Man Sewing {Thread Theory Fairfield Shirt}

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So hello, here we are in 2019. The shirts in this post were sewn last year though, it’s just a lengthy process trying to get my husband in front of the camera. Shirts though, I’ve found a love for them over time. The little extra details and the fiddly bits are all quite rewarding when you pull them off. It’s a bit like bra sewing, I guess – little details that will make you yell, either in frustration or jubilation.

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I bought the Thread Theory Fairfield pattern during the black Friday sales, so it was quite a bargain. I grabbed the PDF version because they had an A0 option (I was NOT taping this sucker together) and toddled off to Officeworks to print it. I toiled this shirt because upon googling reviews, I ready many times over that it runs small. As in, comes up smaller than the finished measurements on the pattern. I measured my husband according to the very helpful Sewalong and his measurements were all over the chart. Apparently he has a big neck (really, though? I don’t think so) as well as long arms (that’s true and unsurprising for a 6’4″ human). So I toiled and made the medium, graded up to the large at the neck with some added length for height. And what do you know? It came up too small all over – even though he fit smack into the body measurements.

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Anyway. For his next version, I went with the size large, but graded down to a medium at the shoulders and armscyes and up to an extra large at the neck, as well as adding some length to the sleeves and the body, once again. And hey, look – that fit is pretty good! Still too tight at the neck (doing the top button up is uncomfortable) but he doesn’t mind as he never has a reason to button all the way to the top. This version is made from some really lovely Egyptian Cotton shirting from The Remnant Warehouse.

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New work shirt for the worker. I photographed it untucked to show the length. But he wears them tucked for work. Actually, this is a problem with RTW for him, shirts tend to be too short and they come untucked easily. Not this one though.

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I enjoyed making that one and learned so much that I immediately cut out another in this Dear Stella quilting cotton. I know, quilting cotton. The big companies have realised we use QC for clothes now though and some of them feel amazing. This one drapes really quite nicely and so does the Art Gallery range. I love them.

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As a rule, he’s not much of a print wearer, but when this fabric arrived I asked if he liked it and to my absolute shock, he said yes. He later told me it’s because it reminds him of Sailor Jerry rum, but whatever, I jumped on the idea of making him a shirt with it.

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Same process again, you can see the detail that has gone into designing this pattern. Every seam is enclosed, whether it’s frenched or flat felled. Flat felled armscyes scared the hell out of me at first, but the instructions are awesome and the sewalong is really helpful too and honestly, the end result is so worth it.

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It was also my first time doing tower plackets and now I love them.

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So here we have a happy husband. One new work shirt, the other more of a casual Friday thing. And a wife that is pretty bloody chuffed with her efforts, just quietly. Yes, he grew a beard between shoots. He does grown them quite quickly, but it does show how long it took me to get him into it.

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Getting Shirty Again {McCalls 6696 hack}

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Remember a while back I mashed a few patterns together to come up with a shirt pattern that fit me without gaping? The perfect collared shirt. Here it is, just in case you missed it. Anyway, I thought it was about time I turned that sucker into a dress, because why not, right?

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I mean yeah, I own McCalls 6696 and have made it a few times, just like every good sewing blogger ever. But I usually ended up sewing the button placket shut and putting a zip in the side because it really needed an FBA that I was too lazy to do and honestly, the collar is massive on that thing. I don’t know if I’m particularly short-necked, but it always felt oversized and grazed my chin.

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Stuff I changed:

  • Shortened the shirt front and back pieces to finish at the waist.
  • Gathered the back piece between the darts to fit it into the waistband (stolen from the original M6696 pattern).
  • Just did a regular old gathered skirt, with pieces the width of my fabric.

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Nothing groundbreaking. Besides, I’d made the shirt before, so didn’t think I’d have to change too much.

LOL.

Famous last words.

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Guess whose weight fluctuates like a yoyo and probably should have tried on her old versions of this dress first? Yeahhhhhhhh. When you think about it, shirts are pretty forgiving if your weight has changed, but fitted dresses with waistbands are less so.

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Things to change for next time (because yes, I forget stuff and often refer back to my own blog for clues on how I made things in the past. Apparently I donated my memory brain cells to my children):

  •  Take in the shirt a smidge at the centre front (those bust darts aren’t sitting where they should be and there feels like there’s excess fabric in the centre).
  • Take in the waist band a little bit also.
  • Shorten the bodice pieces a bit more so the waistband hits my actual waist.
  • Remember that I’ve given my collar and collar stand pieces a 1cm seam allowance, not 1.5cms.
  • Perhaps try to put the buttons and buttonholes on the correct sides next time.

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On the plus side, she’s very wearable and the extra room will be good for Christmas eating and I’m just being nitpicky, really. How good is the fabric? It’s by Alexia Abegg and I got it here. I’m such a sucker for the darker, tarot-esque/witchy/mystical themes. Meanwhile, I already have plans for my next one. There’s something that feels super fancy about a proper collar and collar stand, as well as functional buttons allllll the way down. I love it.

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‘You can call me Queen Bee…’ {Button Up Shirt x Liberty Queen Bee}

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I’ll keep this short because this is my fourth version of this shirt. Original pattern info can be found here. This time I made the collar slightly bigger again. Ha. I know.

Super awesome Liberty tana lawn from here.

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Yes it feels as amazing as you’d imagined. Maybe more. I want to wear nothing but Liberty from here on in, ok? I would also like to sleep in it. I will probably need to sell my organs on the black market to fund my new habit, but less body parts to dress at least. Glass half full.

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Special fabric deserves special treatment, so this shirt got French seams and little green vintage buttons that remind me of bowling balls because they have that funny iridescent marbly look. Shut up.

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I feel fancy.

Here’s a quick history of Liberty and why it feels so amazing and costs more than your average lawn:

It’s made by tiny pixies only by the full moon on a small island off the coast of Greenland. They weave together a secret combination of sparkly spider webs, angel hair and clouds.*

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*my version of events may deviate slightly from the truth. You can read some legit info here.

Take Two and Three {My quest for the perfect button up shirt}

So this guy, right? Pretty close to perfect. But could I leave it alone? No.

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My only bother was the collar felt too big – both in size and circumference. So what does this dickhead do? Retraced the neckline so it’s smaller but higher. If I’d stopped to think about that for more than a second, I’d realise that it was a rookie error and would make the whole shebang move further up my neck. I did cut down the collar and stand a smidge at the same time.

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Upon realising my mistake, I unpicked the collar and stand, recut the neckline so it was lower once again and made another collar. Which gave me this baby. Aw yes, better. Now to try on…

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WTF HAPPENED WITH THOSE BUST DARTS? Is this sorcery? Did I trace them with my eyes closed? Possibly. I don’t even know, man. Also that collar in sitting weirdly to the left. Now I have beautiful vintage Lion King fabric in a poorly fitting shirt.

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Ah well. Still a better fit than RTW. Will still wear.

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Last week, I ordered some beautiful Liberty lawn. So stunning. So spenno. Another tester was in order to get this shiz right before I cut into all those $$$$. This flamingo voile from Spotlight is the perfect test fabric really. Lovely and light but also reasonably priced. This time I took about a centimetre off the centre front all the way down, making that neck circumference a bit smaller and taking out some of the excess in the front. Good. I added some to the side seams to compensate and moved those bust darts in a bit. Good. New, smaller collar remained the same. Good.

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I think this is it. I mean, the collar still feels a bit big around my neck, but I don’t really like the feeling of being choked either. So this is the one. Promise I won’t touch it again.

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Wearing this to work today like a professional. Will be back with my fancy Liberty shirt later in the week.