The Orange Flannel Shirt, Part 2

The Orange Flannel Shirt is finished!  Overall, I’m pleased with the way it turned out.

A Thread Scare

I bought a sampler pack of Gutermann threads from Joann’s with one of their famous 50% off coupons.  It has 20 or so colors in it, including a shade of orange that perfectly matched my shirt fabric.

The problem is the spools  have 100 yards (meters?) of thread, which is not enough for a decent sized project.

After getting the main body and sleeves together, I knew I was running out of thread.  After finishing attaching and topstitching the cuffs, with the bottom hem and buttonholes remaining, this is how much thread I had left.


I stopped at Britex Fabrics one day during lunchtime and picked up more, but lesson learned. A single small spool of this stuff is a dangerous purchase, and you should buy at least two, or a larger sized spool, at the start of a project.

Finally, the big reveal


No models were harmed in the making of this picture.

The plaid matching went well. The design flows perfectly right across the front placket of the shirt.   The placket buttons were chosen to fall exactly at the centerpoint of each orange square.  I might need to add another button at the bottom.


On the rear, the bias-cut yoke lines up nicely design with the stripes on the back, collar, and sleeves.


Front pocket detail.  I cut this on the bias, and forgot this fact when I was sewing it onto the shirt. I stretched out the edges a bit, which gave the pocket a bit of an arched shape – which I like, actually.  The flap almost lines up the pattern with the body of the pocket – this was a tricky one and I opted for best placement of the flap rather than trying to force the design to match.

And the pocket is a little out of register with the design on the body of the shirt.  I chose to keep the pocket level, rather than try to visually match it to the pattern.  Not sure it would have come out better the other way.


Placket and cuff.  The cuff wound up being a big bright strip of orange because it was cut along the grain, rather than cross-grain.  The cuffs call attention to themselves a little more than they would otherwise, but that’s OK.


There’s also a little orange thread still hanging around despite having been run through the washer.

I’m really happy with the way the collar turned out. The orange ends up highlighting the face while the purple collar points line right up with the shirt body.

The collar fits (it buttons up at least), but is still a bit snug.



Plaid matching along the side seams isn’t perfect, but it’s still OK.  I focused entirely on getting the fronts lined up, and even though I did put effort into getting the back to line up with the sides, it didn’t come out just right.  Fortunately, it ended off the same amount on both sides.

Next Time

We finally embark on sewing the Chambray Comfy Shirt.

10 thoughts on “The Orange Flannel Shirt, Part 2

  1. caroline

    Nice work! I often find that we are way more critical of our own work than anyone else is. I wouldn’t have noticed the pocket being slightly mis-aligned if you hadn’t mentioned it. Your blog is new to me, off to read through some of your other projects.

    1. mportuesisf

      Jim also didn’t notice the mis-aligned pocket. He doesn’t want me to tell him about stuff like that anymore!

  2. David

    Great work! You’ve matched it perfectly at the front! Good decision for the pocket, it had to be on the bias but like you, I’ve had problems with overstretching fabric cut on the bias in the past. Not sure if interfacing totally helps unless you have a good quality one or it may depend on how you manipulate the fabric with the iron or perhaps it’s best to use a walking foot for that effect. Wishing someone with more experience than me could give some feedback here, that would be useful. But once you get through a plaid shirt, every other shirt project will feel like a pleasant ride after that! Well done again

  3. Wil

    Beautiful shirt. Perfect points on the collar. I admire the cuffs. I buy extra thread for a project because one time I ran out in the middle of a shirt an the store no longer carried that color even though it had only been a few weeks since I bought it. I got a color as close as I could to finish.

  4. Joe

    I think it looks fantastic. I bought some plaid material about 10 years ago, but still don’t have the courage to try to get it to match up.

    1. mportuesisf

      By all means, you should use your plaid material in a project! Fabric is meant to be sewn. Maybe buy some cheap plaid fabric and sew up a project or two in order to get the hang of it.

  5. Elizabeth

    Came across your site tonight while trying to figure out how to add clear elastic to a top I’m making for a friend. Your work is fantastic :) once I get past christmas I look forward to exploring your blog more….if this slippery, thin, stripped knit doesn’t kill me first! I think I cut it out all matched up but I guess I’ll find out for sure once I sew it.

    1. mportuesisf

      Elizabeth, thank you for the compliments! I hope you find some other articles here on the blog you enjoy.


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