Monday, 24 January 2011

A Negroni shirt for my husband (part 2)


This weekend I finally got the chance to take some photos of my husband and the Colette Patterns Negroni shirt that I made for him. Every time I look at it I want to leap straight in to making another one - this shirt was just so lovely to sew together. The fabric was very kindly supplied by Rachel of Ray-Stitch (Rachel was keen to have a photo of a finished Negroni shirt for her shop's wonderful gallery). The fabric I chose can be found here - it's a an organic crossweave cotton in pale blue, which almost looks grey at times (I love fabrics where you can't quite pin down the colour). I'm told it's the most lovely material to wear at this time of year as it's slightly thicker and warmer than regular shirting.


The shirt is wonderfully slim fitting, not in a too-small sort of way, but more in a fitted-by-design way, which is perfect for my tall and lean husband. For reference, my husband is 6ft 2 and I made him the shirt in a size Medium (if I was making it for a shorter man I think I'd shorten the sleeves a little, as they are generous on my husband's unusually long arms).


It's the details on this shirt that really make me happy:


I really love the little button loop beneath the collar (turning this loop the right way out was actually the most difficult aspect of making the entire shirt). At the back of the pattern Sarai suggests some ways that you can add interest to the shirt, one of which is adding in contrasting facings. At the back yoke I used some of the fabric Lauren Child designed for Liberty, bought for me by my husband as an anniversary gift. It's not particularly clear on this photo, but I also cut the fabric for the pocket on the bias, and there's something lovely about seeing the weave travelling in a different direction.


The patten instructs you as to how to flat-fell all the inside seams, so there's not a raw or overlocked edge in sight. Below is a photograph of what the shirt looks like inside...the appearance of these neat flat-felled seams have made me so happy that I have had to restrain myself from insisting that my husband wear the shirt insideout.


I have wanted to learn how to make a sleeve placket for a few years now, so to have finally made a shirt complete with sleeve plackets is something of a wonder for me - the instructions were incredibly clear (which is so refreshing as I've frequently studied this technique in my dressmaking books and never found the instructions to be clear). I can't wait to start using plackets in the patterns that I draft for my own clothing.




This photo above is one of the only ones that shows vaguely what the shirt is like from the back - it has a small pleat at either side (and creases where people have been illegally sitting down).


As I said to blogless Nina Y, my husband said that having a bespoke shirt made for him was only comparable to having a custom built guitar made...that says it all really: he likes it a lot. If you like sew-alongs (I don't, as I'm hideously impatient and would undoubtedly try to persuade everyone to stay up until midnight so that we could just do the whole sew-along in one day*, however, I do like watching them from the sidelines) then Peter of Male Pattern Boldness is running one for the Negroni shirt. I can't recommend this pattern highly enough: yes, it's been one of those posts where I've had to go along stripping out multiple adjectives, as so frequently happens when I really love something.

Florence x

*I wonder whether an Impatient Seamstress Sew-Along has ever been held before, where everyone makes the same thing over 12 hours...I'm imagining frantic hourly blog updates and all manner of mishaps and unpickings being shared.

36 comments:

  1. I'm very interested in this post - my husband shares the long arm syndrome (he's 6' 5) and we struggle to find shirts to fit him off the peg. I have hesitated in making anything for him but I wonder whether this might be a good place to start. Hmmm.

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  2. I loved this Florence as I could relate to everything you say about making flat felled seams and plackets. i felt similarly excited on doing them for the first time on the Grandad shirt I made for Dave. He also is immensely excited by such makes and loved his Hawaian (ooh, spelling error) shirt for the same reason. have a good day x

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  3. Looks fantastic, Florence. Only one problem - husband has just gazed over my shoulder and said 'I'd like one of those, you never make me shirts anymore'....

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  4. Your posts are always so inspiring, Florence, and really brighten my day.
    After searching locally fruitlessly, I even drove 10 miles to the nearest city to purchase Sew Hip with your article about Japanese pattern sewing! *blushes* (although I was also tempted by the cape pattern).
    Happy Monday to you.

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  5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this pattern - it definitely looks like one to check out. The only thing I'd like to see is a shaped hem - am I being old-fashioned?

    I have also started a couple shirts for my 6'8" husband but (horribly) haven't finished them due to a variety of reasons (all non-sewing related). This makes me want to dig them out and finish them off. The fabrics were also lovely but hmmm, 10 years later ... I wonder if they really will fit.

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  6. Dottycookie - do dive in - men are so lovely to make things for - no annoying bust adjustments needed. I'm very happy to supply my husband's underarm measurement to help you gauge things if you do decide to go ahead and make one.

    Pipany - I love the spelling mistakes - it makes me feel better that it was only on my third attempt that I managed to spell Carribean correctly a few weeks ago.

