Saturday, September 10, 2016

More School Clothes! Part 1: The "Golden Shirt."

Hello readers! I'm back for a second installment of school clothes for my kidlets. Joe started first grade a couple weeks ago, and Maggie is back in preschool (for her third year) this week! One of the ways that we sewing moms show our love and concern for our kids is to dress them in things we've made before sending them out into the world. So the start of the new school year puts me into a flurry of sewing activity.


I'm going to break this down into two blog posts, talking about Joe's shirt first. This is the "golden shirt" that he requested not that long ago. Joe likes to tell me that I make more things for Maggie than I do for him. This may be true, for a variety of reasons (including that Joe is pickier than Maggie and less likely to wear the clothes I make!), but I don't think he can say it now, after I made him two t-shirts, a pair of shorts, and this shirt!

This is the Oliver + s Sketchbook Shirt with some modifications, sewn up in Anna Maria Horner's Loominous Illuminated Graph Glow, which is just the BEST fabric, and very golden with the metallic gold threads running through it! It doesn't photograph well, but it's really quite blingy in person!



I made some modifications to the Sketchbook pattern - fit-wise, I cut it in a size 6 but utilizing the full length of the pattern (size 12 length). This pattern is boxy and short, in my opinion, and although my version is quite long and has room to grow, I much prefer the proportions of the shirt with a lot of length added!


What is that, you ask? Why yes, I did draft a two piece collar (with separate collar stand) for the Sketchbook shirt! The pattern comes with a stand for a mandarin or band collar, or a one piece collar. I've complained in the past that the one piece collar doesn't lie the way I would prefer, so this time I decided to try my luck at drafting a two piece collar. I used the band collar provided in the pattern, and the collar piece to draft a collar. I got stumped when it came to drafting the contour of the bottom of the collar, and spent a lot of time online looking at collar pieces! My first attempt resulted in a collar that was much too narrow, so I tossed that and started over, adding more depth to the collar. I think it turned out pretty nice in the end, although it really did feel like guess work at the time! I'm sure there's a much more "official" way to draft a collar!

I had gotten it into my head that I wanted to do a button down collar on this shirt - I thought that preppy detail would help to tone down the gold bling, and I still think it would look great - but the shape of the collar I drafted would not work for that. I need to go back to the books and figure out different men's collar shapes! Subtle changes make such a difference! As it is, I'm very happy with how this collar looks and I don't think a button down collar would have added much.

Of course, after all that work, Joe let me know that he doesn't particularly like collared shirts with buttons. Because, you know, they are not in a knit fabric, and they touch his neck. (See above re: why I sew more for Maggie!) But he's willing to wear it over another t-shirt, and once it was on he forgot about it. I expect I will be able to convince him to wear this shirt to a few nicer occasions and maybe school pictures.

Note: School pictures for boys turn out so much better if you can get your kid into a collared shirt! They photograph so nicely!


With the grid pattern of this fabric, I put a lot of pieces on the bias - the two front pockets, the buttonhole placket, and the outside (but not lining) yoke piece. Keeping the inside yoke piece on the straight grain helps prevent the bias yoke from stretching out of shape during the sewing process. Of course, I used the "burrito" technique on the yoke, and I also used the instructions from the Grainline Archer Shirt when I was sewing the collar stand to the shirt. She has a confusing to describe but excellent technique for getting the collar stand to match the buttonhole placket exactly.

The hardest thing about this shirt was choosing buttons for it, seriously! I really wanted something casual, because this fabric is really the star of the show and I didn't want it to be over-the-top blingy. But white buttons really just didn't work. I bought wooden buttons for the shirt, but on second thought they looked too big and juvenile on the shirt. So I went back to the store, where a very excellent saleslady at Stonemountain and Daughter understood exactly what I was going for and picked out these tortoise-shell style men's shirt buttons for me. They don't actually match the fabric, color-wise, and I had moments of questioning .... but in the end, they lend a very classic and understated look to the shirt and neither  detract from or overly emphasize the golden-metallic-ness of this fabric. 



