Click on the Illustration above for more detail
I'm not sure I've ever spent so much time sewing one garment. But the time put in was worth it. Here's what makes me proud and happy, when it comes to this project.
1) Thank you Susan for all your work! The pattern fits really well. It's comfortable and flattering. I'm looking forward to making many more shirts with it. And after all Susan's work, I still managed to finish off the sleeves on my own, using my favorite front-of-the-bathroom-mirror technique! You know that one right? Yep, I use lots of pins, and try not to spill too many all over the counter, or worse yet in the bathroom, the floor.
That mirror is where I got that final fitting on the sleeve to work, when it was time to get on with the project - my first of three for my intermediate sewing class. There's a time to be fitting and a time to just use the mirror, figure it out, and start sewing.
BTW I'm not the first person to need a lot of alterations when it comes to this pattern. Good thing my buddy Susan worked so hard creating that muslin before I sewed this garment, unlike Sarah Sew who loved the results but can’t wear the shirt she labored over! Here's an excerpt from Sarah Sew’s review at Pattern Review "I would check your fit before finishing the shirt completely. Most patterns seem to run large, this one, however, seems to run small. Also the armhole is rather high. "
No kidding on the fit challenges, especially those armhole comments, Sara.
|Cute buttons, huh?|
You can see here, how the topstitching adds oomph!
I've also learned that multiple rows of topstitching add crispness/definition/body. I just can't decide on the best word for this, so I guess I'll go with oomph! My hem has two rows of stitching (stitch lengthof 3.0 or 3.5 is nice I think), and the front edge of the shirt has 3 rows.
a technique I've blogged about before, using stabalizer I normally use for machine embroidery to layout my buttonholes. When I have just a few buttons, I can use the scrap leftover from embroidery, but in this case, where I was sewing 8 buttonholes in a strip, I did use a brand new length.
4) I made some alterations I really like, both on the muslin and the actual shirt as I sewed it. Those include:
a) The cuff's were supposed to button in a traditional way - but I never really button longer sleeves shirts. First thing I do is to fold up my sleeves to just below the elbow. So why not start out that way, especially with such a casual style? I permenently turned these cuffs back, and sewed them down with unbuttonable buttons. The little sleeve placket gap I like to wear in a regular sleeve, is a feature of the shirt now.
b) The front placket was just a turn-under-twice deal. Maybe that's OK for those who button their shirts high, but I won't be wearing this shirt like that. When I tried turning under the placket and put the shirt on, the back of the fabric (a vague shadow of the print) showed at the open neckline. Ugh! So I created my own facing pattern from the bodice front.
c) I fooled around with how far the buttoning part of the front should extend beyond the buttons. Because I used these large, printed-pattern buttons I left it kind of wide. Then I did three rows of topstitching to give it a nice heavy edge. Ancha in my intermediate construction class has suggested I add another three rows of stitching on the other side of the buttonholes, and I'm planning to take her advice.
Yep, it was indeed worth putting my energy into sewing a practical and versatile garment. However since I finished it I have been inspired to do some breakaway, rule-busting sewing! You'll hear more about that soon