pull this or this off) and he said “only if I match what you’re wearing” – ohh, be still my beating heart! I’ve been waiting to hear that ever since I found out about this couple who have worn matching outfits for the last 35 years (this is my favourite – I want a dress just like that!!).

You may have already recognised the fabric this shirt is out of; yes, we already have one matching outfit!

ImageCouldn’t quite get the photo even as the camera was balanced on a spherical boulder.

So, there’s my first foray into mens shirt-making. Now that I have a pattern that fits (and it fits WELL), I’ll be able to easily make up more shirts. I  have some fabric on the way, with which I’m planning to make a shirtwaist dress, so I might buy more to make us another matching outfit.

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Details

Pattern: Negroni by Colette Patterns, $18

Fabric: Navy linen, $3/m from sale = $6, plus polka dots leftover from a dress

Notions: Navy buttons, $4.20, interfacing and thread from stash

Total: $10.40 as is, $38.40 including pattern

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Photos were taken at the Koutu Boulders.