Saturday, March 10, 2012

Quest for the perfect shirt

Thanks, to everyone who came up with ideas for the hooks and eyes problem in my last post... and to all who commiserated!  I tried extending the fly stitching into the waistband, and that helped a little bit but I think that if I sew hooks and eyes on a pant waistband in the future I should redraft it to allow for an inside button.

After the big coat project, I decided to sew something easier and more straight forward.  Do you also alternate your sewing?  I like to do a few easy things after sewing something hard (or something that just didn't work out), and a tailored shirt is one of my favorite things.  I just finished Burda 10-2009-105, which is similar to my favorite shirt (I made it again this winter in white stretch poplin) and I think I may have a contender for a perfect shirt.  Here's a comparison of 10-2009-105 (new shirt) and 09-2009-105 (favorite shirt):

10-2009-105 (new shirt)
  • sleeves are more fitted
  • body is fitted with darts
  • collar is big and 70s-ish, not to my taste
  • hem is super curved, but this isn't an issue
09-2009-105 (favorite shirt)
  • fit is fairly casual but in a light fabric it doesn't matter
  • collar is small and flattering

I think the natural solution is to substitute the collar from one to the other for the perfect shirt.

Here's a photo of the new shirt, and I will try to take a photo of me wearing it to post soon.  It's made from a men's shirting I bought from Gorgeous Fabrics (I think it's all gone, sorry!) and I sewed the buttonholes in a contrast thread.  I got the idea for that from Lee's Paul Smith shirts -- very sharp but still fun.  

Burda 10-2009-105 collar and cuff
Those buttonholes took forever to make because my machine kept choking up on them.  So I decided it was about time that I took my Singer sewing machine and Juki to a suburban repair shop to get fixed.  The Singer broke 3 years ago and I couldn't afford to fix it on my measly post doc salary... I bought my Janome for less than it would have cost to fix the Singer!  I figure now that I am a grownup with a grownup job, it's time to get my Singer fixed.  I am looking forward to having a more powerful machine and being able to use my buttonhole attachment to make fancy buttonholes again.  I actually don't miss serging so much, but it would be nice to have that working again as well.

I am thinking of my next project and have no fewer than 4 things on my mind to sew.  I am thinking of sewing another Vogue 1283 dress but in a size smaller to be more fitted, and I just bought striped wool jersey to either make a boatneck top like Jenny's, or the Burda twist top (Alison reminded me how good this looks in her recent blog entry), a suit jacket, or a fuchsia pair of skinnies.


How to decide?  I guess I should pick something and start cutting.  


  1. Good luck getting the Singer fixed!

  2. I totally agree with you about alternating your sewing except I wouldn't call a shirt an easy project at all! Obviously you have lots of experience with shirtmaking and it shows in your work, look forward to seeing it in full soon.