It’s finally finished!!! Thor’s camp shirt. I just posted the review at PatternReview.com. Here it is with a few more pictures…
Pattern Description: Toddlers’ shirts have collar with collar stand, yoke, front placket with button closure, and shirt-tail hemline. View A has long sleeves with buttoned cuffs and breast pocket. View B has short sleeves and breast pocket. View C has western-style yokes, long sleeves with buttoned cuffs, and front pockets with buttoned flaps. I made view B.
Pattern Sizing: T1-T4 — I made a T2 for my nephew Thor; he just turned two. It’s a little big on him, but I think that’s fine for this kind of shirt and he’s got room to grow.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? YES!
Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were very easy to follow.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
LIKES: I thought the collar/stand instructions were great and made for a great looking collar. I am really proud of my first collar and stand!!!
Even David Coffin thought so. Really! We’re FB friends and when I posted a picture of the collar and stand he commented, “Nice collar.” I was blown away! In my shirtmaking research I did read David Coffin’s book on shirtmaking from cover to cover. I thought it was fantastic and it definitely helped me with this project. The Kwik Sew method for making a clean finish on the yoke was also great.
DISLIKES: I didn’t like the tiny seam allowances which did not allow for flat felled seams at all. 1/4 inch SA’s??? You can’t even serge them to finish them off. I accidentally serged off part of one of the sleeves. It was minor and I was able to fix it, but it could have been a disaster. I ended up overcasting with my sewing machine to patch some sections.
Fabric Used: I bought what I thought was a plain cotton gingham fabric, but when I got it home, I noticed it had some stretch. I just assumed it was 100% cotton because why would anyone add lycra to gingham shirting? I just don’t understand it. However, it didn’t really affect anything with the making of the shirt. Because of the regularity of the print/weave of the fabric, I cut all the pattern pieces in a single layer to match up the print as much as possible. While they were cut precisely to match, it was a little difficult to maintain the matching of the gingham at the machine. I think it will take much more practice and maybe the use of my walking foot, but I’ll get there. This was my first time really trying to match such a pattern.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I didn’t make any real alterations, but I did change construction order and used some different techniques.
I did not interface the pocket as I didn’t think it was necessary. The instructions would have you hem the shirt before you sew the side seams, but I think that’s crazy. I waited until after I had sewn them. I guess I’m no longer a beginner now if I am disagreeing with pattern instructions! On the other hand, the instructions also have you sew up the sleeves before you hem them, but it’s really hard to hem tiny little sleeves. I didn’t think of this before I sewed them up, so I was forced to hem them after they were sewn. But if I had sewn up the T1 size, I don’t think I could have hemmed the sleeves on the machine; I would have had to sew them by hand. Another change I made to the pattern was to use pearl snaps instead of buttons. I just thought it was a neater look and more child friendly. I loved it. And an embellishment I added was to use freezer paper stencil (tutorial here) to create a red thunderbolt on the back of the shirt for a more urban feel. Thor’s name means God of Thunder, so it was very a propos and he loved it.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will definitely make it again, but next time, I will add more to the seam allowances so I can make flat felled seams. Why not? You’ve already gone to the trouble to make a real collar and stand. Why wouldn’t you also want flat felled seams as well? Also next time, I will only interface half the placket as I felt it was too stiff after all the layers are sewn together. It could have been that my interfacing was too stiff, but I still think halving the interfacing would be better. I would definitely recommend this to anyone, even beginners, as long as they take their time and really understand the directions.
Conclusion: I love this pattern. I think it makes a great and professional looking shirt due to the great collar/stand and yoke instructions.
In other sewing news, I just muslined the bodice for Vogue’s DVF wrap dress knockoff, 8379. I will start cutting out the real fabric tomorrow. Wish me luck please.
Happy sewing everyone!