Thursday, August 1, 2013

Finished Negroni shirt!

I'm not sure how to go about this review. If you want to know how I feel about the Negroni pattern, A+. If you want to know how I feel about the completed shirt I made,'s a C. Maybe a B if it's Friday and the teacher is feeling generous because it's almost the weekend.

By the way, this fabric (a linen/rayon blend from Jo-Ann's) is impossible to photograph. Half the time I couldn't even see it with my bare eyes. Some of these pictures are purposefully overexposed because that was the only way you can see any detail.

As the person who sewed the shirt, of course I can only focus on the negatives. The pockets aren't even, the sleeves are too long, one cuff opening is smaller than the other...but there are good things, too.

Next time I'll put the pockets on last.

The chest fits well, the length is just right, and it's constructed well. It was the first time I'd done a real sleeve placket, and my first patch pockets, oddly enough. It's probably the sturdiest garment I've ever produced, thanks to the flat-felled seams, and it was also my first time with those (they weren't so bad!).

Flat-felled side seam.

I spent a loooooong time on this shirt. We had a few rainy days and that meant I stayed inside and sewed a lot. And then our house got hit by lightning and I had LOTS of time to finish it!

The day it was done and I discovered the issues with the cuffs and the sleeves, I was feeling very down about the whole thing. There's nothing worse than spending ages on something that doesn't turn out how you hoped. I went out to run some errands and had this in my mailbox:

My Grandma sent it to me, along with a letter saying that I had made it for her a long long time ago. She said that she thought she should keep it until I was a famous seamstress, but that I might want to have my first project.

To say that this letter made my day would be an understatement. It was such a nice reminder that putting love into a gift I've made is more important than how it looks. Sounds cheesy, but there it is.

But let's get down to the nitty gritty!

The instructions for this pattern are excellent. There is a sew-along over at Male Pattern Boldness, but I only used it once to double check that I understood about how to flat-fell the armscythe seam. The changes I made to the pattern are noted in this post. In the future, I'll shorten the sleeves a little and also triple-check the way I cut the sleeves. I think I cut them incorrectly and that's why the cuffs ended up so wonky.

I omitted the loop at the neck. The other two changes I made had to do with the front facing (by the way, a facing is a lot easier to deal with than a placket like on Simplicity 2447). The instructions have you double-fold the raw edge and stitch it down to itself. I was afraid of too much bulk and decided to use rayon seam binding instead. This was my first time using this stuff and it. is. awesome! Easy to use, presses so well, and looks nice when you're done! Sorry it's red...I bought it to use with another project so it doesn't match this shirt.

I also slipstitched the facing to the shirt. It was only secured in the shoulder seam, hem, and buttonholes, which meant I had an unsightly facing flapping around with visible interfacing. Yuck. The slipstitching didn't take too long once I got into a rhythm with it, and you can't see it from the outside.

It may be a while before I make another one of these. I'm still reading Shirtmaking and the instructions for drafting your own men's shirt pattern are pretty good. I may start with the Negroni and go from there to make a sloper for my husband.

Now that this is done, I'm sure I'll be back at my forgiving, easy-to-love knits! Have you done any sewing for men? How did it turn out?

It's Thrifty Thursday! Snatch up the Varsity Cowl-Neck Pullover for $4 today only, at Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop. See my review of this great pattern (perfect for fall!) here. Be sure to check out the rest of the fall line, there are lots of cute patterns!

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