Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Willamette Part Deux

A post shared by Sara (@knottygnome) on

After finishing my test Willamette I was eager to sew the "real" version. Back in 2014 I had experimented with indigo dyeing. I took a length of a lightweight cotton/linen blend and dip dyed it to make a sort of ombre effect. Honestly I didn't do a great job with what I had intended to do. There was a very pronounced difference between the front and back of the fabric, which eventually came in handy (more on that later). I washed and pressed the fabric and then put it away for 4 years because I could never figure out what to do with it.

I had 60" wide fabric so I was able to be pretty careful with my fabric placement to get the fronts and the back/yoke to match up as best I could. The pocket, cuffs, and collar were all placed a bit further down in a darker section by necessity but I did my best to make the colors as consistent as possible. I couldn't and didn't try to match the front facings since they were on the inside of the garment.

This time I made View A which is longer with a curved hem. I don't think I made any further adjustments to the pattern but I did change up some of the sewing details.

  1. My first Willamette was stiff in the front "buttonband" so I did not interface the fronts at all.
  2. I moved my stitching line for the fronts down from my last version so the shirt is easier to get over my head and I was still able to eliminate the button at the top.
  3. I left about 7 inches at the bottom fronts unstitched so that I can theoretically tie the fronts. However, after actually trying it I probably won't ever do this. it's a bit too cropped and my stomach shows. If I wanted to do this in the future I'd lengthen the garment a couple of inches overall.
  4. To facilitate these tie fronts that I'm not ever going to use I also put side vents in the side seams. I actually really like the ease it creates over the hips though in retrospect i could have made them shorter as I get that peekaboo of skin I'm not particularly fond of. I think the vents were about 4.5" long before sewing the hems.
  5. Obviously this is an option in the pattern, but I only made 1 pocket and topstitched it. I was trying for the Madewell aesthetic as much as possible.
  6. I had a hard time stitching in the ditch of the cuff seams on Willamette #1, so instead I made a small stitching line perpendicular to the sleeve seams to tack down the cuffs. honestly if i weren't being so lazy i probably would've hand stitched them. that probably would've looked the best.
July 16

I am really proud of this shirt. I feel like the fabric makes it look like a premium designer take on the classic chambray shirt when it really wasn't difficult at all to sew. The pattern along with the fabric/notions only ended up costing me about $18 total. I've already worn it and it's very comfortable to wear though it does wrinkle thanks to the linen. I love my new shirt and I'm sure it's going to become a staple in my spring and summer wardrobe.

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