Finished last weekend: White Shirt No. 3. Or rather No. 2 1/2, because I am not quite happy with this shirt, see below for details.
I used this simplicity pattern from the 1940ies:
I like this pattern a lot, it is versatile and I love the little bow which is also included as a pattern piece. A historically interesting detail: the pattern contains a tutorial how to cut it out of a men’s shirt, a wonderful example of the “Make Do And Mend” philosophy of the WWII years. a side notion from the author: Of course I had to try this with a discarded shirt from my personal Prince Charming and it is not feasible in size 20. The sleeves of the blouse are wider than the sleeves of the men’s shirt. Conclusion: if you’re fat, you need an even fatter guy in order to make use of his old shirts 😉 .
Here should be the picture of the cutting tutorial, but I can’t find it anymore, I probably deleted it by mistake. I’ll post it as soon as I am back home over Christmas. .
I made view 2 (the yellow shirt). Only alteration: I to made the sleeves wider according to the method described by Nancy Zieman in “Pattern Alterations with confidence.
And here are the reasons why I don’t like the shirt so much:
1. I liked the fabric very much when it first arrived. The woven pattern is nice and it appeared perfect for a shirt. In the end it didn’t show in the finished product: The fabric from a German mailorder dealer is very thin but at the same time feels stiff and hard on the body. Not very comfortable to wear.
2. The button facing is cut separately and it turned out very stiff due to the many layers and seam allowances. Probably I also used too heavy interfacing for the flimsy fabric.
3. I have thousands of buttons but not a single one in pure white, can you believe it? They are all cream or have a yellowish tinge, so I opted on the extreme opposite and chose black buttons, but this is also not working for me. If I were happy with the rest of the shirt I would replace them.
4. My own stupidity: I made the sleeve plackets upside down. Technically they turned out perfectly as you can see below, but they are sitting in the wrong place (on top of the sleeve) and opening the wrong way (the overlap is on the back side). Gaaah, silly me!
5. The collar has no collar stand, it is just stitched on right sides together and the seam allowance inside of the shirt is covered with bias band. Originally I did not like this solution, but in the meantime I don’t think it’s so bad, only downside is that you cannot leave the uppermost button open, it looks strange as you can see the bias band.
The fit of the shirt is good, the bodice part is even a little bit too wide, which was a surprise as the pattern is designed for a 38″ bust and I have a 42″. I took in the width at the waist with a few tucks. The shoulder width is perfect. The alteration à la Zieman worked out very well, the modified sleeve fit perfectly into the armscye.
Conclusion: Not a complete failure, the shirt is wearable but it is certainly not one of my best works. I am not going to make the originally planned detachable jabot for this one, but I will make another shirt from this pattern, with better fabric, better buttons and the plackets in the correct position. And this one will get the jabot.
I also want to make a version from a men’s shirt, but I’ll have to work out a two-tone strategy to make this work.