A new shirt for G.

I love liberty print fabric, but I can’t quite afford the mind blowing prices. For ages I drooled from a distance until I came across Katsfabric on ebay. As an ebay addict I had no problem buying fabric online and her pictures are always spot on –I also know the feel and weight of liberty fabric so don’t need to worry about taking this into consideration. I suppose it is different when I am buying other types of fabric where texture, weight, etc is as important as the colour/print. Anyway I just got these two lovely lightweight lawns from Katsfabric:

Image 2.5m of the Keiko

Image 3m of the Pepper


I love lawn – it’s great for summer and feels so silky. I got the Keiko to make G. a shirt but I’m hoping with a bit of economising I can also get a little blouse out of it for myself!

I’m making version A (short sleeves) of McCall’s M6044 and while I’ve used the pattern a number of times it’s always been the long sleeve version. I’m hoping that by not having to do cuffs, it will go quickly because here’s a confession: I find sewing men’s shirts boring. Yes that’s right boring.  Maybe it’s because G. is such a tall, large man and therefore there is just a lot of sewing for such a straightforward, un-complex shirt, but they don’t light my imagination on fire. That could also be the result of making way to many polka dot shirts (which I now refuse to make any more of). Anyway I think the short sleeve version in the Keiko lawn with look really nice and make a refreshing change from polka dots. [1]

Anyway before getting going I decided to have a quick review of the previous few shirts I’ve made him and remind myself of anything I wanted to differently this time around: The shirts could all do with a bit of an iron – but that’s more to do with care than construction. When I am not sewing me and the iron behave as though one of us has a restraining order…. Mm yes button holes need patience – must remember to take my time and practice more… Quick look on the inside… EGADS THOSE SEAMS ARE A MESS.

Seriously I’m embarrassed. I never bother to finish any of them and they are just so blah. I decided that given all the time I am saving by making this shirt short sleeved that I would make up for it by properly finishing the seams. After a quick purview of G.’s store bought shirts to see how they are all finished I realised that they are all done with French seams AND topstitched, twice. Haruph. I decided as a compromise to do French seams and top stitch ONCE. And you know what? It looks brilliant – I have a theory that this will affect how well the clothes continue to hang despite (or because) of my lack of ironing. So yes there you have it – I am well chuffed with myself.

ImageInside view of side seam

So I got through the sleeves, collar and hem without trouble. At last came to the button holes.  Heeding my earlier advice I remained patient, I made several practice holes on cut offs, and I took my time. And they came out … OK. They are not nearly as chaotic as on previous shirts, but they still don’t look wonderful. The only thing that puzzles me is they are the exact same size as my practice ones, on the same fabric, yet on a little on the tight side. Could that simply be because the shirt versus my practice fabric has interfacing?

I managed to use of some old buttons I had got in a great button hall when I last visited my aunt and although they are not identical, they suit the fabric perfectly! And its one more thing put to good use!

Anyway I am pretty pleased about how the shirt turned out and think it is my best in terms of construction. Maybe men’s shirts aren’t so boring after all.


[1] I feel I should put in a little caveat here that G. doesn’t always choose various blue polka dots and at my insistence last time in the fabric shop that he go for something bolder – he went for a red floral on a green background. Nothing like diving in at the deep end eh?


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