Hey Sewists!

Here I am with a checked shirt… but this one has a twist!

This shirt is actually making up part of my #TheRefashioners2018 look, although it’s not actually been refashioned – that’s why I’m blogging it separately.

You see, I needed a shirt to complete the look, but I didn’t see the point in making a shirt I didn’t really want to wear just for the sake of accuracy. I also couldn’t find a fabric that would fit the brief so I decided to use some shirting I already had in my stash and was desperate to use.

I’m not going to reveal my #InspiredBy (this years Refashioners theme) image yet, but I’ll tell you that the ‘inspiration’ shirt is a green and white candy stripe (there should be a prize if anyone can guess it from that…! But I’m afraid there’s not!). So to make my checked shirt a little more ‘jazzy’ I decided to cut all the main pieces on the bias grain and the detail pieces on the straight grain, rather than the other way around. Not only would this add more visual interest to the check but also allow the shirt to hang differently… dare I say even, luxuriously…? We’ll see!

I’m sticking with my tried and tested shirt pattern -Simplicity 8427. It’s a good fit; comfortable without being too full, with a few options for cuffs and collars. One of the things I really like about this pattern is, it has a nice deep yoke making it much easier to roll up into a burrito. I love this technique and have covered it more in-depth here.

As all the main pieces are cut on the cross grain there’s more scope for the pieces to stretch out of shape. I probably should have staystitched* every pattern piece, but instead I used my ‘starch and minimal handling’ method (… still in its beta version! – This worked out ok, but I’d staystitch next time just to be on the safe side).

As it was coming together I was more and more pleased with the bias cut effect. The tower plackets worked out nicely too. (I should maybe do a blog post about those sometime…? I’ve got a few methods, literally ‘up my sleeve’ (… sorry, I had to do that!)

The left front (button-hole) placket was cut on grain and attached to the front. (Check out this post for a few button placket variations) And on the right-front I used the ‘fold-over‘ method. The collar actually sits pretty well although it could have done with a wiggle in this photo. I think I was too mesmerised by the way the pattern matched across the front!

The bias binding at the hem came to me from a vintage sewing box a friend bought at a car boot sale. And the buttons are from one of MrA’s old work shirts, so there is an element of refashioning going on here (… although, admittedly, not much!)

It’s fair to say that I LOVE this shirt! The effect of the check is totally different at this angle, I love the way the pocket really stands out and reminds you which way up you are standing! … it’s the sort of shirt that if you look at it for long enough, it’ll start to look back at you! Also, it really does feel different to wear. The bias cutting really does make it hang differently/ better…? And, dare I say, I believe it does feel somewhat luxurious! I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is, but I can feel it!

Are you joining in the Refashioners this year? Check out Portia Lawrie’s blog if you don’t know about it. There’s still time! And tune in next week for the big reveal!

Happy Sewing!

Notes to self:

  • Do more shirt blogs!
  • Remember to take photos of the process! (Duh… Blogging 101!!)
  • Get in the habit of staystitching ALL the curved/ bias pieces.
  • *Staystitching – a permanent row of stitching just inside the seam line of a pattern piece applied before construction.