Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Do you own a Black Shirt?

I know all of the fashion pundits tell you that you should own a good white shirt. It appears on all of the Top Ten lists. However, if you think about it, you could use a good black shirt too. It would work with a black skirt (denim or otherwise), a pair of trousers, jeans or leggings.


So do you own one?  I didn't. It came up last summer when I wanted to make a jumper/sleeveless dress for fall. I had a pattern, the fabric ~ a black/brown wool blend check, tights and shoes but no shirt to go under the jumper. So it didn't get made because I was missing a vital element to make the look work.


Then I started to think on it and realized I didn't even own any black shirting fabric...which started it's own search. I didn't even ask myself the question of why didn't I have any with such a large fabric collection...because the answer was simple...I'd never needed it before.

Supply List ~
I found some at Fabric Mart of course. It's a 100% cotton, 57" wide fabric that was the deal of the day for $2.99 per yard. At that price I bought 10 yards. This was purchased last fall and was on the website until recently when it sold out.

The black 'n white gingham is from the collection and I've had it for over 10 years. I bought it to be accents on a white corduroy denim type jacket that still hasn't been made...*sigh.*  Even though I used it for accents on this shirt there is still plenty left for the corduroy jacket, some day. The buttons are from the button collection. That makes the shirt a total "from collection" sew. Yes!!!

Construction ~
Imma be honest. When I sew shirts I don't flat fell the seams. I guess I should care about using the technique but I don't...I just want a shirt to wear. So my seams on this version are serged finished first, stitched together and then topstitched down.

My TNT shirt pattern has the button band included on the front of the pattern. It also has front princess seams. The back has a yoke and a gathered one piece lower back. The set in sleeves have a band that can have an opening with a button and buttonhole or a band that's just added to the bottom of the shirt. I've made this shirt eight times with a variety of changes, most of them detailed in this blog post.

However, if I want to have a different fabric for the back of the button band, which is what I wanted in this version, I had to make a change to the pattern to achieve that look. It was a simple alteration. I redrew the front pattern piece leaving the 1/2" past the center front on the pattern.  

Then I drew the button band piece with 1/2" seam allowance and the rest of the band from the front pattern piece.


For this shirt, besides the front band in black 'n white gingham, I added a fold up cuff using the gingham for one side of the cuff, inside the collar stand and the back yoke.


Since I usually add a label to the back yoke of my shirts, when I went to add this one, it kind of melted into the background. So I sewed the label to a piece of the black shirting and finished the piece by using my pinking shears. It was then stitched to the yoke. 


It's not a huge detail but I love how it's just one more thing that adds to the fabulousness of this shirt.

The inner band and sleeves with cuffs

A few pictures ~
...taken with casual shoes which I thought were black 'n white gingham...Surprise! They're blue!!!

 


 ...taken with red velvet heels...to wear out with friends.

 

Conclusion ~
I've worked out all of the issues with my pattern and have the perfect shirt pattern now. This look is becoming my daily uniform. Its so comfortable to wear that I've decided to use different details for future shirts to make them distinguishable. I've been inspired by changes Cennetta made to several of her versions, as well as this Instagram post. Her post has really challenged me to think outside the box when adding fabric details to my shirts.

As you know, this will not be my last shirt this month or this year. I counted. I have enough fabric to make another two dozen shirts and that's only including one from each of the 10 yards of white & black shirting I own. *sigh* Yeah I kinda went for it when I started buying shirting fabric but I blame Fabric Mart and those amazing sales for that - TOTALLY! LOL!

Lastly, lest you think I've forgotten about the Crazy 8 Wardrobe ~ this is item number 4 from the wardrobe. It's also the first shirt I made when I decided to make a bunch of them. 

The next shirt on the blog to celebrate "April is Shirt Month" is a chambray dotted shirt... 

...as always more later!

27 comments:

  1. Cute shirt. I'm finding the things you sew a lot more relatable these days (since you changed jobs).

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    1. Thanks Ruthie and yes quite a few sewists are saying that. Though 3 years later, I still miss dressing up. It made going to work feel special. Now I can roll out of bed and toss any clean thing on and it's good! LOL! Not quite the same feeling.

