The Where’s Waldo Shirt

Where's Waldo? Shirt

Since it appears I can’t escape my clothing’s cartoon references, I guess I’ll embrace it. I am thus proud to dub this the “Where’s Waldo” shirt.

This is one of those fabrics I eyed at Fabricland for quite a while. I thought I liked it, but wasn’t quite sure. Eventually it made its way to the clearance section, and I picked up two metres of each colour—blue and red stripes—for whatever ridiculously low price it was going for.

And I’m glad I did, although I’m also glad I didn’t pay more.

Where's Waldo in the back yard?

This is one of those terribly annoying knits that rolls like crazy. It also doesn’t have much stretch, so it’s fairly easy to cut and sew (aside from the dreaded rolling.

I used some of the blue to make an ill-fated attempt at a cowl-neck top last spring. The cowl was a disaster—this knit hasn’t got the drape—but I really liked the way the rest of the shirt fit, and the “feel”, if you will.  So it was only a matter of time before it became other long-sleeved knit tees.

Where's Waldo back

This shirt was also inspired by this Burdastyle pattern from ages back. There are some cute versions on Burdastyle, too. But why would I pay five bucks to download a pattern when I have Lekala 5672 for free?  Of course, it doesn’t have the seaming, I (again) skipped the gathering on the front, and the neckline, at least in this fabric, is not quite the signature Burda plunge. But it has stripes and the wide raglan neckline, right?

Fun in the Sun

The fit of knits varies massively depending on the knit itself. This same pattern can be dreadfully loose or scandalously tight depending on the fabric. This is a “tight fitting” fabric, so the armpits ride a little high. That’s all right—better than saggy, which is how my first take on this pattern turned out. I could probably narrow the arms a little bit towards the wrists, but we’ll see.

I decided to go easy on myself and use the self-rolling properties of the fabric as a design feature on the sleeves and hem. For the neckline, I stitched on some clear elastic and turned under twice, stitching with a stretch straight-stitch. I was tempted to let the neckline roll, too, but decided against it. Just barely. I did screw up and keep on turning under past where I should have, so there’s a portion that’s turned under three times and a bit of a kink at the end of it, but picking out the stretch stitch was doing more damage to the fabric than the thread so I am leaving it.

I couldn’t quite resist the obvious combination with the Sailor Shorts for the photos, sorry. I’m sad to say that these shorts haven’t gotten much (any) wear this summer. Partly because these days I only wear shorts for beach-bumming and creek-walking, but mostly because of the fit. The rise is a little high for my taste, and only made higher by the fact that I’ve been a little, ah, chubby most of the summer. It’s only about 5-10 lbs, but my physiology puts it  right around my middle, exactly where you don’t want it from a health perspective, and exactly where the shorts waistband falls. Urk.* Anyway, I’ll probably hang onto the shorts through next summer and see if I’m any more into them, but I have a feeling they’re not going to become faves. Too bad, because it really is a cute design.

It was really nice to whip something up quickly. This top took less than an hour, and at least ten minutes of that was finding the pattern. I REALLY need to organize my patterns better. I love it when I can throw together a knit top faster than it would take to shop for it. Plus a store-bought one wouldn’t have long, scrunchy sleeves.

*Incidentally, I try not to complain much about my body on the blog. It’s a pretty good body even if the tummy isn’t what she was a few years ago.  But I’m not one of those people whose weight fluctuates a lot, and aside from childbearing I’ve been mostly around my preferred weight all my adult life. The excursions from this ALWAYS coincide with periods where my usual minimally-healthy lifestyle tips over into chips-and-lazing-around. This summer definitely qualifies. Now that the school routine is back on, I will hopefully slip back to where I should be. Provided I can break this chocolate-bar habit.

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “The Where’s Waldo Shirt

  1. Very cute top. Fabricland doesn’t always have the greatest selection, but when things go on sale, they really go on sale.

    5-10lbs can certainly make a difference on how pants/shorts fit. I know I have a few pants that have a weight threshold to them. They didn’t get a whole lot of wear this summer either. I think you phrased that pretty well actually, not overly complaintive, just factual.

  2. Cute top! Could you alter the shorts? Replace the waistband with something narrower or remove it altogether? They’re cute and totally fun with the top. But nothing is worse than a too tight/high waist.

    • Unfortunately with the front flap and stuff there’s not much I can do with the shorts—I’d have to re-draft the pattern. Which I may try at some point, because the sailor-flap is cute, but not at the moment. 🙂

  3. Cute top! Gotta love quick projects! And once again, your fun poses show it off really well. I’ve been trying to take some pictures of my jacket in progress, and it’s always the same 3 poses: 1) hands on hip, standing straight, 2) hands on hip, hips tilted to the side, and 3) one hand on hip, one hand at side, hips tilted to the side. lol! Or now a 4th: on Mabe, Sewing Assistant Extraordinaire. 😀

  4. Nothing better than an extra-long sleeve, eh? Love the top.
    Great photos too. As always. 🙂

  5. You’ll be back to your preferred shape in no time!

  6. It didn’t sound too complain-y to me, we all have things that bother us about our figures. Like Kristin says, you’ll be back to your old shape in no time. 🙂

    I still love those shorts, and it’s just depressing that they didn’t work out for you. And they’re just really cute with that shirt.

  7. I love the shirt, now I want a Where’s Waldo Halloween costume. That would be awesome!

    I am also on the upward slope with my weight so I can sympathize. It makes fitting a challenge since my body shifts so much and I prefer a very loose waist. Logic suggests I should make more things with elastic waistbands, but I keep making them and hating them. Hmph.

  8. *GAH! I was wondering who was this Waldo, and a quick google search showed me he’s the guy we call Charlie _ why did they even change his name?*

    I share Heather’s concerns about the limited number of poses available to the average seamstress, but, alas, none of your knit fabrics taming abilities : I just miserably failed at my third attempt to sew jersey. Lucky (or, well, braver or more experienced) you!

  9. I love a striped top- you can do so much with it- hooray for Waldo! I’m hoping your inspiration and my new machine will bring knit back to my sewing life….

  10. Bah, you’re beautiful. The odd chocolate bar won’t hurt, it may (:>) be a cold winter there.

  11. Great top – the sort of one that will get heaps of wear! Ditto curly knits – they drive me crazy! Overlocking the edge first helps, but only minimally. Love this with your cute shorts!

  12. Scruffybadger

    How satisfying for such a quick make to be so brilliant! What’s not to love? Stripes with those long wrist wrapping raglan sleeves. I particularly like the shape of the neck. Thanks for explaining your elastic neck binding method it’s something I’d like to try on reading it. Thank you also for v helpful advice on narrow hemming foot too btw! And for what it’s worth you look absolutely amazing in those shorts, waldo!

  13. Lovely top, I hate rolling fabric. I adore those shoes! Where are they from? I need some urgently.

    • I found these ones at the Aldo Outlet shop around here. Oddly, I went to the Aldo at the mall and found not one shoe I even cared to try on… and then the Aldo Outlet had at least five. This is confusing to me, but I was happy with these.

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