Saturday, November 14, 2015

Flannel Shirt.



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 ... ?"


SHHHHHHH!!! Not so loud! Yes, those are pants. The first pants to grace Joe's legs in about two years. But let's play it cool, okay? Don't make a scene. Just act like it's all normal, okay? No big deal.

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?

15 comments:

  1. Love this so much and, YES, I wish it was a two piece collar to. I did blog a method involving nifty stitching and topstitching to make it sit better but a two piece collar wins hands down, every time.

    Joe looks so handsome and grown up.
    xx N

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    1. I did topstitch across the fold line of the one-piece collar to help it fold more crisply there - I should go search your blog to see if you suggest something more fancy?! It's a great shirt, though! In flannel, it's not as important that the collar sit upright. It's just supposed to be snuggly and warm.

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  2. Great looking shirt! It really suits Joe and it looks like he loves it. I may have to get my hands on some of that flannel... I seem to recall petting it last time I was there. Why didn't I buy any! ;-)

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    1. Thanks Noelle! Try it!! I'm betting you won't regret it! If nothing else, you could just wrap yourself in it on a chilly evening!

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  3. OK, you have sold me on the fabric. This is the third project I've read about in as many days using that flannel. I WANT! Also, great modifications. I had a wool plaid shirt-jac like this, and though it was itchy even through other layers I loved the way it looked on.

    And LOL about the pants. But not too loud. Shhh. No big deal.

    I'm Christmas sewing at the mo. American Girl doll clothes, to be exact.

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  4. I love how you just casually mention DRAFTING A PLEATED POCKET AND FLAP! I am so impressed! It looks so pro! You are a rockstar! 😍 love this shirt. I am particular about my clothes too in terms of fabrics. No wool! Way too itchy. And I love cardigans so that's a tall order, to find them wool/acrylic free! Beautiful work, Inder!

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  5. That shirt is plain fantastic! I love the color, the heft of it, and those pockets!! And yes, the brown buttons are perfect for it.:)

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  6. Such a great shirt. And the pockets are just perfect for a snugglier, chunkier shirt. Ack, every time I hear how awesome a Robert Kaufman fabric is I just want to weep because they are practically impossible to get hold of here. We've tried ordering them and we'll get about 10% of what we ordered, about 9 months later. So we've just given up because it makes planning and budgeting impossible. Argh! Anyway, sorry for the boring retailer frustration. Great shirt and good call on the length.

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  7. Does it use traditional shirting flat felled seams? Did you paint Joe's lower legs blue?

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    1. Patrick, I did a "faux flat felled seam." I finished the edges with the serger and then topstitched them down. The oliver + s patterns have a half inch seam allowance, and while it's possible to do a flat felled seam with such a small seam allowance, it's tough, and I dont' know that it would have worked out very well with this thick, bulky, raveley fabric. :-)

      NO, no paint! Actual pants! I know!!!!!

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    2. I ordered two felling feet, a 4mm and a 6mm but they haven't come yet. I am soon to make my first shirt from Kwik Sew 3506, a western shirt using a non-traditional patterned cotton fabric. It is Alexander Henry, Nicole's Prints, Midnight Pastoral in blue. At first glance it has beautiful pastoral scenes with ladies by rivers with parasols, but on closer look they are all skeletons! It will be sort of a punk western shirt;) I don't think I'll do flat felled seams on my first shirt, but I have David Coffin's Shirtmaking - Developing Skills For Fine Sewing and I will learn as I go. So much fun.

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  8. Wow, that's a cute shirt and some great pictures of gorgeous Joe! Can that really be a size 12 in length? -- it looks like just the right size for him! Those pleated pockets are a very smart detail. Rowan has an aversion to things touching his forearms and legs, which is not exactly practical at our line of latitude, but, like Joe, he will consent to wear sweatpants. I wish he would wear a shirt like this. I'm filing it under "one day." I'm trying to finish two nearly-complete projects (a coat and a quilt) in the meantime. Congrats on your new/old job!!

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    1. Thanks Medrle! I can't say I blame these boys, I would probably wear sweatpants all the time if I thought I could get away with it! LOL! Yes, this is the size 12 length. But here's the thing - this pattern is just TOO SHORT in the body. Crazy too short. Unchanged, it makes a shirt that barely clears the top of Joe's shorts. Now, he does have a long torso, but seriously? So this is a great pattern but you have to add extra length. When he's 12 I'm imagining he'll need a lot more than this!

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  9. I just love this shirt, Oscar definitely needs one! The pockets are perfect, the buttons are perfect, and I've used that Shetland flannel before, it's seriously dreamy. I can't believe that's the 12 length, damn! This pattern definitely runs short, I'm making a mental note of that for next time!

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  10. I love this shirt so much! I had kind of written this pattern off because of the fit issues but now I may have to pull it out and just add a ton of length. And copy your pocket idea because it is genius! Also I just ordered a couple yards of that flannel and I'm so excited for it to come and to get sewing!

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