This is another fabric I picked up from JoAnns when I was in America back in July. Pyjamas were suggested and I was really into the idea. The cotton is so soft, almost brushed. It’s one of those great Alexander Henry prints, the one with all the skeletons jollying it up in the saloon. Then the thought of going to bed wrapped up in skeletons had me a bit shivery. Instead I opted for Halloween Shirt II, ‘The Revenge’

How many Halloween shirts does anyone need? I hear you ask. Well, this oneis struggling to keep up with the wash-wear-wash-wear schedule … Halloween is a really short season!

The pattern is my current TNT shirt from the book The Gentlemans Wardrobe. (Previously seen here and here). I made it in much the same way, but, of course, with a few deviations! Even though the hem is quite a gentle curve and not too tricky to fold, I used black satin binding this time.

I was so proud of myself for matching the pattern across the centre front of the pattern pieces, I forgot that it doesn’t include the placket! There was enough for a 5mm hem & topstitch on the under placket but I had to fix up the top one…

I used a bit of the satin binding on the raw edge of the fold back. I didn’t topstitch, just used the buttonholes to hold it in place. (Just look at those spooky guys inside!)

This worked out nicely as there is less stitching to get in the way of (what has turned out to be) my (best!) pattern matching!

To match the pocket, I overlay the pattern piece, then draw key points of the pattern onto the tracing paper. If you use a ‘frixion’ pen, you can remove your scribbles later with a warm iron and use the piece again.

The cuffs and collar turned out nicely and I used a plain black contrast on the inner yoke, under-collar and inner-stand.

The big epiphany for me was coming across a new technique. I’m not sure where I saw it first… I think it might have been in pattern instructions but could easily have been online or in a magazine! I’ve since tried googling it and there are a few tutorials out there…


Have you heard of it? It’s difficult to find online as you have to sift through all the tutorials for the hand gathered method, but it’s there… Admittedly at just 3 years in, I’m still new to sewing, so this is definitely new to me! It’s the easiest thing in the world to explain, but even easier with a little video…

So you hold your finger behind the foot, bunching up the fabric while you sew within the seam allowance.

This gives you some nice little ripples making it much easier to ease in the sleeve cap. I’ve only tried it on cotton shirts so far… and it gets better every time!

I’m looking forward to trying this out on heavier fabric too. It could have been good on AuntieE’s Coat.

Forget Halloween, I’m looking forward to wearing this all year!

Happy sewing!

Notes to self:

  • Remember which version of the shirt hack you’re doing and don’t cut it wrong!
  • Find out where I first heard of easestitch plus.
  • Remember, in the sewing calendar… sewing Halloween clothes in October means you’re WAY behind on your Christmas sewing!!!