I love shirts. I love the idea of a shirt that fits nicely, but it hasn't been an easy thing to find. I actually donated a bunch of RTW shirts about a year ago because I couldn't ignore how badly they fitted anymore, but I had such a hard time sewing anything better that I actually bought one a few months ago. You'd think that having a sloper would help, but I've found that it's not getting a pattern to the point of no ease that's difficult, it's getting the right amount of ease that's really tricky. To me, that's the difference between a pattern maker and a designer. This shirt isn't perfect at all, but I think it's a pretty good step in the right direction.
View / Size used: View B / C with no pockets. I have no idea what the difference is between view B and C.
I cut out a straight size 38, but made fit adjustments afterwards. I chose that size because it's my usual with Burda. For reference, my my high bust corresponds with the listed bust measurement for a 38 but my full bust would be a 40/42. Using a size 38, I still had 1" of ease according to the finished measurements on the pattern tissue. My waist is a 40 and hips are 42. All this is fairly moot because my waist length is off the bottom of the chart at least 3 inches shorter than the pattern is drafted for.
I used some light interfacing from The Fabric Store. It's the same stuff I used and loved on my last two shirts, but it may actually be slightly too light for this shirt. I do have some interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply, but I'm not as in love with it as most people seem to be. I find the names of her different interfacing really confusing. I have the 'ProWOVEN Shirt-Crisp FUSIBLE Interfacing' maybe I should have ordered the 'ProWOVEN Light-Crisp FUSIBLE Interfacing"or the 'ProSheer Elegance MEDIUM Fusible', but my mind was boggled by the super long convoluted names when I ordered. The 'shirt-crisp' interfacing was also really hard to fuse.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I didn't use the pockets, and I used tower plackets rather than the more simple strip that the pattern called for. I adjusted the back darts fairly substantially, and took in the sleeves by about 5/8".
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Pretty good but I did a couple of things differently. I did the yoke using the burrito method. For the sleeve, I was torn. I hate setting in sleeves, and usually just sew them in flat, however adding tower plackets and cuffs is easier to do before the sleeve is attached to the shirt, and you have to do them after you sew the sleeve seam.
I came up with a sort of best-of-both-worlds solution by sewing on the plackets, then a few inches of the sleeve seam, then I attached the cuffs. I was still able to sew on the sleeve in the flat, but didn't have to wrestle the whole shirt while attaching the cuffs. Even though I sewed it in flat, I had to baste the seam line of the sleeve head before attaching it to the armscye to ease it in. 5/8" seam allowances are a total PITA when it comes to sleeve heads. I was glad I used that method because I did end up narrowing the sleeves all the way to the armpit, which is trickier when the sleeve is set in the round.
I love that there's front and back darts, I have a really hard time figuring out where the side bust dart goes so this pattern eliminates that problem entirely. There are so many places to take in or let out after it's together, that it's really handy for getting a nice fit.
It is a little odd that there's no pleat in the sleeve going in to the cuff, but it's not hard to add one I suppose.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the finished garment?
It's a bit long, especially in the sleeves. I'll probably shorten them about 3/4" next time. I could probably take 2" or 3" off the hem.
All the pictures of it actually tucked in were out of focus, but here you might be able to see that it's ever so slightly too roomy at the waist to be tucked in smoothly. I would like to make a version in a stretch woven, so I could go a little closer with the fit.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes yes yes.
I tend to use snips for notches, but you can't do that for front or back darts, so I used Saral chalk paper (from the art supply shop) with packing tape on the back, it makes the paper stronger so you can really push on it. I also used a solid tracing wheel because I find it works better than the serrated one when I'm marking fabric.
For the tower placket, I first used the Off The Cuff placket tutorial. I've used it before, and both times, I've sewn the placket the wrong way around. I can't put my finger on why it makes me confused because she explains clearly in the text; put the little piece on the small side and the big piece on the wider side. Then I tried following Kathleen Fassenella's photo's. I think Kathleen Fassenella's method is easier and makes for a neater placket. Using her order, I was able to form the tower using the iron and fabric glue before I sewed it on to the slit, which was a lot easier than doing it while it's attached to the sleeve. This fabric has no right side or wrong side, so I proceeded to make two of the same side sleeve. I had to rip one of them out again, so I had to sew 4 plackets in total. I bet I could do one in less than 15 mins now.
I still wish I'd taken the trouble to get the Shirtmaking book back out of the library because of all the cool tricks that Tasia is sharing in her shirt sew along.
I sewed it up exactly as drafted first. The front was pretty good, but the back was exactly what you'd expect from a pattern designed to have the waist 3" lower than my waist.
I ripped out the darts, put the shirt on my dress form and just pinned. The darts ended up starting about 3" higher, but ended at about the same place. The widest point of the dart was about 2" higher. I also took in the CB seam above the waist.
There's still a little ease there, but the fabric is non-stretch so I figured I'd leave a little wearing ease.
Machines / settings used:
Singer Featherweight for construction - 10 stitches per inch for construction and topstitching.
Singer buttonholer for the buttonholes, 5/8" template, width '2', I went around each two times to get a nice dense buttonhole.
Brother 1034D serger to finish seams.
Differential Feed: 1.0
Stitch Length: 4
Stitch Width: 6.5
Tensions: Left Needle: 4, Right Needle: 4, Upper Looper: 4.1, Lower Looper: 4.1
But wait!. There's a .... Bonus Garment!
A jumper from the left overs of my dress! It's made from the Sew-U Home Stretch raglan size M, but I had to slim down the sleeves and body quite a bit. It's possibly even smaller than a small now - the flowery fabric is very stretchy.
I think that's the last thing I can make with this fabric, it's not exactly a solid, I'm sure people would start to notice, so the rest is all yours Aleah!