SAM 11 & 12

Ah, the shirt a month discipline is over! Not that I’m happy to see it go, it’s just nice to complete a long-term project. Reflections and re-cap will be the subject for another post. This one is just to record the final two shirts.

#11 – Kwik Sew 2935   This is the third shirt I’ve sewn for the Spouse from this Kwik Sew camp/aloha shirt pattern. This time I finally remembered to increase the seam allowances so I could make flat felled seams. Lots of people like the skinny KS seam allowances, but I really prefer either no SA, for easy alteration, or a full 5/8 inch that I can spot reduce if I want to.

Because the side seams were felled, I used little appliqued triangles on the inside to cover and reinforce the transition between the felled side seams (all pressed to one side) and the side vents. The seam allowances needed to be pressed away from each other, as if pressed open, to form the vents.

Full disclosure: I tried to match the pattern across the front but goofed in my thinking, because the match, she ain’t happening.

I loved the fabric used for this shirt – a hefty cotton dobby that came from Hawaiian Fabric. It was so easy to sew, and came out of the dryer looking great. With the busy print you can’t really see much detail, but all I did to prepare it for the photo was to press the collar points. The rest of the shirt didn’t even need a touch-up.

Since the fabric was heavier than usual for a shirting, it was a good test of Pam Erny’s latest tip on her Off The Cuff blog. You’ll have to scroll down to see the tip, I don’t know how to link to a single entry on Pam’s blog. Anyway, that technique worked superbly. Even with the thick fabric, I didn’t have to trim the corners down excessively. Thank you, Pam! P.S. I used her sew-in standard weight interfacing for both shirts in this post. Sew-in interfacing rules.

Coconut buttons from a forgotten source. Wish I could remember, because I had a big bag and am running out. I like aloha shirts and coconut buttons are of course perfect for the laid-back island vibe.

The final shirt: Ottobre 5-2012, #7 AKA Gardener. This is a longer shirt with a little shape and a raised waistline seam on the front. In the sample garment in the magazine, they did some color/texture blocking with co-ordinating fabrics. The upper fronts, collar, and sleeves were made from a plaid. The original had the front bands and breast pockets cut on the bias. I eliminated the collar and the pockets, and used the separate upper fronts to showcase some pintucking. The original had continuous binding where the sleeve meets the edge of the cuff. I replaced that with a real placket. Thanks to SAM I am confident now with making plackets and that’s nice because I like the look of them better.

Fabric for this one was cotton “Sunwashed Chambray” from Farmhouse Fabrics in a pearl gray.  Farmhouse describes it as “soft as butter”. I disagree with that description, unless your butter has body and is a little crisp.  I liked it very much, and am thinking of ordering a length in another color — just wouldn’t call it soft.

Shell Buttons from Pam Erny’s Fashion Sewing Supply.

I’ve read reviews of this shirt on PR that describe it as oversized. I don’t think it’s particularly roomy, just a little loose. I might make it even looser the next time, because it just seems like a long shirt shouldn’t hug you too closely. The fit was pretty good with my usual Ottobre alterations. My only quibble is that there is less “driving room” than I usually have with the Ottobre draft. Before I make it again I’ll compare to my other Ottobre shirt patterns and see what the difference is.

There you have it. A shirt a month in 2012, complete!


Sam #8 and Vogue 8810

The shirt for August is one for the spouse – hence the hanger shot instead of one on the dressform. This is Kwik Sew 2935, a short-sleeved sport shirt with convertible collar and back pleats.  Also included is a pattern for an “On Golden Pond bucket hat. This is the second shirt I’ve made from this pattern. The first one was an experiment…I made something I was pretty sure he never would have picked out (I used fabric with -gasp- a stripe in it!), but he actually wore it. Maybe he is just sucking up? But since the first one has actually appeared in public more than once, I made a second, in a fabric that is much more like what he would choose from a rack in a store. It has a stripe, too, but it is just a self-colored woven textured stripe, and I made a few other changes at Spouse’s request. The original design has a little button loop sewn at the top of the center front, to use if buttoning the very top button. Spouse found that fussy. He also did not liked the buttons on the chest pockets.

So for this iteration, there is a single pocket with no button, and no little loop. I actually liked the little loop, so I will use it on some shirts for myself. This new one has also been worn a few times, which has emboldened me to make more. Annie-Oh on PatternReview mentioned that she had been happy with the cottons she has ordered from Before you could say “aloha”, there were a few pieces on the way to my place. One piece earmarked for another one of these KS2935 shirts is a lovely barkcloth with an oriental print. It looks kind of purplish in the photo but is actually navy & eggshell. 

I also ordered another print for him, and one for myself, too…just to amortize the shipping costs. Yeah, that’s the ticket…

I have tried a few KS patterns for myself and they haven’t really worked for me, but this one is a winner.

Another recent project was from Vogue 8810.When this pattern came out, I thought it would adapt to make a nice top (no dresses for me) from a stashed lightweight cotton with a depression-era type print. The pattern bodice has a vintage vibe to me and just seemed right.

There were lots of changes made to make it work for that soft voile. Both bodice and back were enlarged below the bust so that it would not cling on the hip. The pattern has the skirt cut separately, so the bodice ends at the waist and had to be lengthened to be a top. I was not going to use the casing/drawstring, but decided to tame the fullness I had added with some pintucks at the waist. There are a total of 16 1/8 inch tucks, 4 on each side of both the front and back.

You get a nice bathroom mirror shot to show that it has a little shape – not too much. I’ve learned that I really need a forward shoulder & neck adjustment on just about every pattern, no matter who it comes from. The result is that now nothing ever sits right on the dressform, because old Red Sonja has better posture than I. What a difference that adjustment makes in the wearing of the clothes!

Now for a gripe on the Vogue pattern. YOU CANNOT MAKE A SLEEVELESS GARMENT JUST BY LEAVING OFF THE SLEEVES! I raised the bottom of the armhole 5/8 of an inch and it was not enough.  All the big 4 issue patterns where they show a sleeveless view, but there’s only one bodice. It just doesn’t work like that. I can still wear my cool little blouse, because I always wear a jacket when I’m in public, but this time I think the lesson is learned. In future I will always copy from a TNT sleeveless when they haven’t provided a bodice specifically for the sleeveless view.

Lastly, an update on the Vogue 8804 epic project. I have bought charmeuse lining in a tealy-steely blue and some yarns to crochet the trim. However. Turns out there is an error on one of the pieces of the three-piece sleeve. Vogue only included one size. I seem to recall that the last time Vogue issued a CS pattern with a 3-piece sleeve, they got that one wrong the first time, too. Word is that the pattern has been re-issued. I’ve e-mailed Vogue for a replacement, and got a response that something was wrong with their mailbox. I’m hoping that they can send me a replacement soon…if not, I’m deciding between forging ahead and trusting in my muslin, or switching to another similar pattern that I’ve made before and drawing on CS’s directions and the wonderful picture tutorial Ann Rowley has done on this jacket for construction details.

Anyone interested in this jacket, there’s a thread over on Stitcher’s Guild devoted to it. Links to Ann’s tutorial are sprinkled throughout the thread.

Happy sewing to you!