Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sew U shirt


Here's the shirt I finished over the weekend -- I used the shirt pattern from the book Sew U (size L). This is my first button-down shirt, and I was surprised at how easy it was to make. Sure, I had to rip and re-sew the collar stand before I actually understood how it worked, and sure, I spent most of Saturday afternoon cursing about buttonholes, but really, it wasn't hard. If I were truly brainy, I would have learned from Lori Z's experience and cut the front facing on the bias, just for visual interest.


The fabric is 100% cotton ("Downtown Dot" by Alexander Henry); I started with two yards and there's plenty left over. I used very light pink thread and six thrifted pink buttons. (It's true: no buttonhole for the very top button. I figured I'll never do it up anyway, and making buttonholes sucks. You caught me. I'm a cheater.) I omitted the front darts (the ones that aren't the bust darts), since I didn't want a sleeveless summer shirt that looked too tailored. Next time, I'd also omit the interfacing from the buttonhole strip and use snaps instead of buttons. I'd also use a slightly drapier fabric -- this one is sold as quilting fabric. It's nice and crisp, which would be perfect for a tailored shirt with sleeves but is a little stiff for the casual shirt I had in mind. But it's only been washed and dried once, so it will probably continue to soften.


Another success. I have another sleeveless shirt that I love, which I'd bought at a thrift store a long time ago, and it's getting a little thin. I've been wanting to copy it, and this comes pretty close. A sleeveless (or short-sleeved) shirt is so versatile, since you can throw a cardigan over it in the fall.

In knitting, I'm speeding through the front piece of the Josephine Top. (Bill and I are watching season two of The Sopranos in the evenings, and we often end up watching three in a row, and that's a lot of knitting time.) When I finished the back piece I felt a twinge of Second Sweater-Piece Syndrome, but I cast on right away for the front.

26 comments:

chez shoes said...

You did buttonholes - you are a sewing rockstar! These things impress me, you know, because I still haven't worked up the courage to play with the buttonhole attachment on my machine.

Love the shirt and the fabric!

shannon said...

when your favorite, thrifted, sleevless shirt is finally done, you can carefully rip it apart at the seams for a pattern...

looks great! i can't sew clothing to save my life, but man, my house is full of pillows!

Nicola said...

Mmmm, I *love* your fabric. One of these days I will get my poor neglected (barely ever used in fact) sewing machine working on something just as lovely.

lori z said...

as cute as quilting fabric is, it really isn't made for drapey shirts hunh? too bad.

because I get lazy about button holes and buttons, I often don't put the buttons and corresponding holes higher than I will use them. ie: none on the collar or a few inches below.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! You are my inspiration! I need to blow the dust off my old horse.

Thanks for the pictures.
The top is lovely!

big geek beth

Andrea said...

I really like the new shirt, you find the coolest fabric too!

Barbara-Kay said...

You did a great job!

A word of advice from an old seamstress: you'll still want the interfacing in the fronts, even with snaps. It adds stability, keeps the snaps from pulling holes in your shirt, and keeps the front edges from stretching out of shape. This is especially important if you choose a bias cut for style interest.

lyssa said...

fab-u-lous!

yowza! i'll have to pick up a copy of Sew U once my summer settles down and i'm able to rip out the sewing machine.

i'm thrilled with your top. the fabric is way cute.

Chris said...

It's really cute! I bet it will soften up a lot as you wash it.

Hey, how's that writing going?

LaurieM said...

You've opened my eyes to the usefulness of sleeveless shirts. I've always liked them, but thought that they were a one season item. Thanks!

Yours is very cute.

Cindy said...

The shirt is great, but I'm more envious that you're only on series 2 of The Sopranos. I sat and watched them all up 'til the last one and I loved watching two or three a night. What a show!

Cindy (UK)

Jessica said...

Another sewing success! Looks great.

jodi said...

Awesome! I love this, and love your corduroy dress too.

Veronique said...

I've always looked in wonder at the buttonhole attachment for my sewing machine... I'm impressed that you jumped in and made perfect buttonholes!
And that your top fits perfectly!

Kristi said...

I think that fabric is adorable, and it's a cute shirt.

Nicole said...

Looks awesome! Thanks for sewing something with a button placket. I need to get confident and try it.

pamela wynne said...

SO cute!! Great work, and I love that Downtown Dot fabric. Also, the quilting cotton definitely softens with washing. :)

melissa said...

this turned out so cute!

Stacey said...

what a cute shirt! it looks like you bought it at a store!

jill said...

Another terrific FO. Reminds me I have less than 2 weeks to whip up something for vacation. Yikes!

Veronik said...

That looks great. You're also inspiring me to get my machine out and sew something.

Incidentally, Mars and I are also watching Sopranos season 2 right now. The final finale send us scrambling for the old stuff!

Kathryn said...

That shirt is gorgeous! Kudos!

Elizabeth said...

That shirt is so cute - not quite as cute as the corduroy dress, but still awesome. You're the sewing goddess lately!

Carrie said...

Yay, we're doing the Sopranos on DVD too. It's the best knitting TV EVER.

Your sewing is fabulous!

Romi said...

I particularly love the fabric. Nice job!

Jenni said...

I really like it! I was plannning on cutting this pattern out today! It is nice to see one put together...it looks great and I love the fabric.

I've made a couple of the skirts in the book so far, but like you, I have never made a button down with a collar before. I am a bit scared!