Well hey! Bet you weren’t expecting to hear from me again so soon! I know I said last week I might be scaling back my posts to fortnightly soon instead of weekly, and that may still happen – but I happened to be finished this project in time, and given it’s only that shirt I’ve been trying to finish for a month, I couldn’t wait to share it! So here’s my first real shirt, Butterick 6133, in royal blue poly cotton 🙂
I must say, looking back on these photos, I’m actually really pleased with how this shirt turned out – because as anyone who’s read the last couple of posts will know, it was quite the slog to get it finished! It’s hard to say exactly why; the pattern certainly isn’t too complicated, and it came together easily enough. I think it was a combination of my new-to-me pattern uncertainty of how it was going to turn out, and my slight indifference towards the fabric – though the shade looks pretty brilliant, it’s hard to get excited about poly cotton (though at $3/m, it was hard to go past for a wearable muslin!).
I was also pretty worried about the sizing – I generally go with around a size 12 in Big 4 patterns, one size down from my bust measurement, as this usually gives me the fit I like (without all that excess ease!). However, I noticed this pattern had acres of ease built in to it; from the finished garment measurements, I could tell I’d fit into the size 10. But would it look alright? I decided to go with the 10; if it came out too small, the cheap fabric meant it was no great loss – and if it was too big, I’d never wear it. And I’m glad I did! The 10 fits like a glove and needs no further alterations. With that uncertainty gone, and some really lovely white cotton for the next iteration, I think it will get sewn up *a lot* more quickly than this one!
As I said before, construction was very straightforward, only slightly time consuming because of the multiple panels in both top and bottom. I think it was well-worth it, though – the gentle curve of each seam gives it such a beautiful fit, gently skimming the waist, instead of completely by-passing it and falling straight to the hips, as most of my RTW shirts do (not a flattering look on me!). This also means it looks nice both over a pair of pants, like in these photos, or tucked into a high-waisted skirt – so definite points for versatility there 😉
I didn’t take quite so much time over the insides as I normally would, mostly because I wanted to be sure it would fit and look nice before I invested too much in it; most of the seams are french seams, with the exception of the armscye – I’m not sure if french seams here are a thing (I’m assuming so??), but that sounded way too scary, especially as this was the first time I was sewing my sleeves in not flat, so I just pinked the edges of the seam allowance. And then I forgot to finish the edge of the facing until I was almost finished the shirt! So that got a quick zig zag before hemming. Oh, and of course when I went to do the button holes on the Janome, in what I can only assume was a fit of jealousy after I’d sewn the rest of the shirt on the Singer, it decided to give up on three of them half way through, leaving me to try and finish them manually with a short zig zag. They look horrendous, but they’re fortunately hidden behind the super snazzy buttons I found in my stash, which are possibly also my favourite part of this shirt.
Now, if there is one element of this pattern I am not a huge fan of, it’s the sleeve binding. I sewed it as evenly as possible and gave it a good press, but I think it would be nigh on impossible to ever get it looking perfect. Has anyone got any alternative ideas for finishing the edges? I’m also on the fence about the extent of the fullness at the back; I think it borders almost on too full, but I’m thinking I might not be able to take much out before range of movement across the back is compromised. So I guess I’m just embracing it then!
Well, despite the sew-jo-sapping slog that was the making of this shirt, I do declare it a success! I am actually really pleased with how it looks on, and I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of it 🙂 I really can’t wait to make the next white version, either – now I know how good the end result is I’m sure the sewing won’t be such a struggle. Also, on a funny side note – the pattern actually calls for seven buttons, but I only had six of these. I worked out my own spacing and I reckon it works fine, but in most of the pictures it looks like there’s only five – forgot to do the bottom one up till half way through the shoot, whoops!
I’d better wrap up there – I’m in surgery for the next month and that necessitates getting up at five every day 😦 I’m already looking forward to the weekend for a sleep-in and some more sewing!
Until next time,
Miss Maddy xx