    Jane - that's a good thing - I think it means one can then resume with 'me, me, me' dressmaking with feelings of complete virtue and selflessness.

    Wandafish - that's so lovely - I'm very flattered, and it reminds me that I must blog about my Sew Hip article before the next issue takes its place. I hope you liked the article and that any cape making has gone well!

    Florence x

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  7. Jovita - I'd felt exactly the same about wanting a scooped sort of hem and had thought about altering the pattern to make it this way...but then decided to run through with it once before attempting to make my own adaptations. However, the hem isn't quite as straight across as it looks on the pattern illustration...and once it was actually finished it looked so lovely that I'd completely forgotten about wanting a curved hem.

    Sorry to hear you've had so many aborted shirt-making attempts - I do hope you manage to finish one soon.

    Florence x

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  8. That looks so great, a really professional finish.

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  9. Lovely shirt! Nice to see how it wears.

    (Intrigued by idea of an Impatient sewalong. But it would have to be something that didn't require a muslin.)

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  10. Your finish looks fantastic! Your husband looks chuffed with his new shirt too. I am nervous to sew anything for my husband. You make it look so... graceful!

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  11. I do love a Colette pattern - nice to know they fit husbands with unfeasibly long arms. However it's been such a long time since I sewed anything at all I'm fairly sure it would end up with both sleeves sewn together or something...

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  12. I am so impressed by your Negroni! I have one waiting to be made...My husband is 6ft but has a very long torso...I love the contrasting facings, and the bias pockets...I may use those ideas too.
    Sign me up for your sew-along! I tried Gertie's Lady Grey sew-along...failed...too impatient!
    I bought the Crepe pattern and have it nearly made in 2 days...most of that unpicking seams, mind! I have my seam ripper in hand now, working on it!
    I have signed up or the Negroni sew-along, but I am seriously thinking of making one whilst waiting for the sew-along to start!!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

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  13. It looks great!

    My husband has long arms, but he pretty much lives in shorts and t-shirts all year 'round. Still, for 5 seconds I considered making him a shirt...

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  14. Florence. You did a beautiful job with that! I adore how your projects are filled with such love for the recipient :)

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  15. I can totally understand that your husband loves his handmade shirt - it's absolutely gorgeous and looks so neat and professional (like all you show us on your blog).

    Did you use a special foot for the flat-felled seams and was it diffucult to flat-fell them at ( or "on"? - sorry, no native speaker!) the curves (armholes)?

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  16. Louise, thank you so much!

    Daiyami - I'm full of regrets - the shirt requires no muslin (due to the lack of bust and hips) and so would have been the perfect project for the Impatient Seamstresses Sew-Along!

    Karin - your comment really made me smile - thank you - I love the idea of it looking graceful. Although it was a shirt that was sewn in the midst of rubble, with builders knocking down a wall just outside my sewing room door, so was anything but graceful!

    Joanne - it's the perfect project to dive back in with and if it did end up with both sleeves together surely that would serve as a useful handmuff to keep Mr J warm on a chilly morning?

    Millie - you sound like a kindred spirit.

    Dawn, it actually comes with a short-sleeved option...this could be just the thing for some Wardrobe Diversification!

    Bethany - thank you - you are kind.

    Bprinz, the pattern gives full instructions as to how to flat fell the seams & I didn't need a special foot. The curved seam was actually fine - you start at the middle (ie. on the shoulder seam) and then work slowly outwards from there in each direction, a couple of inches at a time. It only took a few minutes to do each shoulder seam (it could have just been a happy sewing day though...sometimes a different day makes a simple task seem utterly troublesome and traumatic). Oh, and I would never have guessed that English wasn't your first language unless you'd mentioned it.

    Florence x

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  17. Hehe, fame at last - and the blog is brewing, I promise. Just can't think of what to call it or what my first post should be...

    My boyfriend says the shirt's good but no way is he ever posing for blog photos. I say it looks so fantastic I might make him one anyway. That contrast facing is really special.

    And LOL, Florence - Caribbean is a hard one. I just had to look it up to check.

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  18. You make it sound so easy Florence, the shirt looks so much better than shop bought.

    I am almost tempted to make one for my husband but his broad shoulders put me off!

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  19. That shirt looks fahbulous and I just LOVE the secret trees. Your post has made me reconsider my decision never ever even attempt to sew a shirt for hubby. (he would like to have one). I think my hubby's cannot be as slim fit as this, so have to sind another pattern.

    I could so imagine a 12 hour sew-along! That would be a hoot. I can picture myself wild eyed trying to hang along and ripping seams like mad. (I am not patient and not very careful either)

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  20. Nina - that is so exciting. I've thought of all sorts of names for your blog just in the time it took me to read your comment - they are of course though all ridiculous and the first would only make sense to me.(www.justonenina.blogspot.com / www.ninaandherbernina.blogspot.com)It's worth taking time over though...I do have a few regrets with my blog name...

