Friday, 26 February 2010

The shirt

On Thursday, I had the morning off work. I had weeded the garden, made bread and completed some other unusual virtuous householdish task before I realized that what I was really doing was avoiding THE SHIRT.
After a reviving medication with some Lindt ginger chocolate (in order to get over the shock of such profound self analysis) I finally made buttonholes, and sewed on the buttons, which were all that was left. The relief!
Here is my headless husband wearing the shirt over his kayaking clothes. You cannot see the bottom of the shirt because I have been forbidden to display the strange sight of a business shirt worn over board shorts.
The only reason I have a photograph modelled by my husband is that I am full of wifely brownie points as he is away for the next 3 days kayaking. We plan to watch girly movies and paint our toenails (after the swimming carnival), sounds hard, doesn't it? My son is not too pleased with this plan, but he will have to suffer.
I might do some sewing too.

The thing about boring, tricky sewing, is that it is much easier to do something else. Would you like to see how much knitting I have finished over the past 2 weeks whilst I have not been making this shirt?
No, of course not, instead I will show you some pattern matching. Please attend closely to the good bits and ignore the rest. This fabric may appear innocuous, but really it is a diabolical rectangular plaid, and only had any inclination to match in one direction.
I couldn't match the whole sleeve, so I matched at the top. I did some fussy cutting out of the collar and undercollar, but that was before I remembered that you have to stretch and shape the dratted thing, so it was a pointless exercise.
The back shirt yoke seam is quite strongly curved in this pattern (Vogue 8096 - adjusted- can't remember how much), and I was not able to match the pattern perfectly here. I chose to match in the centre, as I felt that was the most noticeable region.
I was very disappointed not to be able to use the diagonal for the yoke and button placket, as Kiltsnquilts,BetsyV and Elizabeth suggested. I am sure this would have made the shirt more interesting to make, but the rectangular plaid got to me there too, I cannot cope with asymmetrical diagonals, so had to wrestle with the regular matching instead.
In an attempt to make things a little more interesting, I used chambray cotton for the inner collar stand, and the inner parts of both button bands. I left a little chambray band sticking out once the shirt is buttoned, an idea I stole from a Country Road shirt, and I quite like the effect. What I don't like, is that if the shirt was pulled down with the buttons fully at the top in each buttonhole, those horizontal stripes would match perfectly. Just imagine the shirt has been put on properly could you? Why did I sweat over that?
I also used chambray for the sleeve plackets and for the inner cuff. My husband always wears his shirt sleeves rolled up, so I have to do something really obvious to the plackets for any decoration to be noticeable. Please excuse the blurriness of this shot, he was muttering " How many photographs do you need of one shirt?" by this stage, and I was worried the kayaking trip might turn into 2 weeks in the Whitsundays.
At this point I would normally whinge and whine about the rolled hems and flat felling, but since Elizabeth gently encouraged me to practice using these previously cantankerous feet, they both behaved very nicely for this project. I should practice tricky techniques more often.
Instead I will refer you to Elizabeth's expose of David Page Coffin's ridiculous seam allowance expectations. Please note I did not use any 1/8 inch seam allowances in this shirt!


Mary Nanna said...

very amusing post - and a great looking shirt that you can reclaim virtue points on frequently .. "see those dishes there, remember that shirt I slaved over for you.. now, about the laundry and the rubbish, remember that shir..."

Allison said...

What agreat job you have done on this project, especially considering that you were not all that keen on doing it. Very professional looking result!

What a funny post! Of course, a medicinal dose of Lindt choclate is totally to be expected under the circumstances!

Sharon said...

Love the shirt, the chambray idea and enjoyed your post immensely. Enjoy the wifey brownine points.

Carol said...

Well I think it turned out perfectly! I chuckled over your Lindt ginger chocolate because I have just discovered it (and the chili one, too). It makes a lot of things better. I keep forgetting to try the inner stand in a different fabric. I must remember for next time! Thanks for making me smile today.

Sue said...

Good work! He should be one happy man! ...and now for oestrogen hour while he goes and does his stuff... yah!

Gail said...

Great shirt. Will it be worn with a tie, or is 'business' more casual in the north.

KID, MD said...

It looks amazing! Love the way that you matched the back plaids. Very nice. I'd say it looked RTW, but it is definitively better. Also, Lindt chocolate is my absolute favorite medicine. I ran across some Cardamom flavored once that my sister brought home from Switzerland. It was the most amazing stuff ever. Of course, not available in the States. Sigh.

a little sewing on the side said...

What a funny post. The shirt turned out great, though!!

Little Hunting Creek said...

What a beautiful shirt! You deserve lots of brownie points for this one! Now I NEED some ginger chocolate

BetsyV said...

Awesome shirt! And I didn't realize the plaid wasn't square ;)

Uta said...

DH recently brought me about 1 kg of Lindt chocolate from Switzerland... Hmmm... I wonder whether he expects a shirt in return, now! Great looking shirt, btw.

Anonymous said...

It's a great shirt! I am very impressed. Can you post about your flat-felling, please? I have purchased the Elna "M4" snap-on flat-felling foot, which I believe is a 4mm flat-feller. But when I do it, even following NancyQW's tip (on PatternReview), or the video of the foot, it just doesn't work. The stitching doesn't seem to be in the right place. Is it needle position? What is it? Nancy also uses DPC's crazy seam allowances.

RuthieK said...

Very nice shirt. Great details without being too much. Lucky hubby.