Saturday, April 07, 2018

The Hurrying Spring Along Shirt!

This is what I woke up to on April 2nd...

It was supposed to be spring like 3 weeks ago! So continuing to sew shirts is appropriate for April. Especially since I'm thinking it's gonna be a minute before it gets really warm in my neck of the woods, especially since more snow is forecasted for today.  Oh spring, where art thou?

At the same time, Macy's is having their Annual Flower Show on the main floor of the Herald Square store. I thought it would be the perfect place to take photos of my latest make but of course being the slub that I am I just couldn't make that work. It's a lot harder than you realize to cart clothing, camera pieces and extra hair from NJ!

So my ever resourceful daughter thought up going to Michaels to take pictures in their floral department. She said that there is a #MichaelsChallenge where the store is encouraging people to take photos in their floral department. So we headed there to take the pictures and no one bothered us. 

Onto the shirt ~
This is my quarterly make for Elliot Berman Textiles.  I saw the fabric on their Instagram feed and walked over to see if I could have some. Now I got this fabric in early February. My plan was to make this shirt over President's Day weekend. Well we all know that didn't happen and why! But I was determined to get this finished, so I took it to Sew Camp with me.

This was from EB's feed on IG

It was also available on Emmaonesock but is long sold out!
I'm sharing this pic because of the amazing shots EOS took of the fabric.

Supply List ~
* Cotton Sateen Border Print from Italy - this fabric was in panels and I used 3 panels.
* Light Crisp Shirting Fusible Interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply
* 8 1/2" flower buttons from the collection

Construction & Design Thoughts ~
Now that this pattern's fit issues have been resolved, my shirts are all about the fabric choices. When I saw this on Instagram, I KNEW it would make an amazing shirt if I could get the border print to lay down the front of the shirt. This is challenging because I don't use a flat front on my shirts. My shirts have a shoulder princess layout would be important.

This is what I shared on IG when thinking about my layout:

Then it was how do I make the border print work most effectively for the shirt. 

A few things:

1. The border print ran horizontally, so I made sure that all of the main pieces (fronts, bottom back and sleeves) were cut in the same direction.

2. While I cut the collar, cuffs and back yoke on the straight grain, I've done this before and know that it doesn't affect the hang of the shirt.

3. I cut these pieces to work most effectively with the shirt's design flow.

4. Full cuffs for the sleeves instead of a button cuff was the way I went with this shirt. I just liked it. It was totally my choice - it could have gone either way - this is just the direction I chose.

5. Originally I thought that I would pleat the lower back piece where it joins to the yoke. I did pleat and baste it together but the pleat seemed to diminish the effect of the border print. So I went with gathers because it worked better with the yoke and collar.

6. I've been making shirts for awhile now but I haven't been able to master "the burrito method" from all of the written instructions. However, after a lesson or two cause Imma admit Kisha helped me with the second shirt too, I think I've got it now! 

I used three panels and only had scraps left. Some other design ideas thought of but discarded:
- covered buttons from the floral area of the border print (decided it was too much)
- really full sleeves (wanted them fuller but there wasn't enough white space between the border

One more thing ~ 
I chose sew on button bands instead of the fold on ones due to fabric layout. As I was adding the front button bands on, I realized that I sewed one on folding to the front and one folding to the back. I was kinda upset thinking that I would need to unpick the back one. When Coralee piped up and said you should just leave it alone.

Coralee at Sew Camp looking sassy in her Miyake coat!

She was right! With the band going to the back it leaves a cleaner finish on the button band and I will now be using the "Coralee Method" when sewing on button bands!

Here are a few pictures of the finished shirt ~

Doesn't that pink plant falling forward look like an octopus or sea creature?

I love the back swing of this shirt along with how the 
border print works for the cuffs and back!

Sewing Tip for Sewing Shirts ~
Since it's Shirt Month here on the blog, I've decided to add a sewing tip for all of those sewing or reading along and thinking of making their own shirts. Today's tip would be to use the speciality feet for your sewing machine to make the sewing as easy as possible.

This shirt was sewn on my back up sewing machine - Janome 6600P - during Sew Camp. I own a straight stitch foot for this machine and it made constructing this shirt so much easier than on my main machine. I've since rectified that and purchased a straight stitch foot for my main one. However, look at the stitching line and how close I got to the edge without having to change to the edge stitch foot.

Purchasing extra feet for your machine may seem like an unnecessary expense but believe me it's money well spent!

Conclusion ~
Just a reminder that this fabric was given to me by Elliott Berman since I'm collaborating with them to showcase the awesome fabrics they have in-store and online.  I did a quick search of their online store and here is compilation of border print fabrics if you're interesting in purchasing some of your own! Cause y'all know I love a good border print!

This is the kick-off to Shirt Month and emphasizes that fabric CAN make all the difference in making step outside the box and use a fabric that's not typically thought of for a shirt.

