A new shirt.

First off, thanks to all the people who’ve made encouraging comments about the skirt + cards.   I really, really appreciate the feedback.  Card ideas are still floating around in the air, and I really do plan to start an Etsy shop one of these days – but not until work dies down in March or April.  Speaking of which, I was going to post about my new shirt on Friday (seeing as I finished it Thursday night for that express purpose), but work got in the way.  I will be one very happy program coordinator when the last visiting students have visited, the last acceptance letters have been received, the last rejection letters have been sent out, and fall 2007 recruitment is OVER. 

For my first “real” shirt-sewing experience (unless mom remembers otherwise), I picked a Simplicity/Built by Wendy pattern that I thought looked cute and kinda simple.  Wrong-o.  It’s probably not hard for an accomplished sewer, but there were plenty of tricky bits (little gathers, finished edges, facing, etc.) that required some patience + repeat sewing.

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*Sorry that the colors are terrible again.  It’s a huge pain to try to adjust five photos so that the colors match and are realistic, and the yellow/red tint is very persistant.  The green fabric is a lot cuter than it looks!

**The shirt also fits better than it looks here – the neck area is flatter if/when I finally manage to add the button at the back.

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I further complicated things by deciding that the short sleevelets shown on the pattern cover didn’t go with the rather fall/winter colors of the shirt, so I chose the other sleeve pattern, made them a little shorter, and added the fabric band at the bottom.

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If you make this shirt, I really advise making the bias neckline strip (and sleeve edging, if you add it) a lot wider than the pattern shows.  I don’t know why patterns include instructions like “fold fabric 1/4 in. back and press” instead of giving you a bigger piece of fabric and a bigger fold.  Have you ever tried to press a perfect 1/4 inch fold without singeing your fingers off??

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Another modification was to take out the ties at the back of the neck (which are always so bulky under a sweater) and add a button closure.  Well, a planned button closure.  I really wanted to wear my new creation last Friday but was too tired to change anything on Thursday night so I wore it the first time buttonless.

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The final change I made to the pattern was to add ties on the back.  The shirt is quite loose, in a way that looks (on me at least) a little more Liz Lange than Liz Claiborne.  Okay, that’s a bad comparison, so let’s just say it would work well as a maternity shirt…and that’s not really the look I’m going for at the moment.  The ties help, but it’s still pretty roomy around the midsection (I think it got a few “is she or isn’t she” looks on Friday).  Garr.  Wearing a sweater kind of helps, but then you can’t see the results of my hours of sewing.  So after all that, I’ve decided that if I make the pattern again, I will probably a) choose the dress version, so I can add the belt/tie, or 2) be pregnant and making a genuine maternity shirt.

Also, if you’re interested in seeing real-life versions of other Built by Wendy/Sew-U patterns, this girl does a really good job.  I especially like this and this.  She even made a really cute red version of the Amy Butler kimono robe!

Coming tomorrow: a tutorial for making fabric bracelets, the other project of last week/weekend.

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