DETOUR! (Or, way too much sewing for my man)

White version from Summer 2010

While I wait for Mr. Isis to deign to try on the muslin for his coat again, I’m stalled on that front. Yes, again.

So, what should I do? Start Hallowe’en costumes? Well, yes, except that I haven’t got the fabric for them yet, and there’s nothing in stash suitable.

I know, I’ll start a shirt for him!

All y’all recall how well the last one went.

Why yes, I am off my rocker, why do you ask? Obviously Her Selfishness needs to start posting more, because I’m clearly suffering badly from unselfish-sewing-itis.

The shirt he actually wears...

In my defense, this is a different shirt pattern than the one I made for the Men’s Shirt Sewalong last winter, which is the one that has never been worn. In fact, it’s the poet-shirt pattern that I made Mr. Isis twice last summer. Those shirts, he wears to death (just don’t let him see the pattern envelope or he’ll never wear any of those shirts again). The knit one is a strictly bumming-around-the-house shirt (and I wince a little every time I see it…), but the crinkle-voile version gets called on frequently for looking spiffy while out (and he does look spiffy in it, I will admit). And probably not long after I finished those two, he may have dropped the hint that he would love a black version.

And sometime last spring, I may even have gotten around to picking up a couple of metres of black cotton voile (which cost quite a lot. Plain black or white cotton voile is one of those fabrics that somehow just doesn’t quite make it to the discount racks I usually haunt…)

And for some reason, today I was itching to get it out of the stash.*

Tracing pattern

Anyway, I pulled it out, spent way too much time ironing (I even ironed my pattern!) and started cutting. Er, I also tried something new. I used my (kinda) new tailor’s chalk thingy to trace the patterns with weights, rather than pin them down. It works fairly well with this pattern, which I traced onto heavy paper last summer, but I think would be more annoying with tissue. The trick, I gather, is to cut to the inside of the chalk lines once you are cutting out. I’m not sure if it’s a lot faster than pinning, but, well, it was fun at least for a change. I think I will definitely consider giving it a try next time I make a pair of jeans, too, although I think it might be a bad idea with a more shifty, less cooperative fabric.

Jeans, incidentally, are another thing I want to make for my husband. It’s been itching at me for a long time (buying him RTW jeans is kind of like banging your head into the wall repeatedly), but when ElleC sent me this cool men’s jeans pattern back earlier in the summer the itch became almost unbearable. The only reason I haven’t tried to scratch it before now is he kept saying he wanted the coat more. Silly man. And I have plenty of denim in stash.

Stitched-on placket

Anyhoo, there’s not much progress to report yet—everything’s cut out and I did stitch on the front plackets and apply the continuous-lap placket (bias-strip placket), which I now realize is the cheesy, chintzy way of doing a shirt placket, in keeping with the “Learn to Sew” designation of this pattern. Ah, well. I think it works with this style, which has that kind of archaic/romantic/poet/cowboy sort of look.

Incidentally, I *think* I may prefer a cut-on button placket. The main reason this shirt doesn’t have one is that the original pattern isn’t actually buttoned all the way down. Which you can’t tell by looking at the pattern envelope—but that’s a whole ‘nother beef.

Continuous-lap plackets (rather fuzzy pic)

I’ll leave you with that. We just had the most fabulous Last-Day-of-September weather I think I’ve ever experienced in my life (daytime high of 26C) and tomorrow it’s not supposed to make it into double digits! Yay, spastic weather! So maybe there’ll be more stitching tomorrow…

*It has occurred to me that if we’re going to be moving next summer, it would behoove me to do some serious stash-whittling over the winter. This is rather saddening because I’ve really enjoyed building my stash, and it’s just now reaching a “mature” level where I can often have a loose concept in mind and shop the stash rather than having to run out to the fabric store. I really like this, honestly. It may be indulgent, but I like that freedom. As ElleC says, stash fabric, like excess patterns, is an important part of our fantasy lives.

In any case, it’s going to be very un-fantastic to box up.

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “DETOUR! (Or, way too much sewing for my man)

  1. Shams

    That’s a beautiful shirt!

  2. Wow- i have mild placket phobia and you’ve made this pattern over and over- you’re my new hero!

    • Hmm. Full-front plackets are not too scary. Now, half-way-down-the-front button plackets… those terrify me. Cuff plackets are moderately terrifying, but I’ve only done those with extensive sewalong help (unlike the half-front version that I tried on my own years ago and am still scarred by.)

  3. Excited to see how it turns out!

  4. You;re moving? Please tell me you’re moving to NYC!!! ;)

    • Hee! I wish (well, sorta… I’m not entirely sure I could stand raising kids in NYC. I know lots of people do it—the thought just terrifies me.)

      We are planning on moving back home to Saskatchewan. Pretty much the exact opposite of moving to NYC, actually…

  5. Yes! I vote for you to move to NYC, too, where you will be able to easily rebuild your stash!!

    I’m about to do some unselfish sewing for my sweetums, too. Not sure what I was thinking, since he’s about as willing to do fittings as your husband…

    • Aww! Feelin’ the NYC love… which is nice because the first time I was there I was, ah, a little overwhelmed, to say the least.

      Those men… it’s a good thing we love them, isn’t it?

  6. ElleC

    You can’t leave us all hanging, Where are you moving? Are you staying in our great country?

    • See above about moving home. Moving abroad with the family isn’t something I’m going to contemplate unless I have a pretty major job offer (which doesn’t seem likely at this point ;) )

  7. Stash = fantasy life, I like that. It’s quite true.
    I am looking forward to seeing the finished shirt. From what I gather, he will wear out a plain black version.

    • Yes, it will get worn.

      We just watched our weekly episode of Lost Girl in which I got to point out several times how hunky Dyson looks in his fitted dress shirts, and how similar that style was to the Unworn Shirt. He may (may) have allowed that it does look nice, and he might wear it in a stretch fabric…

  8. The pattern looks great, and if he’ll wear it then you’re all set. I know how it feels to have a fabric call to you and demand to be used…they kind of have a mind of their own.

    Sometimes I find that I like the cheap, Learn to Sew methods better than the more complicated ones. Just MHO…the more “correct” methods sometimes assume a dexterity or a tolerance for unfinished edges that I just don’t have.

    • You’re definitely right about the methods and dexterity… I keep switching mental sides in the “industrial methods vs. couture methods” debate. Not to mention the “does it have to look like storebought?” debate. /sigh.

  9. Joy

    I agree it’s a nice feeling to have a “mature” stash. I like to send my kids shopping in stash for their clothes. However, there is such a thing as too much (I’m not saying whether I’m there or not!)

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