Sunday, 9 August 2015

At last! A new shirt

How has your weekend been? I'm going back to work tomorrow after two weeks of annual leave. Ah well, all good things have to come to an end! I managed to sew up a new shirt, something that's been on my 'To Do' list for a wee while. I really like my new shirt.

Yep, it's very floral! and full of unusual-for-me colours like acid yellow and full-on red. Thankfully they're scattered around the floral design in a manageable amount for me!

I decided I needed a new shirt pattern, just something a little bit different from the last shirt I made. Actually, it's the only shirt I've made since I restarted sewing so it's about time I made another one. I want to have a few go-to patterns I could sew a variety of shirts from depending on the fabric. If the fabric is patterned, I want a shirt that has darts for shaping, not panels. For plain fabrics, I'm happy with princess seams for shaping and to add some interest to a garment.

So after having a good look around I chose McCalls 6436 which includes separate pattern pieces for different cup sizes. I made view D, there was no point adding pockets, they'd just get lost in all the flowers! This is an excellent pattern and I thoroughly enjoyed making this shirt. I tissue fit the pattern pieces to me so the only adjustment I made was to lower the bust dart by 1". Apart from that, I sewed it up as per the pattern. This pattern comes out big, I cut out a size smaller than my measurements indicated, but it's still come out roomy. To be fair, the description on the envelope does say it's loose fitting.

As luck would have it, I found the right buttons in my button tin. I had enough for the front but not enough to do the two cuffs, so used two black buttons of a different style. I tried different coloured buttons but the black were the best, they didn't fight with the pattern!

The fabric is a 100% viscose that I bought from Remnant Kings in Edinburgh. It's a lovely weight and more dense and heavier than other viscose I've used before. I used a single layer of soft iron-on interfacing for the button/buttonhole bands down the front and for the collar I used two layers of soft iron-on interfacing to get the right weight. I'm really happy with how the collar has turned out, it's make-or-break part of any shirt.

 Shaping is by two bust darts in the front and two fish-eye (?) darts in the back. This gives the right amount of shape and removes any danger of a shapeless sack, thank goodness!

There are two piece sleeves which I've never come across before in shirts. The seam joining the two parts together stops a good 3" before the edge. This slit means you don't have to sew a placket (hurray!) at the cuff. I really love that detail. I'm not sure if you can actually see any of this in the photo but here it is. There's a pleat on either side of the cuff opening.

 Remember how I said that I didn't make any adjustments to the pattern except to lower the bust dart? Well, if you're thinking of making up this pattern I will say that I'm 5'9" tall and this shirt comes out loooooong. So much so that when I came to hem it I cut off 9cm in length from the body. 9cm!!! I recut the hemline using the pattern pieces. The next time I make it, I'll be reducing the body length by 9cm...*does double take*...shortening the length...weird for me!

So, have you got 'pattern plans'? Or maybe a shirt in the pipeline? You can't really go wrong with this pattern, it's a winner and I'll definitely be making it again.

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