Wednesday, 16 November 2016

A Second-Chance Shirt

No two sewing patterns are created equal. That’s something I’ve really noticed recently. I always used to think for the basic no-frills items like shirts and trousers, one good pattern would do. And maybe it would if it ticked all the boxes and fit like a dream, but most of the time that’s not the case.
That being said, me being the tight-arsed cheap thrifty person I am maybe isn’t such a bad thing, as if we all bought every sewing pattern we wanted there wouldn’t be any money left for fabric. Or food.
So this shirt pattern is from the first Great British Sewing Bee book that accompanied the first TV series. I’ve made a few things from it, with varying degrees of success. I’m won over by the stylish pictures and the fact I have many patterns for just a one off cost of £20ish (it’s probably a lot less now) but in reality the patterns, or some at least come with a fair amount of issues.
I actually made this shirt back in January 2015 and wrote about it here. I discovered after that the reason for it coming up so small was not just my bad measuring, but also the fact my printer decided to regularly ‘shrink-to-fit’ after I’d asked it nicely not to and I was too lazy to measure the damn box.
So I thought perhaps it was time to give this pattern another shot. It is well into autumn/fall now at least, which is definitely the season of all things tartan. I measured properly and this time cut a size 14.
 Things went along reasonably well, although I found the lack of any kind of notches to match up once again infuriating. When it came to the collar I found it to be too big, by some margin. Even using gathering stitches to ease it into the neckline didn’t help enough and I ended up cutting close to an inch off the end of it. Those things aside, it came together in a few hours.
I’m reasonably happy with it, or as much as I can be with what is decidedly now quite a naff pattern. The shoulders are two wide for me so the seam is sitting too far down my shoulder. It also feels like the ‘relaxed boyfriend fit’ they were after is happening at the top, but by my waist it is pulled in more. So it feels like a cross between a fitted shirt and a loose, relaxed fit one, not really belonging in either camp.
I do love the fabric though, and I’ve worn it out for autumn walks several times already. I’m not convinced it was the kicker to bring back my sew-Jo though as I’m still struggling with finding the time and energy.
What may help is the sewing room I will (fingers crossed!) have in the next couple of months…watch this space.
Emily Kate

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