Well, the sun is very obliging this morning so I made myself a large cup of tea and took some hasty snaps of my latest sewing project. The minute I saw this fabric I knew it would be right for a shorter version of the Merchant and Mills dress shirt I made recently. It is a single-sided napped cotton, brushed on the reverse, and will be perfect for Autumn and Winter.
Thankfully I noticed the annoying flaw in the fabric whilst it was on the ironing board so I was able to keep it in mind when arranging the pattern pieces. I managed to juggle them around so that the final piece was as close to the flaw as possible so I still have enough fabric for another project. There's someone else in the house who has her beady eyes on these checks too!
The bib of the M&M pattern is designed to be cut out as two halves and then sewn together but I wanted a continuous line of checks. So I placed the pattern piece on the fold, overlapped it by 1.5cm (to take into account the seam allowances for each half) and cut it as one whole piece. When it came to stitching the bib to the front of the shirt, I took it really slowly to avoid the fabric shifting and throwing the checks out of alignment at the pleat. Thankfully it worked out pretty well.
The pattern is pre-cut into a long dress shirt so I decided on my final length and used a tape measure to mark the edges at each side. I also wanted to keep the curved hem, so I just moved the pattern piece upwards to meet the marked edges and then traced along the curve. I shortened my dress by 32cm.
Then, because the fabric is most definitely intended for the cooler months, I lengthened the sleeves too. I did this by simply extending the existing cutting line of the pattern piece with a ruler, and I lengthened it by 22cm. As with the first, there is a fair bit of optional edge stitching, around the bib, along the shoulder line, on the yoke. So I gave myself a reasonably wide hem on the sleeve and edge stitched that too.
The shirt was a joy to sew, just as I loved making the dress version, but I still had problems with the first sleeve. It had to be unpicked twice until it occurred to me to try it on the other armhole. Yep, you've guessed it .. doh!
I finally succumbed to the heating switch yesterday. Just for the sake of getting the family up in the morning you understand. Although I do realise my challenge to forego the heating for as long as possible is crumbling, I think the house will thank me for it. All that heavy rainfall has not helped the brickwork!!
Wishing you all a sunny, dry day!