Monday, July 09, 2018

My new favorite

A post shared by Sara (@knottygnome) on

My garment sewing obsession continues. I've been shopping for some summer weight blouses and not having a lot of success. I love the Madewell aesthetic but when I tried on their shirts in store even the XXS was too big. I find that I tend to just swim in their shirts. I stumbled upon this Willamette Shirt pattern when I was looking for something similar to the Central Shirt. I was so excited that I printed off the pattern pieces on Friday so I could get started right away.

I did have some issues printing the pattern. My first copy did not print the border notches on 2 sides, making it impossible to match up. I went ahead and tried a second print and this time I got 3 sides to print, leaving just one to draw the boundaries in myself. I won't lie--this was pretty frustrating to deal with. but on the plus side for the first time I used the tile printing function and only printed out my size, making it a lot easier to trace and I saved ink too.

According to the sizing chart, I'm about an inch smaller than the smallest size 2. I did an SBA on the front piece. I basically just followed her FBA tutorial but overlapped rather than spread the pieces. I had some issues figuring out how to match up the sleeve piece but I ended up keeping the shoulder seam aligned so it would be the same length and drawing a new side/underarm seam. For the back, I scooped 1/2" out of the side seam at the waist. so overall I removed about 2" total circumference from the shirt, and I think it fits well.

After the fitting process, I still wanted to make a practice garment before cutting into some of my long hoarded pieces. I found a length of black and white check cotton pique that I bought at Fabric Mart way back in 2010. I had made a skirt out of it but I had a little over a yard left. with some creative squeezing I was able to get the entire shirt cut out of my remaining fabric. For this version I made View C, the cropped straight hemline with the regular back pleat. I was surprised that I didn't have to shorten it at all and it's still a little cropped on me.

I'm really happy with the shirt construction. It's very easy to follow and gives nice finished results. The only change I made was to skip the French side seams as I wanted to cut down on bulk. I serged them instead and pressed towards the back. The only other change I'd make next time is to make the 1/2" hem 5/8" instead. I just feel it's a little easier to press and sew and doesn't make a noticeable difference in the total length. I also raised the stitching on the fronts so I wouldn't have to sew a button but I made it a little too high. it's not bad but a tiny struggle to get the shirt over my head. Lastly one other change I'd make is to use a different interfacing. I used a lightweight fusible but the facings were just too stiff.

I love this shirt so much. It has that retro look i was going for and it's nice and cool to wear. Plus I was able to stashbust and use up some fabric that's been around forever. I've actually already cut out and mostly sewn another version that I am tremendously excited about. I have a feeling that the Willamette Shirt will become a TNT pattern in my summer capsule rotation. I could honestly see myself making a new one every spring.

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