Sewing for my man! Ain’t he cute in his Negroni shirt?

I haven’t made anything for my guy in a while so I decided it was high time to try out the Colette Negroni shirt for him. I LOVE this pattern! I was worried since he is long and lean that the fitting would be off, but with some adjustments I think I nailed it! Isn’t he a stud?

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I have made several shirt dresses so I was prepared for the process of making this shirt. The directions were easy to follow, but some of the piecing and techniques were new. I think the most challenging part was figuring out the back panel facing and the front placket piecing together. It was a bit of a cluster f*ck for a while but somehow it magically fit together like a somewhat complicated jigsaw puzzle.

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I had two choices of plaid shirting for him to choose from and he picked this bold blue, pink and green plaid. I think it brings out his pretty blue eyes. His measurements were right between a small and medium, so I cut the shirt in medium and decided to just size it down from there. Some of the changes that I made were taking in the sides so that the shirt would taper in a bit more at his waist. He has a long thin torso so the shirt was slightly too baggy. The sleeves were also a bit too baggy and reeeally long. I took in the sleeves and cut about two inches off the sleeve length. I think I might have made them a hair short but they don’t look bad and he only complained a little bit, so lesson learned for next time. He is picky about the length of his shirts, and since this is a more casual weekend shirt he wanted it to hit right at his waist since he didn’t plan on tucking it in.

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I cut the back yolk against the grain so that the plaid would face the opposite direction. I love how it turned out! Chris had wanted me to add opposing plackets to the front which would have looked pretty groovy as well but unfortunately I didn’t have enough fabric to pull it off. I wish I had done the pockets like this as well but whatevs, maybe next time.

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I used snaps instead of buttons, he just doesn’t have enough snap shirts in his closet! I had a few snafus while installing these, I was enjoying a glass of wine while putting them on the shirt and I somehow hammered the wrong pieces together TWICE… luckily Chris is super handy and he busted out his pliers and removed them with no rips or crying from me. What a guy! he saved his Negroni! There is one snap towards the bottom that is slightly off, but I am so over messing with the snaps that he’s just going to have to deal with one imperfection.

In other news, our chickens are running around and laying eggs like crazy! I think we have four dozen eggs in our fridge, we can’t keep up with these ladies!

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Here Chris is with our favorite chicken Jamal, she’s so sweet.

I would definitely recommend this pattern, he has already requested another one so looks like the Negroni will be revisited. I am hoping it warms up sooner than later so that I can make him sleeveless ones and not mess with those cuffs!

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McCalls 6167 comfy tunic shirt and leggings

Now that winter has rolled in I am really trying to avoid the jeans and sweater rut that tends to happen with cold weather and laziness. I really love to wear leggings and boots because they are so comfy and always look cute and stylish, but I don’t have too many tunics. I have a weird complex with the length of items I wear with leggings, they aren’t tights so I don’t feel like I can wear anything too long or too fitted because I feel like I am wearing pants with a dress. On the other hand, leggings are more or less spandex pants, and if you wear something too short then it looks like your ass is hanging out or you just forgot to put on your bottoms. This is where the tunics come in, not too long, not too short. They are the goldie locks to leggings! I recently saw The StitchyWitch’s post on McCalls 6167 and I was totally inspired. I love how her version turned out, its cute, casual and comfy, but its a nice variation from jeans. I wanted to make this in a more lightweight material, so I found this white shirting material on fabric.com. It is real airy and has textured purple, blue and white dots, and it was on sale for like $3 a yard- booyah! I think it is still available right now too if anyone is interested.

I actually really enjoyed making this tunic. Lately I’ve been making super easy projects so it was nice to have something a little more challenging. I have made the Simplicity Lisette shirt dress 2246 previously, which btw I LOVE- I have worn the crap out of that thing! So having one shirt contruction under my belt, this one wasn’t too bad. The collar instructions looked a bit boggling upon first examination, but luckily they included a good picture guide. I actually think that the method they provided to piece together this collar is way easier and less hair pulling than the Lisette dress. I’ve been wanting to make another version of the Lisette shirt dress and I may reference these instructions once I get to the collar.

