Monday, March 16, 2009

a shirt

I'm insanely happy with this shirt.  I made it using the toddler shirt pattern in Weekend Sewing.  It was incredibly easy:  there are just eight pattern pieces:  two fronts, one back, two sleeves, two collars, and a pocket.  I've been scared off by similar patterns with way more pieces, so this was a pleasant surprise.  The only tricky bit was the buttonholes, but you could use snaps if buttonholes scare you (or just make some seriously ugly buttonholes, which is what I did).

The fabric is the pillowcase from the sheet set I bought to back this quilt.  This is useful thrift-store data:  a standard pillowcase provides more than enough fabric to make a toddler-sized shirt.

I used french seams on this shirt, which is what I usually do in order to finish seams, but it turns out that doing french seams on bitty little toddler sleeves is not for the faint of heart.  I do not see myself ever trying that again.

Like I've mentioned, the patterns, instructions, and diagrams in Weekend Sewing are very lucid and a pleasure to follow.  I have not yet cried, punched the wall, or torn up any pattern pieces while working on a Weekend Sewing project.  This is no faint praise.  The one (tiny) problem with this pattern is that either the collar pattern piece is too big or the diagram showing how to attach it is incorrect:  the diagram would appear to show the collar not extending onto the placket, but the collar is in fact large enough to extend more than halfway across the placket.  I don't know if I'm explaining that clearly, and in fact the problem might be mine, and not the book's.  Anyway, I just cut the collar down so it matched the diagrams, but you could also just sew it onto the placket.


Jenna said...

Oh my gosh, that is so adorable! And apparently affordable. (My one problem with little boys clothes is that to get a cute shirt, it costs as much as buying his dad a shirt.) I have no idea what a french seam is, but it sounds fancy. :-) Congrats, it is beautiful.

Karen said...

Thanks. You're so right about how expensive boy's shirts are. It takes 3/4 of a yard of fabric to make a baby or toddler shirt OR pants. Even with nice fabric, that's no more than $7 or $8, which is a lot cheaper than the gap or gymboree.