Sunday, 8 March 2015

Simplicity 1544: Short Sleeve Shirt for Tim

After making Tim three Negroni's, two of which I hacked to include a collar stand and button plackets, it was time to try a different pattern. Hopefully one that "had it all".

The Simplicity 1544 shirt has pockets, back yokes, collar and stand, button plackets and placket cuffs. But I'd bought some gorgeous shirting from Tessuti with a short sleeves shirt in mind so I needed to make a shorter sleeve. Unsurprisingly, creating a short sleeve is 100% easier than hacking button plackets and collar bands etc. Phew! I simply measured the Negroni short sleeve and marked it on the Simplicity sleeve pattern.

I made a muslin from some yucky poly striped fabric that made Tim look like he stole the Banana's In Pajamas shirt. This was my first time making a muslin that I didn't hope to make wearable. It was incredibly liberating being able to make something up so fast and with so little care for the finishing's. No finished seams, clipped curves, or pretty top stitching here. It took me just 45 minutes to sew it up! 

From the muslin we decided that the fit was fine except for needing to take a small amount of width from the sleeve and shortening it a lot. I took 4" off the Negroni sleeve length, created a 1" hem, and then folded it outward 1" and tacked it down to create a cuff look. I also took 1/4" from the sleeve width grading to nothing at the shoulders. The only other changes I made were to omit the yoke tab, and additional country style top stitching.

The fit of this shirt is definitely a looser around the torso than the Negroni Shirts but that's fine for casual summer shirt. For a more formal or business wear shirt you could easily add some back darts where most of the excess room is. Next time I make the shirt, probably a long sleeve, I'll fold out a little more width in the sleeves as well.

The instructions were reasonably clear and easy to follow. There's no suggestion to flat fell the seams. Instead the instructions have you overclock the edges of the shoulder seams and then turn them inside for top stitching. I also did this down the sleeve and side seams.  

The collar stand and collar are sewn on very similar to the Archer shirt, but the button bands are both wide separate pattern pieces that are interfaced, attached to the body,  folded inwards and then top stitched down. The hem is created before the button band and then the band bottoms are sewn wrong sides out and then turned inwards so that they are even with the hem. I quite liked this process but they do create very thick button bands.

I absolutely loved working with this fabric. It was sturdy and forgiving. The button holes and top stitching went in like a dream. Summer is officially over but I hope we have a few warm days left so that Tim has the chance to wear his new shirt and I can get some more wear out of all the dresses!

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