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  2. Thanks for the link to Cenetta's shirts. These are all beautiful. When you get the TNT down, you can do so many wonderful variations on it, without worrying about how it's going to turn out. Even spend more money on the fabric, due to the same confidence.

    One of the few RTW shirts I still have is an old Ted Baker black buttondown. The fabric is so wonderful, I couldn't match it if I tried.

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    1. SJ - Aren't Cenetta's shirts beautiful! And all of the images she's saved are just as amazing. I'm hoping that my shirts are following in her very large creative footsteps!

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  3. Nice shirt with pretty details! I've been making black and blue floral shirts lately but I can definitely see the versatility of a plain black version.

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  4. I don't own a black shirt, or any black at all really (apart from one "funeral dress"). Black brings out the circles under my eyes to such an extent that no amount of makeup can compensate.
    You however, look fab in your new black shirt.

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  5. Yes, yes, yes! I made a black button-up shirt on a whim and LOVE it. It's versatile and comfortable. Plus I don't have to fret so much about getting foundation on the collar. =)

    I really like the contrast accents. I see another black shirt in the pipeline =)

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  6. Loving all the variations on this shirt pattern. Sewing Magic!

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  7. love the touches of gingham, so cute. p.s. I don't have either a solid white or black shirt - would never wear either of those :)

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  8. Well, you made me think! I wear lots of black knit tops, but never, ever think about a black shirt. Not sure why. As I thought about it though, the idea of a crisp black shirt sounds wonderful! Thanks for the suggestion. And BTW, I LOVE the gingham trim!!!

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    1. Thanks Rhoda and you should def make one. I'm sure it will be amazing!

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  9. I love your new shirt! And WOW!!! I love the way you styled it! I always have a black fitted shirt in my wardrobe and usually wear mine with dark wash or black jeans. But my black fitted shirts are always RTW because I can't find nice fabric to sew my own.

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    1. I know I got lucky finding it when I did. That's why I bought 10 yards of it. Next time I will have to write a blog post about it because I forget that others may be looking for the same thing.

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  10. So cute. Love the extra attention to detail with the gingham!

    I need to add a black shirt to my wardrobe. It would probably get worn more than the white one!

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  11. Super cute shirt and love the gingham details. I am a use the serger person, too.

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  12. I love this on you! A black shirt seems infinitely more practical to me than a white shirt. Unless you have pets, and then the black will show the fur like nobody's business. Fabric Mart's shirting sales have been incredible, so I don't blame you for stocking up!

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  13. Your custom shirt with the designer details is beautiful. I especially like it worn open, it's a great look on you.

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  14. Hello! I am new here and enjoyed your post very much. I especially love your added gingham to the "black shirt". You did a wonderful job.

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    1. Welcome Tammy and thank you for your kind comments!

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  15. A black shirt is a basic in a wardrobe and a darling one like yours is perfect. It is such a good background for funky jewelry! Your custom gingham is genius!

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  16. I really like this outfit on you! The details on the black shirt are crazy awesome! I will keep this in mind when I sew shirts this year.

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  17. I love the little gingham accents on this shirt. I do own a black blouse, but not made by me. I would like a longer lightweight shirt though that can be worn open as well so perhaps I should get to it!

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  18. Turned out great! I believe I need a black shirt too - and those red velvet shoes stop girl!

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  19. Those shoes and your hair are amazing! You look great in that cute black shirt!

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  20. Great shirt,Caroline. I think Ina Garten has made it her signature piece of clothing and it works beautifully with her coloring as does your's. Not many can wear black but it looks really lovely on you. Love the gingham touches.

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  21. LOVE this on you. Love the accents you added...Thank you for this inspiration - I will use this idea on m y next shirt. I just found your blog. If Im compare this photo to the 'fail' photo...It is clear what makes you feel good/strong. I am 65 and just now understanding this on myself. (its about time...)

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