Joe was yelling "I love tacos!" during this shot! We live in the land of "taco trucks on every corner," and I'm here to say, it's a pretty good land, haha! Joe's shorts are these ones - Sketchbook Shorts, of course! This is one of the very few times you'll see Joe wearing a whole Sketchbook ensemble!

I love that Joe still loves shiny blingy stuff! And tacos! Even if he is somewhat anti-collar.

Tomorrow I will post Part 2: Maggie's Citronille Patterns Suzanne! Stay tuned!

13 comments:

  1. This shirt is fabulous and I want one for myself!! So glad that you found a way that he will wear it, too! It would have been heartbreaking otherwise!

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  2. Alright, first, I'm so glad to see Joe wearing that shirt after your IG post suggesting he wouldn't like it. Yay!

    Second, that fabric - swoon! Is it thicker than your normal shirting? Every time I see photos of it I get the feeling that it is squishier, kind of like double gauze.

    Third - I can't believe that is the 12 length. I thought the proportions looked spot on and not too long, so good job there. Also the buttons are a good complement - they let the fabric take center stage, like you say.

    And finally, I'm kind of in awe that you drafted the collar pieces yourself - thinking in that kind of 3D makes my head go screwy. Well done!

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  3. So thrilled that Joe is wearing the golden shirt because it's a freakin' work of art. What is with the dimensions of that Sketchbook shirt? The size 12 length looks perfect on size 6 width!! I hope he wears it to bits. Hmm, taco truck land, I wouldn't mind living there :D

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    1. Actual conversations in my house: "Which taco truck should we go to?" Long and complex arguments ensue ...

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  4. I like that shirt with the longer length! Interesting about the collar, I've found I prefer a separate collar stand, also. Maybe the next time I make one I will give it a shot. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. You're welcome, Emily! Thank you for the nice compliment! Definitely give a longer length and two part collar a try - it's especially nice for boys as they grow older and you may want a more classic look.

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  5. Oh I love it!! I'll echo everyone and say I can't believe that's the size 12 length, especially after you just told me he's pretty average in height! That pattern must run crazy short! Anyway I love the fabric and those buttons are perfect. And your collar drafting skills are very impressive - a collar stand really does make the collar lie all nice-like and it just seems more professional. I kind of love shirt-making too - I think I need to move on to an Archer for myself!

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    1. He is average in height, but short in the legs and long in the torso, so adding 1-2" inches in shirt length is a common adjustment for me (whereas he still wears size 5 in pants). Still, this shirt is VERY short, so I added 5-6" total! I would definitely recommend measuring your child and then adding plenty of extra length.

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  6. Oh wow, super impressed that you drafted that collar yourself! It looks perfect! And I can't believe that's a size 12 in length! It looks just right and not a bit too long to me! This shirt is amazing! It so, so sweet that Joe likes to wear your handmades! <3

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  7. I love Joe's shirt, yellow is an awesome colour and he wears it well.

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    1. Thank you, Nicole! It's not a color I would have chosen myself, but my kids are in love with this fabric and it is really fun!

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  8. Looks great and I'm glad you've found a way around the button issue. I'm curious about how you traced the length, as I've just traced off this pattern. The sizes are kind of nested so the length of the bigger size is higher at the shoulder and lower at the hem. Did you go with the total length of the size 12 or took the hem length down to the size 12 line? - doing that only adds about 1" in length.

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    1. No, I captured the whole length of the size 12. Although - at the end, the front and back pieces were slightly different so I did trim a half inch off one piece, not sure what I did wrong there!

      It should be noted that Joe is average height for 7 years old, but is long in the torso so adding a couple inches to shirt length is a normal adjustment for him. Still, I think I added 5 or 6 inches to this shirt. If you're making this for your child, I would recommend measuring the child and erring on the long side (it's hard to be exact with neck to hem measurement because of the yoke).

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