Category Archives: Shirt

Class Two – Drafting the Back Bodice

The second class and assignment went smoothly. I finished the assignment in class, actually. It may have helped I took a pattern making class before based on Dorothy Moore’s book :


Compared to the Moore book, the measurements are slightly more comprehensive at FIT, so far anyway. I will agree with other bloggers though that the FIT class is only focused on measuring a dress form… to the point that we are instructed to find and measure from specific seams on the dress form. I’m not sure how this translates to actual people…

Photos to come.

Shirt, Shirt, Apron

I didn’t get as much sewing done as I would have liked this long Thanksgiving weekend. I did manage to start two projects and make a small amount of headway on the western shirt.

IMG_20141130_215034IMG_20141130_215606~2IMG_20141130_215054To right is one of the new projects I started. Actually, I had been working on tracing the pattern onto Swedish tracing paper for a couple of weeks now.

I really love this tracing paper because it’s easy to trace and it’s durable – I can pin it without concern it will rip. I am slowly trying to trace all my vintage patterns, so I don’t have to worry about damaging them when I trace and cut.

When I finished copying the pattern, I decided to cut out the shirt on a remnant gifted to me. It’s such a small remnant, I ran out of fabric for the collar, so I’m going to have some extra seams lines in the back. Oh well. I usually consider my first of any pattern a muslin anyway.

I’m completing the yellow version above. I’m really excited to see what the finished shirt looks like. I tried it on already and I really like the silhouette. I think the boatneck collar will be really pretty.

IMG_20141130_215725~2 IMG_20141130_215244~2 IMG_20141130_215223~2 IMG_20141130_215234~2Then there’s this apron pattern. I enlarged the a-line version on the left. If you look closely you can see this is a girl’s size 6-8, so it needed to be much bigger.

It was my first time slicing a pattern and I think it looks pretty good. It’s a bit loose, but I think it should be loose if you plan to wear it over your clothes. I need to shorten it and add pockets. I may add some other design elements like embroidery, but I haven’t decided yet.

And finally, the western shirt is coming along, although slowly. I find I need to work on short projects when I’m completing something more challenging. I like to be able to take breaks from the more difficult project.

You can see the fabric is the same for both of these projects. I don’t particularly like the color and the quality of the fabric is awful. It’s just some $2 stuff I picked up for muslins, so I guess it fulfills its purpose.


Long-sleeved, cotton blend jersey shirt.

Last year I tested a roomy long-sleeved shirt pattern from the 80’s. The shoulder seams are intentionally placed further down the sleeve and I liked the way it draped. When I tested the pattern, I used a cheap polyester and it turned out surprisingly well. I don’t wear  the muslin to work because the fabric is flawed, but it’s one of my favorite winter, weekend shirts.

I wanted to try the same pattern in cotton jersey. I find jersey difficult to sew and I want to master that skill. The last time I sewed with jersey, the neckline stretched out and I had to make some alterations to the pattern just to make it wearable. This time around, I’m prepared; I bought a twin needle. I’m still not sure I want to use the twin needle, though. The neckline has a facing and I blind-hemmed it thinking I might want to keep the sleeves and shirt bottom with the raw edge since jersey has a tendency to curl nicely giving a somewhat finished edge.

Here’s where I’m at:

IMG_20141116_223205 IMG_20141116_222832

Simplicity 8834: A Tank Top

I started sewing initially because I wanted to alter thrift store finds and create shapes and styles I couldn’t find in ready to wear clothing. I’m happy to say that I finally feel I’ve honed sufficient skills to be able to do this. Of course, I still have a lot to learn, but it is so rewarding to put on a piece of clothing that I feel so comfortable in and know that I made this with my own hands.

Among the pieces I’ve sewn this summer that contributed to that feeling is a tank top I continue to make from a Simplicity pattern (8834). Clearly it’s not a complicated top, but it’s comfortable and I can sew it in three hours.

blue tank 2 blue tank


Although I have this tank top in four or five fabrics, I posted picture of the one I wore the most this summer. It’s made of African wax fabric I bought in Senegal. (Although I wear this tank top a lot, I should point out I made a small mistake in cutting the back so it blouses a bit. I’m certain I’m the only one who notices though. This is also why you only get to see the front.)