Live fitting


Gingham shirt fabric

Gingham pinned and tacked

I think the fabric for the shirt I’m making was a very good choice as it’s tough but light weight which is ideal for summer.  It feels different now it’s been washed and ironed, it’s softer and flows even better.  I had a chance to inspect it closely and it’s really beautiful.  As it was handmade the supplier warns that there may be slight blemishes and I did find a couple but the pattern on the fabric looks better for the lack of total perfection.  The woven dark green and white and dark green thread that are mixed for the lighter stripes work really well.

I finished cutting out the pieces of the shirt yesterday and started pinning them together.  Everything went well until the second front piece and sleeve, I pinned them together and held up the shirt to check and found they were inside out.  I blame the fact I’d had an early morning and it was getting on by this point but I managed to reattach them the right way round in time for the fitting.

The fitting was fun although I had to be careful not to stab the model with the pins.  It looked good on the model and he said he liked the way it felt and how it fitted.  Some adjustments were needed mainly to the length of sleeve and allowing more space when the shirt was buttoned.  Now I’ve checked the general fit I was able to start roughly tacking the seams together which will make the fitting for fine adjustments easier as I won’t have to work around pins. Sewing rather than pinning has given me the chance to examine the look of the shirt again.  I’ve decided to make visible turn ups on the end of the sleeves rather than hide the hem.  It’s given the shirt more definition and broken up the sea of check a bit.  I’m thinking of doing the same with the hem at the bottom of the shirt but think I try it out at the next fitting before I make the final decision.

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Fabric, ironing and direction


Bundle of fabric

The fabric arrived

My fabric arrived yesterday afternoon.  Yay!  I had a great time looking through all the textures and colours, the stripy fabric is particularly colourful and the bamboo silk is luxuriously soft.  The bundle also included the green gingham I’ve been waiting for for my shirt project so today that’s what I got started on.

The fabric is 100% organic cotton so there could be problems with shrinkage and in order to minimize these I decided to pre-wash the fabric.  I also wanted to get started on the project as soon as possible so I sketched out the pattern on the fabric to see how much of the fabric I needed.  Having cut the fabric into two pieces I put the amount of fabric I needed for the shirt onto wash and as the fabric’s organic I did the wash without washing powder.  After it was washed I then had to iron the fabric, but to let you into a secret I’m very bad at ironing so I was not looking forward to this.   To my surprise ironing it was easy and I actually enjoyed it!

Then came the fun, and slightly scary, part drawing the sections and cutting the pattern.  This went well for the largest section, the main back piece, and I left plenty of room for adjustment during the fitting.  When I started thinking about the two front panels I realised I’d made a mistake when I’d blocked out the pieces to check how much cloth I’d need.  Pattern, yes pattern tripped me up.   The checked fabric has a directional pattern.  I’d carefully positioned the fabric in the most efficient way to maximise the use of the fabric but not remembered the direction of the two front panels needs to be the same as the back panel.  I put the rest of the fabric onto wash and cut the rest of the pieces, sleeves, neck collar from the original piece.  Now I have more ironing to do before I can finish the cutting but at least I didn’t cut the front pieces and work out later the pattern was the wrong way!