I finished Josh’s shirt (Burda 7767) late last night (By the way, does anyone else love staying up really, really late and sewing after the world is asleep?) and am 110% thrilled with the result. It’s so incredibly fashionable-looking that it could be mistaken for something from the “Rail” section of Nordstrom. And I’m not really one to speak lightly of Nordstrom, but it does have that trendy, funky style that you see in the “young men’s” section there…
Burda seems to model their patterns’ fit on Josh, so once again, I didn’t have to make and fitting adjustments. (Burda men’s shirts/tops/jackets are larger in the shoulders, but fitted through the waist, and just a smidge longer—well actually about an inch and a half—than all the other pattern companies’ men’s patterns.) And the pintucks are really flattering and fun when combined with the flowered fabric (from the wonderful Heather Ross line for Free Spirit, “Lightning Bugs”).
Now I did, of course, have a bit of an adventure with the pintucks. I have a bit of a habit of not reading sewing pattern instructions very thoroughly. I blame it on my favorite patterns, Burda World of Fashion and HotPatterns, both of whom assume that you have either a fairly high level of skill/knowledge and/or a good sewing reference book. So, I’ve sort of cut the apron strings with sewing instructions. Maybe a bit too much. I skimmed through the pattern instructions, making note that the pintucks should be folded over 3/8ths of an inch. Right, 3/8ths. So, I did all of the tucks on the left shirt front and looked at it. “Hmmm,” I said. “Looks kind of small.” I held it up and showed Josh, “Sweetie, does this look a bit small?” To which he replied, “Uh, yeah.”
So I examined my work and figured I must have accidentally doubled the number of tucks or something. I couldn’t figure it out so just settled on taking the seam ripper to all the tucks. The next day, I still couldn’t figure out what I did wrong (the number of tucks were all accounted for). That’s what I decided to refer to the instructions. I read through them a couple of times, searching for the clue that would solve this problem. Then I noticed it,
Fold the pleats over 3/16th.
Oh. That’s sort of a bit different than 3/8ths. Oops.
That problem solved, the rest of the shirt came together smoothly.
Yesterday, when I had to run over to Bolt to get some more white thread I found the absolute perfect buttons (at 10 cents a pop from the bulk button jar). They were actually precisely what I was looking for. That unusual gold/yellow color happened to be the color of the head on the pin that I’d used to pin the collar shut when I hung the shirt up one evening, and it worked just fabulously with the other colors in the fabric. (You can see the photo with the pin in it over on this post from yesterday.)
I played around with the directionality of the stripes (which are not straight stripes, they’re rather wavy-gravy, which makes them much more interesting). The collar has a horizontal band of flowers on it. The yoke is also horizontal, as are the cuffs. These touches are what really make this shirt seem special.
Josh always is rolling up his sleeves or pushing them up or generally fiddling with them, so I doubt that I beautiful work on the cuffs and sleeve band will see the light of day much.
But, he was thrilled with the shirt and even wore it to have our Sunday coffee at Jim & Patty’s (locals: these are the folks who founded Coffee People—yes, they’re back!).
Josh is so happy with this shirt, and I so enjoyed making it (there’s something deeply satisfying in making something nice for someone you love who really appreciates handmade stuff), that I’m already planning another one. The vision for this one: a nice lightweight white cotton, with the banded collar, no pintucks and an, errrrr, embroidered monkey from the “Monkey Love” embroidery pattern from Sublime Stitching (it’ll be awesome, trust me).
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