Next up is my black shirt ~ do you own one? always more later!


  1. Isn't it fun to stage a photo shoot! You blended in perfectly in the florabunda. Great shirt and fit!

  2. I'm always drawn to border print fabrics and you did a fabulous job of your pattern placement. Spring-like shirt (even if the weather isn't).

  3. That's really lovely. The placement of the border print is really beautifully done and as always your fitting and construction is impeccable!

  4. Beautiful fabric - you're your own flower show! I hope Michael's takes notice. You did a masterful job placing the design.

  5. You are absolutely correct - the fabric makes the shirt. This is simply a beautiful shirt! Karen

  6. You are so good at using those border prints! This shirt is really great looking on you. I wish you would make one for me.

  7. Your shirt shouts spring - makes me feel better seeing you modeling it. You absolutely made best use of your border print fabric.

  8. WOW Carolyn. I never would have thought there was a princess seam if I didn't see the pattern layout! And I'm digging the Coralee method :))

  9. Extra hair?? Nice shirt and very spring like at Michaels.

    1. Yeah - extra hair - that's a piece added to the back of my own hair. I feel very Beyonce in it! LOL!

  10. If I had seen this fabric, I never would have imagined it in a shirt like this. You have such a good eye for combining fabric and patterns. This is just fabulous and such a great way to celebrate spring! I know everyone you come in contact with while wearing it will smile because it is just so joyful. It really is a stand out on you! Enjoy it!

  11. What an amazing way to use a border print! That's a beautiful -- and inspiring -- shirt.


  12. oh I love a nice border print and this is so pretty! great photos too. looks fantastic on you. and springlike - hope the weather improves for you soon :)

  13. That is one GORGEOUS shirt! Thanks for sharing your sewing tips!

  14. Absolutely beautiful!!!! You are inspiring! Thank you!

  15. I'd love to use my straight stitch foot but my machine doesn't have a straight stitch plate. And have been reluctant to buy one. Oh, well, maybe I will try it anyway. As an experiment. Didn't have to worry about this in the olden days.

  16. This is gorgeous! I never would have thought you could use a princess seam right in the middle of the floral panel, but you did it to perfection.

    I'm interested in the shape of your side-front piece. The little inward dip just below the bust looks like a good way to avoid the over-blousy look at the lower bust while still allowing enough space for both bust and tummy. Have you demonstrated this and I missed it? I would love to know how you trued the 2 seam lengths and how it is sewn.

    Thanks as always for sharing your skills and talent. You are an inspiration!
    (This comment was deleted and reposted to clarify. I guess that's why I should proof-read before publishing... :-/ )

    1. Yes, I've changed my front pattern piece to reflect the front of my body. It allows the shirt to be fitted over my bustline yet give me enough room for my abdomen which hasn't been flat in years! Yes, the side front and front piece match up. The front piece also has a little added to it from the same dip point and's just not as noticeable.

      And no, I did not share this on the blog. I guess I didn't think anyone would be interested because some fitting changes really only apply to your own body. It's just a sentence or two in one of the older posts. My advice though is that your pattern pieces should reflect your body and don't necessarily have to look like they do coming out of the pattern envelope.

    2. It really makes for a flattering fit.

  17. So fresh and spring-y! Love it -- and you are definitely changing my mind about shirts (and buttons). It's all about the border placement on this one -- and you nailed it. BTW, love the kicks too!

  18. Beautiful use of this border print! And great pictures!

  19. You nailed the floral placement. Love this look on you...and the location for your photoshoot. :)

  20. Hello Shirt Month! Your floral button up shirt came out beautifully! The fabric placement is everything! I even think using Michaels store as a background was a great idea!

  21. I didn't even realize that there were princess seams in the front, that's brilliant!! Everything about this shirt is so cool! (especially that button band design feature :) )

  22. You are always so creative with these border prints and this is no exception. It's lovely. I am planning on changing brands for my new machine and I dread having to replace all my favorite feet. At least I now which ones I use all of the time and which I've never used in a garment! They really do make doing certain tasks so much easier.

    1. Nancy - What kind of sewing machine are you thinking of buying?

  23. Beautiful shirt, beautiful you.

  24. So pretty.
    While you are wondering whether you winter will ever end, we are having the never ending summer in the south east of Australia, which isn't as great as it sounds. Wouldn't it be great to swap?

  25. Great idea to take photos surrounding by flowers! I so love that shirt and thanks for sharing the Coralee Method!

  26. Wow! your shirt is absolutely stunning! I LOVE that stunning print and I think you placed it perfectly to make the most beautiful use of it. I love it pictured against the pink flowers, in particular!

  27. Wow, I love this one and your smile says you also like it very much. I came out beautifully. Well done.

  28. What a clever and original use of a border print and I hear it may have done the trick and you have a hint of spring coming...?!?


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! It is so appreciated!


Related Posts with Thumbnails