The cuffs were something new for me, they had the slit opening on the sleeve like a men’s shirt and had to have a “continuous lap” binding- maybe this is a common sewing term but it was my first encounter. The cuff was easy enough, it had to be folded in half, sewn and inverted. I can see how this instruction would be confusing but I brought my patience to the sewing table and got it workedout quickly. Unfortunately when I cut the slits on my sleeves I forgot to flip the pattern piece over so the slits would match up with my right and left hands- woopsies! Oh well, I like the look of the shirt with the sleeves rolled and tabbed better anyways. Live and learn…

And speaking of the tabs, I loved this feature on the tunic! As you can see, as usual I substituted pearl snaps for buttons. I am obsessed with these western style snaps, I just think they add so much more pizazz to a piece and are much easier to deal with for easy wear.

I am looking forward to breaking out my tunic in public, I am really pleased with the way it turned out. The beauty of these shirt based pieces is that you can remake them over and over again and make them look completely different each time. I am already planning on finding a cute bright plaid to try out on this pattern, I may add the pockets next time too…  Here is one last shot in front of our very fake and very vintage Christmas tree, it has seen much santa action over the years. My upcoming planned projects will be very Christmas themed and (poor) Harper might be getting a new doggy christmas outfit! Stay tuned…

 

 


Orange-ya glad for Seersucker? McCalls 4769

This has been one HOT ass summer in Louisville, we’ve had heat advisories and humidity that can melt tires. I have been crazy busy with school and work (the reason why I haven’t been posting much lately) but since I am stuck in these places for so many hours its nice to have some cute summer friendly outfits to wear while I am there. My downtown office is air conditioned, but since I work in a cubicle I find that in order to maintain my sanity I need to get out at lunch and go for a walk. Pants are just miserable in this heat so I have been trying to make more office friendly dresses. This McCalls 4769 pattern is a button down dress and it has a bit of Marilyn Monroe flair to the skirt which is so chic! I have really been wanting to try a seersucker number for a long time now so this one  made the cut!

I chose the sleeveless version as obviously this one provides the most relief with heat. I really really like the eyelet dress that the model is wearing, I have never worked with eyelet material and this is really inspiring to me. Oh well, I guess I will just add it to my growing list of projects… maybe someday!

I used orange seersucker since it seemed like a fun sunny summer color. Seersucker is kind of an oddball fabric, clearly it is made with cotton but since it is striped and has ridges it also wrinkles easily (but not as badly as linen). The plus is it is not heavy and won’t made you feel constricted. I decided to go with orange pearl snaps instead of buttons- can you tell I am obsessed with snaps? I just think they are so fun and add more spunk to a garment than buttons. These matched perfectly too!

This dress took me a while, but mostly because I haven’t had too much time to focus on it. It was kind of a pain, I cannot lie. I have made a button down dress before- posted https://mystitchnbitch.wordpress.com/category/shirtdress/. It was not difficult to make or interpret the instructions, but this dress was so interface happy it was unreal!!  There was interfacing in the collar, both plackets, and the facings for the collar and plackets all of which were long and narrow and had to be adhered in sections for incremental amounts of time. The time I spent adhering the interfacing was ridiculous, I refilled my Rowenta with water three times because the steam was flowing nonstop. I also let these dry overnight before sewing them because I just don’t like to work with wet pieces. Frankly, I think it was way too much interfacing, the next time I make this dress I would limit the interfacing to the collar and plackets only. I also noticed a lot of reviews on this dress people said they were confused with the directions for the collar attachment, I thought it was pretty straightforward, and if you had problems following the directions you could easily just wing it. 

The main dress pieces were simple, just normal darts in the bodice and attachment to the skirt. Now that I have Brother Sergio, I have been using him to finish all the seams and hems that I possibly can to make my garments more professional. This dress has pockets, and I decided I would go ahead and serge them on along with the front and back skirt seamed. Woopsies… I ended up messing up and the knife cut the pocket edge too far, it left a big hole at the bottom of the seam pocket. I used my Singer and fixed it by straight stitching outside the tear, but the effect left an odd pull on my seam. I don’t think it is too noticable though, I asked my husband to zoom in and take a close up of the flaw and he didn’t know what I was talking about until I physically pointed it out to him. I guess this just goes to show that we are our own worst critics.

In the end I am very happy with this dress, the bodice is a little bigger than I would like, but at this point it is not so big that I am going to spend anymore time making alterations- too many other projects, Next!! This is a cute dress, great for work or a brunch on a hot summer day. I would make this again in the eyelet fabric they featured but with less interfacing next time.