    Kate, I was convinced that men's clothing was so much easier without darts and bust adjustments...but perhaps there's such a thing as a 'full shoulder adjustment' that I hadn't heard of before. But either way you've made your husband sound appealingly beefy - broad shoulders instantly conjures up images of looking delectable in an black winter overcoat.

    Florence x

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  21. Mama Elf - yes, I think it may be more frenzied than enjoyable - there's nothing quite like a large dose of pressure to upset a sewing session.

    I'm not sure how the shirt would fit on a man with a much bigger build. My father tried it on for me when I was in the middle of making it - he was rather bundled up in several winter layers as he was about to go home and it did look like a slightly restrictive fit.

    Forence x

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  22. The shirt looks fantastic, and if you don't mind me saying so the model's not too bad either, ;)

    You are so inspiring, although I don't think I'm quite at the level to attempt a men's shirt, maybe one day soon. If hubby ever wore anything other than tshirts, I might seriously give it a try though.

    I am also of the Impatient sewalong mindset, once I start something I want to see it finished, much to the dismay of oh say the kids wanting dinner, the laundry getting done, or myself needing sleep!

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  23. Florence, it could just be my age (hormones on the rampage!) but I'm sorry to say I may have a crush on your husband! Any man who can sew a coaster and has such a twinkle in his eye is dynamite as far as I'm concerned. Makes me glad that you made him such a splendid shirt! xxxx

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  24. Thanks Florence, in a day that has been rather flat to due spending the night before persuading my chicken pox-ed son that sleep is a good idea, you made me laugh out loud at your interpretation of my husband!!

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  25. Wow, not only does your husband buy you fabric and make you coasters, but he's also a looker!
    If he wore a sack he'd make it look good! Seriously though, the shirt is fantastic, very professional and I love the trees inside.

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  26. Your shirt really looks wonderful. Thanks for the mention!

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  27. What wonderful felled seams. I quite understand why you would want to show them off. I am comforted to know that they weren't incredibly hard to do and fascinated in them as a possible way of dealing with pesky curved edges. The shirt itself is wondrous too.

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  28. I made a jacket for my husband many years ago and he actually wore it! But I have always suspected it was outof love for me not the jacket. But, Florence your description of this pattern and the beautiful result inspires me to secretly make one of these shirts and present it to JTH fully ready to wear and see what he says (my favourite bit - the contrast facing)

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  29. Florence, your version of this shirt is great. When I first saw the pattern I thought it would be too wide... but seeing it in a different fabric and on a different person made me change my mind.
    Now, I would love to make an attempt at sewing one for my partner...but I am too scared to fail.
    If you want to do a sew a long for impatient seamstresses I would join in... I can't wait to get home to work on my current project.
    Sorry for the long comment!

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  30. It is just dangerous to look on your blog too often. Because now I want to make one for my boyfriend, too. And now you've put an idea in my head and I immediately have to think about fabric, suitable patterns (classic stripes or maybe a paisley, I really like men's shirts with subtle flower patterns but no Hawaii shirts....)

    I didn't think too much of the shirt before, but seeing your version, especially the finish makes me re-think. It just looks so professional.

    And I would be up for a 12 hours sew along! I think there are perhaps worse ways to spend a saturday than sitting behind the sewing machine ;-)

    Well done and please keep posting such wonderful things even if that means putting more ideas in my head ;-)

    Claudia

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  31. First, let me say that your shirt is fabulous and beautifully executed. I love the secret trees. And I do see what you mean about hubby's cheekbones!

    I showed your blog to my Sweetie, hoping to learn if he'd be interested in such a shirt, but had to laugh when his first comment was, "What kind of guitar does he have?"

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  32. a 12 hour sew along does sound like a lot of fun! :) ha

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  33. Impatient Seamstress Sew-Along? Count me in! I have to finish projects when i start them (otherwise short-attention span means they end up being neglected for new shiny thing)!

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  34. Hi there, found your blog via the Collette Patterns forum and want to tell you, again, how much I love this!

    I should try to make one for my husband. He's a thin, tall guy, so often retail shirts are way to wide for him. This might be the perfect solution. :)

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  35. I just got the Negroni to make a shirt for my husband, so this was really informative. I'm not sure I have the patience for the sew-along, although I still intend to follow it. I'm glad I'm not the only one who find the endless muslins and fitting a bit tedious.

    Your husband looks gorgeous and happy. :)

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  36. I'm so happy to hear that this is a slim-fitting shirt! My husband is 6'4" and slim, so it's hard to find shirts that are long enough in the arm and torso but don't billow out everywhere. I have recently bought the pattern and am eagerly awaiting its arrival in the mail :)

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x