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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Kensington Gardens Shirt - Terminado!/Finished!

Hey look what I finally finished!
Love wearing it too. Great over jeans and fitted trousers.
I have not completed a lot of sewing recently, but I have been making a concerted effort to get more sewing time in.  Because I just missed time at the machine, as well as finishing and enjoying new garments. 
I call it my Kensington Gardens Shirt in honor of that wonderful park in London, where you find the Peter Pan statue. The contrast fabric is William Morris Strawberry Thief. The green material is also Liberty of London, but I don’t know what design it is, or if it’s one of the old classics like the Strawberry Thief.

I had this shirt cut out probably two years ago  - from my No. 1 Lady's Detective Agency pattern (much altered B5526). After cutting it out, I tucked it away and more or less forgot about it.  

A few months back, I dug it out because - hey I can't let Liberty of London fabric go to waste! I have been sewing it off and on for something like two or three months. Just tiny snips of time. Finally I pushed myself to put in blocks of time, and finally it is done. Hooray!

This project has really reminded me you have to have confidence about resolving sewing challenges - I had more than one.

I had an awful lot of problems with things like laying the button holes out iregulalrly (yup I measured - but then I did something funny....) - so I added more buttons in between, sewed the right strip on top of the left, and now all the buttons are decorative. I pull it over my head to put it on, and that works just fine. 

I really disliked this shirt for a while. I altered a lot of aspects of the pattern style, and it was cut too big and loose for the floaty fabric-  but now I like it a lot. Isn't that always amazing when a project goes from potential wadder to wardrobe enhancer? I just have to be careful not to wear it over full pants because of the loose cut. 

Part of my other challenges were... the Liberty of London Tanna Lawn material is very fluid so I added quilt batting to the collar (used the collar band only) and the part down along the front facing because even with interfacing it was limp. Then I did some very simple machine straight stitch quilting. 

At one point I considered taking some waist tucks, which looked like they'd work out as well - like I did on the purple check Kaufaman gingham plus Liberty of London Mauverina print contrasts using this same shirt pattern about 2.5 years ago.  But I started to get used to the looseness, and am now happy with it. Can always take those tucks down the road if I change my mind.

Oh - I also changed the cuffs from the original under elbow cuff with placket , to a simple band of the Strawberry Thief that I sewed in print side upside down, then seamed along either (pressed) edge, then ran wide elastic in and turned up. After that I simply sewed the rest of the underarm seam. (I have a feeling I did something more permanent to make that cuff stay in place.....) I always push my shirt sleeves up, so 3/4 sleeves are better for me. And these cuffs hit me just right, a touch below the elbow, or I can push the elastic up just above the elbow,  if I'm in the mood.

Collar and front band are stabilized with both quilt batting and fusible interfacing
How about that pin?
Who knows how long that's been floating around in my costume jewelry collection.
It really helps make the shirt.

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