In the midst of all my work drama, this weekend opened up for me to work on some projects.
I’m entering the PatternReview Men’s Challenge, from now through August 15. The plan is to make a men’s shirt for my partner, Jim. A few weeks ago, at Fabric Outlet’s 40% off sale, I found this cut of soft Chambray print that is very “him”. He has several shirts in his wardrobe that have a similar theme and vibe, and this was a a good excuse to make him a shirt. Plus, it is a chance to try out fitting techniques on someone other myself.
Once the basic concept took shape, I needed to zero in on the pattern choice and the design details. I made a return visit to Fabric Outlet last weekend, on the last day of the 40% off sale, to shop for accent fabric and accessories. I bought a yard of pink chambray fabric to use for contrast details, and found some navy blue buttons that “pop” against the chambray print and also stand out against the pink chambray.
Yesterday, I took Jim’s measurements and decided on the pattern. I didn’t feel a closely fittted or shaped shirt would pair well with the heavy nature of the chambray or the print pattern. Instead, we jointly decided to go with Kwik Sew 2000 – a looser, boxier fit that borders on being a shirt-jacket. It works well with the heavier nature of the chambray fabric. The cut is also similar to the other printed shirts in Jim’s wardrobe with similar styles of fabric.
I interviewed Jim, to find out what he preferred for his shirt and I also took his measurements. We settled on View B, with two pockets with flaps on the front. The pink chambray will go inside the cuffs, inside collar band, yoke, and pocket flaps. Though the pattern calls for contrast fabric on the underside of the collar, we won’t be doing that.
The cuffs will use pleats, as in the pattern, instead of gathers. Jim wants smaller collar points than the ones on the pattern; I’ll have to either redraft the ones included with the pattern or substitute some collar patterns from David Coffin’s “Shirtmaking”. Also, the pockets that come with the pattern are rounded rectangles; I’ll actually substitute some chevron-shaped pockets, stolen from McCall’s 6044.
To begin, I’ll be doing a muslin made with a bedsheet that’s sitting in my stash. Jim’s measurements best correspond with size L in the pattern, so we’ll be going with that to see how well it fits. The pattern description says it “may be worn over other shirts”, so I’m a bit concerned it will run large. Unlike my other projects, the muslin will not end up being the final product.
I ran both cuts of fabric through the laundry for preshrinking. The main fabric came out soft, drapey and almost free of wrinkles. The pink contrast fabric, also chambray, is stiff and came out so wrinkly not even the iron on full steam could get the wrinkles completely out.
I also ironed the cut pattern pieces and prepared them for tracing. Really, this is work I should have done a week ago. Odds are this project will not be completed by the contest deadline, but that’s okay.
Next time, I’ll get the pattern in shape and try to belt out the muslin.