Hello friends! I haven't been the greatest blogger lately, I know. I have lots going on in my life right now. I gave notice at my current job in late October, and I start a new job (actually, I am going back to my old office - a rather boring major life change, but a major life change nonetheless!) at the end of November. So I have been a bit frantic trying to wrap things up and transition my projects. I will really miss my buddies at my current job and it's tough to say goodbye to my projects (a.k.a. my babies!!!), but the new job will be great too! When it comes to my career, I would say I'm pretty conservative - I've only had two jobs in my legal career of 13 years, and now I'm going back to the first one!
I have been sewing plenty since I last posted, though. I made a couple of gifts and some autumn bunting, did a little handsewing when I was under the weather last week, and made this warm, cozy flannel shirt for Joe!
The weather has cooled down a lot in Oakland, and Mr. Joe is in need of warm layers for school. He chose this gorgeous Shetland Flannel in navy at A Verb For Keeping Warm. I've been explaining the difference between "t-shirt fabric" and "button-down shirt fabric," and he chose this for a very soft and warm button-down shirt.
This fabric. You guys! Words and photographs just don't do it justice. It is so thick and beefy. Incredibly soft and sturdy stuff. Handling this fabric is truly a sensual pleasure. Go buy some and sew with it. You are very welcome.
For this shirt, I used the Oliver + s Sketchbook Shirt pattern. Joe is still a size 5 by his measurements, but since this was intended to be a layering item, I cut the pattern out in size 6, with the full size 12 length in the torso. In my experience, this pattern runs short through the body, and I wanted this flannel shirt to be big and cozy.
In addition to adding length, the other major modification I made was to the pocket. I took the pocket piece provided by the pattern and expanded it to make a center pleat, and then drafted a pocket facing and flap. That sounds complicated, but you would laugh if you saw my hand-drawn pieces! The pleated pocket has a more lumberjack/traditional flannel shirt feeling and adds a fun detail. Although Joe wanted blue buttons initially, I insisted on brown and found these tan buttons in my stash. I was so right about that! (Sorry Joe.) I love the buttons.
This shirt can be worn buttoned up, or as a jacket-like layer over a t-shirt. Funny face optional.
This is my second time making the Sketchbook Shirt but since my last one, I made an Archer Shirt for myself, and that really got me feeling more comfortable with shirt making. This is a great pattern, not an easy or fast sew, but completely do-able for a beginner. My only constructive criticism is that (a) it really is too short in the body; and (b) I do wish it had a two piece collar option. I like a separate collar stand and collar. Although in this flannel, the one piece version is really fine, and it's unlikely to ever be buttoned up to the top. The Sketchbook Shirt and Shorts is easily one of the most used patterns in my collection. It's an incredible value if you enjoy sewing for boys. But if you make the shirt, add some length. You won't regret it.
Joe is really sensitive to textures, and prefers knit fabrics most of the time. But a roomy and cozy flannel shirt in Joe's favorite color, blue? I think this is going to get a ton of wear. Joe hasn't taken it off since I finished the shirt several hours ago, which is a very encouraging sign.
"Wait a minute ... ," you say.
"What is on Joe's legs? Those don't look like shorts ... ?"
Yeah, he's wearing a pair of Target sweatpants. The cold finally got to him, I guess. Perhaps there are some Parachute Pants in his future?
But next up, I have been volunteered to make a few superhero capes for Maggie's preschool auction. Bring on the nasty slinky poly satin! What are you working on?