|Mr. Cation can finally join the ranks of the significant-others-of-sewasauruses-who've-had-button-down-shirts-made-for-them.|
Not that I thought I was a bad wife before, but it's just that I've been sewing for a year and some and still haven't made anything for Mr. Cation...until now! I had promised him I would sew him a shirt for his birthday; that was back in August and I only finished it last weekend. Unfortunately, while my intentions were good, my execution was lacking. While there's nothing technically wrong with this shirt, it's still just a wearable muslin.
|"What do you want me to do? Where should I look?"|
|Pocket close-up. Mr. Cation was pretty adamant about the pocket not being but on the bias. |
Unfortunately, the fabric was uneven/warped so I couldn't quite get the vertical stripes to line up.
See, it started with my choosing a fabric that Mr. Cation wasn't thrilled about (he thinks it's too blue, the plaid is too ostentatious, and the general look is too much like a shirt that he had in junior high, and we all know what paragons of fashion those junior high school boys are, right? Yeah, not the best mental association.), but at $1/yd, I figured it would still be okay? I'm not sure how that worked out in my head. At any rate, the fabric choice was strike one.
|Back view...you can kind of tell how much ease there is.|
Strike two was choosing a less than optimal pattern for a starting point: Simplicity 7030 was only $0.50 at the thrift store, but I probably should've done some more research before settling on it. How do I put this delicately: this pattern is made for large beefy males? Okay, I'm being facetious, but only slightly; even the smallest size was cut extremely generously. My husband is an average Asian guy and he likes his shirts to be slim-fit instead of with oh, ten-plus inches of ease in the torso. I ended up stitching down the two pleats on the back in order to eliminate some of that ease, but it still looks a little big. Also, the button placket is just a folded over extension of the front pieces, instead of being a separate placket cut on the bias. This isn't a deal breaker in and of itself, but it's just one of those RTW features that would have helped make this shirt look more professional. (Incidentally, the the shirt cuff design does not feature the standard RTW placket, which I found weird. Easier, maybe, but what guy really wears a shirt with a continuous sleeve placket?)
|Okay, now you can really tell how much ease there is.|
Strike three would be my not doing good measurement comparisons with some of his favorite RTW shirts before sewing this up. I did measure the arms and torso and was able to foresee some changes there, but I didn't think to check the collar or armscye. As a result, the collar is simultaneously larger (higher in the back, more surface area to the folded over portion, overall less refined looking) and smaller (too tight to go around his neck comfortably) than he would like. The armscye is also much too low, which means that the sleeve is consequently too roomy. I did my best to bring in the sleeve towards the hem, but there was only so much I could do without making it look ridiculous. In the end, the sleeves still have a good extra two inches of ease on his best-fitting RTW shirt.
|As long as he keeps his arms down, it looks normal? |
But alas, clothes are made for wearing and living life in, not for standing around and looking good.
|Every time I look at this collar, I get really happy.|
Notions: 7 small black Slimline buttons
Techniques: Plaid matching, flat felled seams (I am so proud of the fact that all my raw edges are totally enclosed!), and interfacing a collar and collar stand? Does that last one even really count as a technique? I thought about making a long-sleeved shirt and trying a cuff placket too, but decided against it; good thing I didn't invest any more time into this wearable muslin.
Hours: A season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I never watched it when it was on, but recently started because hello, Joss Whedon, how did I not make that connection before?? I am totally loving his strong female characters and witty dialogue so, so much, although I still do a mental double-take every time I see Willow, because all I can think is "What the heck is Lily Aldrin doing there?!"
Will you make this again? I'm itching to give this another try, because I really want my husband to have a me-made shirt that he can be proud of, but I think I'm going to have to be patient and wait until we find a fabric he genuinely likes, and not just go haring off and buy the first cheap cotton I lay my eyes on. Lesson learned -- Mr. Cation does not like excessively loud clothing (whether in color or size of plaid), unlike me.
Total cost: $2.75...at least it was a cheap learning experience.
Final thoughts: Personally, I don't think there's anything too horribly wrong with it; it looks about the same (to me) as any not-quite-perfect RTW shirt...but that's just the problem! This is a me-made shirt, not RTW. It should be perfectly tailored to fit him and his preferences, so even though I don't think it's that bad, it's not my opinion that counts. I think I have to remind myself that when I'm wearing something I made that doesn't quite fit or that isn't quite the right color, it's only the knowledge that well at least I made it for myself that keeps me wearing it somewhat proudly; with this shirt, if Mr. Cation doesn't feel comfortable and confident in it, it's only going to be the guilt of well my wife made it so I guess I have to wear it that brings it out of the closet. Which is pretty sub-optimal. So even though I don't feel the pressure of oh-gosh-his-birthday-was-months-ago-I-should-really-make-him-that-birthday-shirt anymore, I still want to make another one.
Even though this shirt has so many things going against it, I'm actually still pretty pleased with myself for making it. I learned a lot (I've never made a real button-down shirt with a real collar before!), I know what changes I want to make for next time, and even if Mr. Cation doesn't wear this out ever again (he humored me and wore it to church once), it was a profitable learning experience. Also, I may or may not have enough fabric left over to make a shirt for myself...
|One last goofy picture: Mr. Cation learns how difficult it is to pose when taking photos.|
" I don't know what to do with my hands," à la Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights, a movie I've never actually seen.