Peachskin Blaire Shirt

I made another shirt – something new and different for me (read in a sarcastic voice!)


It is, however, a new to me pattern – the Style Arc Blaire Shirt. I had admired this pattern for quite a while and bought it last year and I finally made plans to make it during the Summer and ended up making it in September, when it was still relatively warm here.

I like the shape of the side seams and the under layer, though I did get a little confused by the instructions and was paranoid that I had done it wrong until it was basically finished. This was my first Style Arc pattern and I have to say the instructions are sparse to say the least – I think it fitted on one side of A4 in 2 columns. Luckily I’ve made a lot of shirts and this pattern doesn’t have some of the trickier parts of shirt-making, like cuffs and plackets and the collar seemed pretty simple to put in. I think this would be doable as a first shirt, though.

The fabric was this mustard with a geometric blue and white pattern peach skin from Fabric Godmother but she doesn’t seem to have it any more, sadly. This was my first time working with peachskin and I kind of like it – I don’t know about the fibre content, but I assume it’s synthetic as it does make me slightly sweaty without necessarily making me warm, but I like the drape and the slinky-ness. It was a little slippery to cut and sew, but it wasn’t as slippery as the crepe I used for my Mercury Trousers, so it seemed okay coming off the back of making those!

Another way the Blaire is a little simpler than, say, the Archer or the Melilot, is that there is no yoke or pleat on the back, so you don’t have to worry about any burritos!

I made the straight size 8, without making any changes and I’m happy with the fit – as you know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I like looser-fitting tops and particularly shirts. You can’t really see that there is a seam across the middle – I think when (probably when, not if) I make it again I might pay with the directions of stripes or with some colour-blocking.

I sadly didn’t have any outtakes from this photo shoot, which is a shame because it’s my favourite part of my blog posts. 😦

I think I’ll definitely keep my eye out for a fabric to make another shirt next year when the weather warms up again. And I do kind of want to make the shirt dress version – I don’t actually own any shirt dresses, which is weird considering I like shirts so much!

 

 

Cropped Kalle Shirt

I’m finally blogging my Kalle shirt, which I think I made mostly in March and then finished in April (i.e. took about 3 weeks to get around to adding the buttons!). I love this shirt! If you’ve read my blog for a while (or looked at my handmade wardrobe archive page) you will see that I like making shirts and have made a few different patterns. This was my first Kalle but I predict it won’t be my last. I wish I lived somewhere that was warmer more of the year so I could justify a couple of the shirt dress version, but I already have lots of dresses I  never wear, so maybe more cropped versions and some tunic versions are in my future.

I made the straight size 6 based on my measurements and made no adjustments, and I’m pretty happy with the fit. I think I have a long body, so maybe next time I would add a couple of inches to the front hem (and maybe the back hem to keep them in the same proportion) to make it just a little less cropped, but I do love it. I just need to make more high-waisted trousers to wear it with!

I bought this fabric from the Sewing Bee Live from Higgs and Higgs. I can’t find it on their website, and Sew Over It have sold out.  It was kind of a last minute purchase – I’ve got a certain amount of money out to spend on fabric and hadn’t spent it all by the end of the day, so I bought it for my last £20 (it was £10 per metre) and I’m so glad I did! It has a really nice drape and although monochrome might be a bit boring, I’m sure I’ll get a  lot of wear out of this once the weather is warm enough – though I could wear it with a vest underneath.

I made the version with the hidden button placket, and I’m so glad it actually worked this time, unlike when I tried it on my first Deer and Doe Melilot shirt. The instructions were great, very clear. And it’s great that she gets you to sew the button holes as soon as you’ve made the placket so you’re not wrestling a finished shirt through your machine to make the buttonholes.

I really love the giant pleat on the back – it gives the back a really nice, swingy shape. I’m glad I picked a drapey fabric for this, though I’d be curious to make it with a more structured cotton or something.

