It’s always wonderful to be able to take a break from winter! I’ve just spent a couple of fantastic weeks doing a “road trip” that my husband and I took starting in Key Largo, through the everglades of Florida to the west coast then up to the northeast coast ending in our favourite Florida city, Fort Lauderdale. A few of my GG Collection pieces made their way into my suitcase and served me well but now I’m back and ready to complete my perfect shirt project. But Florida will return to the discussion since I actually visited a fantastically quirky fabric store and found the perfect fabric for the perfect shirt. But more about that later.
Now…back to the frankenstyle test shirt!
My overall plan for creating this test garment that might be able to appear in public on my back was to purchase no new fabric. And since I am not a fabric hoarder (stasher if you prefer) I have only left-overs. However, I have to admit that I do tend to buy more fabric than is really required for any given project so that I can recut if necessary. Anyway, as I mentioned in the last post, I found a few pieces that I thought I could make work together.
I put a lot of thought into the placement of the fabric. This was good design practice for me and might make it wearable as I mentioned.
The purpose of a test garment (toile, muslin) for me is to work out fit issues in the main but I also sometimes use it to practice techniques. The fit was the most important aspect of this one.
Problem #1: the collar turned out to be two inches too large for the neckline! What the…? So I had to redraft the pattern pieces, then I recut the collar and the undercollar using a seam at the back. Remember, I have no extra fabric here so I have to use what I have. Anyway, it turned out quite well and it occurs to me that I might use this on the bias for undercollar of future designs. So I have a one-piece collar-band pattern and a two-piece collar-band pattern.
Other fitting concerns that I’ll change in the final pattern: I think that the cuffs could be a minimum of ½ inch smaller and I need to back off the bust darts a full inch for perfection.
As far as techniques are concerned, I decided to use Angela Kane’s approach to creating a sleeve placket.
This was a new technique for me and it worked out beautifully.
She provides a terrific template on her web site and has a very useful two-part video tutorial.
Here’s part 1…
…and you’ll need part 2…
I finished off the front with a series of not-quite-matching buttons I ordered from China on eBay and in the end, I have a tailored-meets-funky kind of shirt that I actually might wear in public!
The fit in the next one should be better but I’m going to do another test in a finer fabric that could become the basis for a “blouse” because they’re not the same thing at all!
4 thoughts on ““The Perfect Shirt Project”: My “frankenstyle” test shirt”
Love your posts about the perfect shirt! In a previous post you wrote that you plan on placing the pleats on the shirt cuff at the back of the cuff (I have always seen them on the front, with possibly one at the back). You could you explain your thoughts on this?
OMG you read that closely! I’m not sure if I looked down at my sleeve that I was wearing while I was writing and thought “well, that’s the back of my arm,” or I just typed it incorrectly. Yes, the pleats will be on the actual back portion of the sleeve pattern. Thank-you for picking that up! My main concern was to not have one pleat on either side of the placket as in several patterns I have used. Stay tuned for fabric shopping for the perfect fabric. Cheers!