Thursday, 31 August 2017

An Alex Shirt from Sew Over It's My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break

I feel like I should start this post with an apology, but I'm going to try not to. Life has been busy recently and to be honest writing this blog has felt like a chore I just didn't fancy doing. For most of us at least, blogging is still a hobby and if sometimes we don't feel like doing it, that's okay.

The good thing is whilst I haven't been blogging about it, I have been sewing! So I've got lots of (relatively) new makes to share with you. If you don't already follow me on instagram, check me out at @emilykatemakes. Whilst sometimes writing a blog post can take quite a while to get right, sharing a picture on instagram takes just a few moments, so I try and share bits and bobs of my makes in progress, along with daily life, as often as I can.

So onto what this post is really all about, the Alex shirt from Sew Over It's book, out last year, My Capsule Wardrobe. When I first looked through the patterns in this book, the Alex shirt wasn't one I was sure I was going to get around to making. I already have a couple of shirt patterns, did I really need another? After another slightly disappointing version of the shirt pattern from the first Great British Sewing Bee book, a fellow sewer suggested the Alex shirt as a great pattern to try. I have made some great shirts I wear all the time from the Wenona pattern from Named, but the Alex was different enough that I thought i'd try it.

My first version is actually a sleeveless one, not something I had exactly intended, but I had been a bit stingy on the fabric buying and couldn't quite manage sleeves. I used a purpley, floral cotton lawn I found in my local fabric shop.

The pattern I found straightforward to follow, even understanding how to sew the yokes on, which I can never remember no matter how many times I do it! If I had to be critical, I would say that the instructions are less detailed in capsule wardrobe than in individuals patterns from Sew Over It, so if you're a complete beginner you may find it harder to follow.

The only thing I would change about it is to maybe have buttons up to the top, I do like the option to button a shirt right up, particularly if I'm wearing it under a jumper. I added an extra button, as the first one being on the bust meant that I was occasionally showing a little more than I intended, and when my day job includes teaching teenage boys, that's really not a great idea.

To make the shirt sleeveless I completed the whole shirt, avoiding the sleeve area, even sewing on the buttons. I then tried it on and with a bit of help from Mr Makes (seriously don't try it alone its very difficult!) worked out where I wanted the empty armholes to stop. I then used bias binding made from my excess material to finish off the armholes edges. I also took in the side seams under the arm, grading back out to the bottom.

So I would definitely recommend this as a shirt pattern you need in your collection. I think I definitely need to make a long sleeve version, as really my wardrobe is full of sleeveless shirts, which aren't so great when it comes to winter. Perhaps a tartan one for autumn...

Emily Kate