I have not had time to do much sewing lately, but what I have done, the sleepers and the little dresses, I have throughly enjoyed making. Now it was time to get down to business and get back to work on the altering of the my basic sloper pattern for some fun new summer shirts for myself. Not a fun task, but it is some sewing that I needed to do. With that, I pulled out my camp shirt pattern, a shirt with a collar and lapel, and laid it out on the cutting table.
Altering this pattern was really easy. I had already done all of the hardest altering work on my last pattern, the collarless v-neck shirt. Since I did not feel the need to reinvent the wheel, I laid the first pattern over the second pattern and made the same changes. I figured why not since the three collarless v-neck shirts I had made previously fit and wear well. So, with the alterations done so quickly, it was time to start cutting and then on to the sewing.
Looking through my stash photos, I quickly picked a fabric that I really liked to make this shirt out of. I figured since I was fairly secure about the alterations I had made that I would use one of my precious pieces of fabric. But just then, the voices in my head talked me out of it and for the most part I’m glad that they did, except it made this project more work for me and here is why.
Looking again at my stash photos, I picked another piece of fabric that I was not as fond of. After digging it out of the stash, I realized that it was not as large a piece of fabric as I thought it was. And as I laid my pattern pieces on the fabric they just did not fit. Rather than doing the right thing and returning to my stash photos to find a larger piece of fabric, the voices in my head said to just go ahead and make this fabric work. All I had to do was to cut the facings separately and not have them attached to the front of the shirt, and then the pattern would fit just fine on the fabric. I knew this was not a good idea, but the voices in my head said it would work out fine and to just do it. So, I did, and it didn’t.
After cutting the facings separately from the front of the shirt, I sewed the facings onto the front of the shirt. I then ironed the facings very carefully. The sewed on facings worked great at the buttons part of the shirt, but failed at the lapel part. At the lapel, the seam attaching the facings was obvious and ugly. So lesson learned. No, it is not ok to save fabric on a camp shirt and cut the facings separately from the front of the shirt and still have it look fine. It was ok though. After all, this was just a muslin test of my latest altered pattern, so I was not supposed to be happy with it.
Now since I was unhappy with the lapels, I wanted to see if I could spice the shirt up a little and see if I could still make it a wearable muslin. With this, I decided to make the sleeves white and add an embroidered pocket to the front. I figured that would draw the eye away from the ugly lapels. So I grabbed some white fabric that I had out already, but it was not large enough for the sleeves. Being lazy and not wanting to dig through the stash yet again, I decided to just add a band at the bottom of the sleeves and I like the end results. The band makes the white sleeves look more like a design decision not just an after thought.
I embroidered a nice Snoopy design on some of the left over white scraps from the sleeves, and made the front pocket with it. The pocket turned out really cute, but when I stitched it to the front of the shirt, I thought that it looked terrible. I could not unpick it from the shirt fast enough. I thought about embroidering the Snoopy design directly onto the shirt but opted not to. I just did not think it was going to look the way that I wanted it to in my head, so why not save the thread and stabilizer for another project later on.
Now back to what this shirt was originally made for, I have worn the shirt and it wore well. I still need to adjust the placement of the buttons a bit though. When I sit, the buttons are not where they need to be to let the front of the shirt gap a little. I also noticed that I needed the armscye a little deeper in the back on this shirt. I don’t know if this is an alteration issue or a fabric issue. This fabric is quite stiff and has very little give so it might be just that.
With this shirt completed, I should make another shirt to verify that the alterations made are working well, but this was not really a fun sew for me. And I just don’t want to make another shirt right now. Instead I want to go back and make more fun little dresses. So I think I will do that next instead of what I should be doing. I think that if I make something fun and then return to making another shirt from this newly altered pattern I will feel a little less stressed about it.
Until next time, sew forth and sew on!