Sewing: shirts

A heck of a lot of shirts

Back in May, I was briefly under consideration for a role I wanted to have… and in fact, my desire for the role probably got in the way of attaining it.

I drowned my sorrow in the manufacture of some shirts. I tend to go to a lot of summer events, but I burn easily in sunshine. Something light and summery that also reflects my values seemed appropriate.

Because the cloth I ordered turned out to be 60″ wide instead of the more typical 45″, and because I was able to lay out pieces quite efficiently, I was able to make four more shirts to add to the three I already had (the one in cotton on top, that was the first one I ever made in this style) — the prototype, and the hand-made pirate shirt, and a black one in the same style. There’s six shirts in this pile, and one more in the suitcase upstairs… I can go for a week in linen or cotton shirts that I made myself, without wearing the same one twice.

cuff of a shirt with smocking below the cuff

As I’ve gone through this process, I’ve learned to modify the pattern. I’ve gotten better at the neck placket (still not right), and I’ve added cuffs and smocking to the wrist and sleeves.

There’s still a long way to go. Next, I’d like to design a shirt with a better neckline for myself, and that means learning to create a bodice block and a sleeve block (slopers, I think they’re called, to which you add seam allowances). And while I’m at it, I should design a short-sleeve pattern because you can’t wear long sleeves all the time.

I may not have gotten the volunteer role I wanted. But at least I can look good in a garment of my own making. There’s a magic in that, too.

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