Here's my project for Round 4 for Sew Mama Sew's Super Online Sewing Match. This round, we made the Negroni Shirt by Colette Patterns. I've been wanting to make a shirt for my boyfriend, Phillip, for awhile now, so I was excited to have a go at this pattern. This is actually the very first men's shirt I've made!
I wanted to make it a little more interesting while also being something that Phillip would actually wear (read: nothing too crazy or girly-looking). He really likes western shirts so I decided to go that route. I looked at a bunch of vintage western shirt patterns on Pinterest and decided I would change the yoke in the back to be more decorative and add matching ones to the front. I also changed the shape of the pocket flaps to mirror the shape of the yoke and I added piping to the edges of both to make them stand out a little more. As you can see, I cut the yoke, pocket, and button placket on the bias.
Using Peter's tutorial on Male Pattern Boldness, I added a button placket, collar stand, and a new collar. I didn't think it would have a proper western look without them. It was surprisingly easy and it makes the shirt a bit more versatile. I think the most difficult part for me was figuring out how to cut out the plaid properly. I don't know how many tutorials I looked at online before I was brave enough to cut! Luckily it all matched up nicely when I sewed it together. Phew!
Instead of buttons, I used black pearl snaps to complete the western look. I liked the look of white snaps on this shirt and almost got those, but Phillip wanted the black ones. Actually, I think they look really nice too and are a little more masculine.
Here's a view of the back yoke. I did the same little triangular cutouts as the front yoke. I was hoping to do something a little different from the typical pointed yoke on western shirts but also keep it understated and masculine. What do you think, did I succeed?
Here you can see the cuff and the sleeve placket. The original sleeve pattern was very long and baggy on Phillip's arms, so I altered it to take out some of the extra fabric and also shorten it a bit. It took a lot of fiddling with the sleeve pattern to find the best fit! Because of that, I think the sleeves took the most time out of any part of this project.
Here's a shot of the hem. I had to shorten the hem quite a bit to fit Phillip (he's kind of petite). Luckily, that's a simple fix (unlike the sleeves)!
Here's a view of the inside side seam. This was the first time I made a shirt with flat-felled seams and it was surprisingly easy. Yay for learning a new skill!
Here's the inside view of the sleeve. This was also the first time I've done a flat-felled sleeve. I was a bit confused at first but the pattern directions were really clear and well-written (as the Colette patterns always are) so I eventually got it. It makes such a nice inside finish!
I did have a few challenges with this project. First of all, I wasn't able to find fabric that both of us liked in our town, so I had to wait a few days to go check out some stores in San Luis Obispo. I found this blue plaid fabric that both of us liked and it was great, but then between work and having out-of-town friends staying with us, I didn't get to actually sewing the shirt until Saturday! I somehow thought I could finish it up in one day, and was completely wrong, so after staying up late Saturday night I got up at 6 am Sunday morning to finish it and didn't get done until 3pm. So I pretty much spent the weekend stuck in the sewing room, trying to work quickly and of course making a million mistakes that I had to pick out and re-do. Anyway, I did finally get it finished and looking to my satisfaction. Let that be a lesson to me not to procrastinate!
Despite the challenges, this project really taught me a lot and I'll definitely be a lot more comfortable making men's shirts and working with plaids in the future. And I think Phillip is pretty happy about his new shirt!
Stay tuned, I'll let you know if I make it through this round on Wednesday!
PS: If you'd like to see my other Super Online Sewing Match entries, here they are: