It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I just kept thinking "camp shirt" (not what I wanted)

It was (another) one of those projects that I thought would be simple, quick, and easy.  And it wasn't bad...really, it wasn't...but still....

First it looked like a a cross between a hospital gown and a lab coat (the muslin did, anyway):
Note the longer sleeve on my right - this was the already altered pattern.
I shortened the sleeve, altered the shoulder, and took in the more than I already had - the result is on my left.
I should back up a bit.  This was a pattern that was in a largeish batch of patterns a friend gave me after cleaning out an estate.  The sewist had good taste in patterns, imho, or at least she had taste that appealed to me, with a lot of interesting collars and other design bits.  Unfortunately, she wasn't my size, so most of the patterns would need to be sized down for me.  Fitting alterations are one thing, but grading an entire pattern?  The thought still terrifies me!   Simple patterns though, I'm willing to tackle.

I thought this one had possibilities:

I sliced and diced the already oversized dimensions, and made a muslin, partly for fit, partly because I really wasn't sure I was going to like it at all.  Once I finally thought I had the fit figured out, I decided to go for it, using a lovely blue raw silk that I originally intended as a lightweight robe for Mom.   Not a shade I would have bought for myself, but now that I've lost the red hair, it turns out to be a fairly good color for me!

So I made up the shirt, and even though I still wasn't sure I was going to like it, I decided to focus on precision and good sewing habits.
Side note:  I vowed that August was going to be Clip All My Threads Month, and I'm doing well on that!   I find it interesting that focusing on one good habit seems to be spreading into other areas, and may have something to do with my decision to do A Good Job on this shirt.
In spite of my good intentions, Yesterday's post showed my first snafu, at the collar band:
But I was able to correct it (BOTH sides I did this on!) and ended up with this:


And I was quite pleased with my underarm seams, where 4 angles had to meet at a point:

But there were other issues.  (Aren't there ALWAYS?!)  Once I had the basic shirt - the sleeveless version - put together it was looking more like a shapeless, rather boring yawn than a fun shirt with a twist.  On top of which, in order to have any arm movement, the gap above the side seam exposed...ummm....way too much flesh and bra.   WAY too much.  So I decided I had to add sleeves.   Very short sleeves.   Once I did that all I could see when I looked at it was "camp shirt".  Still, basically, one big yawn.   (I should have taken pictures for proof!)

The next step in trying to make the shirt wearable was a silk-screening session.  I used Marcy Tilton's  "montage" design:
This is an example of how NOT to treat a silk screen!!!  The leftover paint in the design is the result of not rinsing it immediately after using - it still works fine, but if you do that often enough, it will clog! Do as I say, not as I did, 'k?   I didn't want to use the entire design, so I painted over just a few of the bits in the design, using a paint brush, and then squeegeed over that, so that I could control how much of the design I transferred.  It worked well!

One other change I made was to add some tabs at the sleeve hems, pulling up a bit of a gather, and I think I finally eliminated the "camp shirt" vision.  This blue, btw, is a perfect match for the blue in my Sham-alama-dingdong skirt, so I had an outfit in mind, even though I knew the style wasn't exactly a perfect match....but sometimes you just gotta do what you set out to do.    Thankfully, I do have more of this material, so I'm going to look for a more suitable pattern to wear with the skirt.  In the meantime, here's what I ended up with:

I also shortened the front by quite a bit,
and left the back long.

In the end, I like the shirt.  It's not the best choice paired with this skirt, but I think it will work well with jeans or slim pants.  It's nice to discover a color I like as well - periwinkle blue, who knew?  It was a fun pattern...but I think once was enough.


a little sewing said...

wow, the difference between the muslin and the final shirt is just amazing.
It really looks great!

Mary said...

That is a knockout color on you Jillian! It is gorgeous. I love the shirt and agree that you need to pair it with some slim pants. Have you tried the Clover pattern? Great pants!

shams said...

Cool, Jillian! That is a great color for you. I have that pattern, too. In fact, I made a similar top based on the Drape Drape book. I don't think it looks as good on me, though. :)

I love the silk screening along the edge!

sdBev said...

I love the color and your stenciling. But yes I agree the envelope doesn't convery that it's basically a very loosely fitting garment.

Judi Pinkham said...

Very pretty! I like the short front, long back!!!

Janine said...

That is a fascinating shirt - I really like your personal touches you have added - this is a truly unique garment.

Jilly Be said...

Slim pants for me means slim at the top - I just can't see myself in pants that don't have some width at the bottom.

Carolyn said...

I think it looks wonderful! I love the asymmetrical front and the silk screen touches. Very cool and unique. I love it!

luckylibbet said...

LOVE the silk screening! Elevates the shirt way beyond the norm. - Heather

Andrea said...

Fun shirt! Slim pants will be a nice partner and let the top shine. Love the *perfect* underarm seam.

pdiddly said...

The blue really suits you - I love the screen printing, and as already said makes your top unique.

Lynne Williams said...

Great Save! Thanks for sharing the Tim Gun says "Make it Work" and sometimes we get ourselves into those situations and it just becomes an opportunity to let our creativity shine.

You are all aglow:)

Dixie said...

Glad you stuck with this pattern and tweaked it out, because this top looks great on you! Nice job on the silk screening, too.
I agree with Mary, this would look great with slim pants. They don't need to be skin tight, but they would balance out the looser top. Loose fit on top + closer fit on bottom = balance (and vice versa). I think you do yourself a disservice by wearing pants that are full at the bottom. They make a body look heavy all the way down. Just my opinion.
I've been lost in Olympicland so it's good to catch up on what you've been up to!

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah, I like this! It would take greater discipline than I have to not play with the front alot while I wore it!

RhondaBuss said...

Maybe rethink making it again as it really looks great on you.

Amy said...

That blue really is fabulous on you. It's a bit crazy to think that I got to see both the shirt and the skirt in person last night. All this sewing isn't just lost in the internets. It's really real!

Camryn Forrest said...

That color is fabulous with your eyes ... Good stuff on sizing down a pattern.

Camryn Forrest said...

That periwinkle blue is perfect with your sparkling Eyes!