I really do love the shape of the hem – and sewing the hem facing was super easy. I was worried it would all go wrong and not sit nicely, but the drafting and the instructions are spot on.

Sadly I don’t have any outtakes today, boo! I took these photos myself using my tripod and timer and it tends to be when The Boyfriend takes the photos that I end up with some great photos!

I may be pretty late to the Kalle party, but I really do love it. I also love shirt making in general – I like all the topstitching, as it makes me feel like a boss when it goes well and the stitching is all straight. And I like that shirts are more involved than some projects (not that I don’t love a quick win sometimes) and handily I love wearing shirts, so it’s lucky that I don’t mind making them. I have the Style Arc Briar next on my list of shirt patterns to try, but I’m looking for the perfect fabric.

Do you make shirts? Is there a particular type of garment you love making?

 

 

Honeycomb Shirt (and my first time pattern testing)

I recently did my first bit of pattern testing, for CocoWawa Craft’s newest pattern the Honeycomb shirt (and shirtdress). I’ve met Ana a couple of times and she is as lovely in person as you would imagine, so I was thrilled when she asked me to pattern test for her. I’ve made quite a few different shirt patterns before and I was excited to give a new one a go. I haven’t pattern tested before because, although I’ve seen calls put out for testers a few times, I’ve always worried that I wouldn’t find the time to make the pattern in time. Especially as my output is quite a bit lower this year than it has been in the last couple of years. But I did get it done in time, phew!

The pink fabric is some mystery drapey stuff I’ve had in my stash for years – I originally bought it from Rolls and Rems on Holloway Road, which I think might not be there any more. I used some of this fabric to make one of my very early makes, a Grainline Scout Tee (long since consigned to the charity shop) and I lined a Tilly and the Buttons Delphine skirt for the #SewDots initiative last year or the year before. I think it was a good choice for this pattern as it’s quite loose fitting (which is, handily, how I prefer my tops to fit) so I think it benefits from a bit of drape.

I made the shirt version as since I changed jobs (from a boring office job to rolling furnishing fabric) I’ve not worn so many dresses. I already have a couple more dresses cut out and didn’t think I really needed any more – I definitely need more separates. I made it in the size 3 (which is a UK size 10) as this was the size closest to my bust and waist measurements – my hips were a little big for the size, but there is so much ease there that I figured it would be fine. I also left off all the ties which can be included with the shirt or the shirtdress as they’re not really my style. I also made the short sleeves so I could wear this in this weird warm weather we’ve been having recently – the fabric is quite thin so not the best for Autumn/Winter.

I feel that the short sleeves are a little long on me – I am only 5’3″ so it might be that I have short arms. I might take them up a bit the next time I’m at my machine and have white thread in it.

The instructions were really easy to follow and I would definitely recommend this as a first shirt pattern to make – there is a grandad collar rather than a collar with collar stand and there aren’t sleeve plackets on the short sleeves. There are also some nice seam details which would allow you to adjust the fit to be a bit closer if you wanted.

Heh, I like how the wind caught the peplum skirt. Also, not sure what I’m doing with my face in the below photo!

The buttons were some I had in my stash – they’re leftovers from my Kalle Shirt, which I haven’t got around to blogging yet.

I did enjoy my first time pattern testing – I had enough time to make the shirt in time for the deadline and the pattern came together really easily. I’m not sure I had any particularly useful feedback, though. But I guess pattern designers try to have the pattern as finished as possible before it goes to testers, so I wouldn’t expect ti find major errors or anything. Maybe I’ll sign up to pattern test again in the future.

And this week’s outtake….

 

 

Black and Cream Spotty Melilot

I’ve made another Melilot – I’ve made a long-sleeved and a short-sleeved version before – and I still love this pattern. And shirts in general – hence my plan this month to make a Closet Case Patterns Kalle.

I made the size 38, as I have both times before and the fabric is this lovely cream cotton with black spots on from Sew Over It. Sadly they don’t have it in stock any more. I ordered it online a few months ago – I tend to order a bunch of fabrics at once and then it takes me probably 6 months to sew through it all!

I decided to make another long-sleeved version because this Winter seems to be going on forever! And I figured I could wear it with a jumper or cardigan in the Winter and then without in the Spring – here in the UK we don’t get very much Summer where I want sleeveless/short-sleeved tops so I hope this will be a good addition to my wardrobe which will get a lot of wear.

Probably my favourite thing about this pattern is the shape of the hem and how it goes up at the sides and is lower at the back than the front. I just think it’s really flattering.

I think I messed up the collar a bit. Well I know that I did. I stitched the collar stand to the collar too early and had already trimmed the seam allowance, then had to unpick it and stitch it again so I think something got a bit pulled out of shape. So the 2 sides of the collar are closer together in the middle than on my other versions and while it doesn’t look really terrible, I notice it. #SewingPerfectionist

Looking at these photos, the buttons are maybe a little big compared to the size of the spots but I quite like them anyway. I sneakily stole them from the Dressmaker’s Ball last year as they were sprinkled on the table as cute sewing-themed decorations. Luckily I nabbed enough for a whole shirt!

One of my favourite things about making shirts is all the top-stitching. It’s so satisfying when you do it neatly in the first go – and it forces me to slow down, which is always a good thing I think. There’s no point rushing for the sake of it and then having to re-do things multiple times – less haste, more speed as they say.

As well as messing up the collar slightly, I totally messed up the cuffs. I remember finding the instructions for the plackets a little confusing and I found them equally confusing this time – in fact you might argue I found them more confusing given that they ended up fastening the wrong way – from back to front instead of front to back. It’s not a massive problem that renders the shirt unwearable, and I’m sure no-one will really notice, but it’s a shame I didn’t realise my mistake until I’d already sewn (and cut) the buttonholes. Oh well.

I think my next version of the Melilot will be another short-sleeved version, so I avoid the issues with the placket!

 

 

White Archer Shirt

I made another Archer! I’ve made 2 before and I wear them pretty often – the flowery one for some reason feels more work-appropriate and the spotty one seems more casual, though I don’t really know why!

I feel like there probably isn’t too much to say about the Archer, now this is the third time I’ve made it. I made the size 4, as I have before, but this time I took 2.5cm off the shoulder pattern pieces to raise up the sleeves a little and make the shoulder seam sit more on my actual shoulders. The fabric is from The Great British Sewing Bee Live, from a shop called Holland and Sherry and it’s got a really subtle herringbone pattern in it. And it’s nice and thick.

For some reason I made the vast majority of this shirt in November but when I mentioned it in my planning post, I hadn’t done the buttons and button holes. I did most of this back before Christmas (I can’t remember when exactly) but I forgot the cuff button holes and buttons, so it languished as a UFO for a couple of months until the weekend before last I finally had white thread in my machine and did the last 2 button holes.

I did wear this to work but I wore it with my suit refashion trousers and it definitely gave me school uniform vibes – my uniform was grey trousers, white shirt, royal blue and gold tie and a black blazer! I think if I wear it with other colours then it won’t be quite so bad. Everyone has a white shirt in their wardrobe and I never think they look like they’re wearing a school uniform.

I used the second cuff option on the pattern, with the corners ‘missing’ and I’m really glad I did.

Here’s a shameless close up of my topstitching, which I think it amongst the best I’ve ever done. Which is lucky because this fabric did not like being unpicked – there were pretty much permanent holes wherever the needle went in.

This is my sort-of-outtake from this photoshoot – I took a whole bunch of photos and then looked at them and thought I should really iron the shirt as it looked soooo wrinkley!

I’m definitely glad I now have a classic white shirt – a definite wardrobe staple! Also I’m wearing a navy blue vest top underneath (because I was already wearing it) and you can’t see it, so it’s great to know the fabric is pretty much thick enough not to show it!