Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Madewell Shirt is Done!

And not just one shirt, but two.  In my last post, I was looking at a color blocked shirt from Madewell but did not like the color combination they chose for the shirt.

It was mint green, pale blue and pink.  I just do not like the mint green color and frankly don't look good in it.  So, I decided to change the green to a pale sunny yellow.  I selected 3 colors of 100% cotton pinpoint oxford cloth from  I chose the colors sky (blue), yellow and pink.  While I was looking at the oxford cloth, I also bought some black and white 100% cotton gingham to make a second shirt.

I selected a classic shirt pattern by Laura Ashley from McCall's to make both shirts, McCalls M6649.
The pattern showed one view color blocked but using 4 colors instead of the 3 I had in mind so I used the Madewell picture to decide which color to use for each part of the shirt.

Since this was a new pattern, I had to take careful measurements and make appropriate adjustments.  I took 2 inches off the sleeve length (short little T. Rex arms) and one inch from the torso length to waist (shortwaisted too).  I cut a size 12 for the shoulders and arm holes, collar and sleeves.  I cut a 14 at the bust and waist and then tapered from the waist down to a size 8 for the hips.

Since I was going to use the same pattern for both shirts, I cut and sewed them at the same time.  I used white thread to sew both shirts so it was easy to just do one particular step on both shirts as I sewed.   The most complicated part for each shirt was cutting.  I had to make double sure that I had a left and right of everything on the color block shirt.  And, I decided to cut the yoke, front band and collar stand on the gingham blouse on the bias.

Sewing was simple and straight forward.  At this point, I have made so many shirts in my sewing life that I really didn't refer to the directions at all.  What was interesting is that there was a marked difference in the texture and sew-ability between the fabrics that I probably would not have noticed if I had sewed them separately.  The gingham was much more malleable and easier to ease and stitch.

And the results?  Here they are!

 Gingham Version

I love the buttons on this one.  They were retrieved from a dress that I made for myself many, many years ago.  I wore the dress out and salvaged the buttons before getting rid of the dress.  They have an interesting triangular shape.  Also, you can see the bias cut button band.

I really like the way the bias cut yoke feels when you wear the shirt.  It gives that little extra stretch which really feels good since I have broad, muscular shoulders.

The collar stand was also cut on the bias.  That was interesting -- it was quite the feat to prevent it from becoming misshapen and stretched when I fused the interfacing to it and when I stitched down the inner collar stand after installing it on the shirt!

On me!  Wow, that is a wonky tilted picture.  Not the best photography, but I think you can still see how the shirt fits.

Madewell Version

Here you can see where I switched out the mint green for the sunny yellow.  I like this combination much better.

These button are vintage.  They were part of my mother's sewing stash when she passed away.  I am not sure how old they are but they definitely have a 1950's vibe.  They are the same pale yellow was the pinpoint oxford which I love.

 On this version, I made 2 buttons on the cuffs instead of the one called for on the pattern.

 Me again, in an equally unflattering picture.  I am going to have to start asking my husband for help with these or teach the dog how to snap photos!