The finished projects, they have not been forthcoming on this blog. At least not lately. The broken hand thing had a lot of do with it, but I’ve actually finished several things that just never got photographed. I’m still struggling to figure out how to use my fancy camera, and just haven’t had that magical combination of time + daylight that would let me figure it out.
But I did finish this other thing, AND I took pictures.
I’m pretty sure I actually cut this out sometime before I broke my hand. It languished for a long time. Despite having made the pattern before, it took longer than I expected to finish, even after I finally got going on it. So many details! The project never became and official Unfinished Project, it just happened One. Seam. At. A. Time. The toddler becoming obsessed with the sewing machine in the middle did not help, since I basically couldn’t work on it when he was awake, ever.
I added sleeve tabs (though not epaulets). I took my sweet time playing with the stripe directions and piecing the collar and back yoke to get cool chevron effects. That detail makes me really happy.
The inside of the cuffs and the inside yoke (also the back of the front facing, which nobody will ever see) are this 70s-looking orange print. The color is all weird here, but it matches the topstitching and the buttons.
When I was sewing it felt like I was doing a TON of top-stitching, but now that I see the pictures it really doesn’t seem that way anymore. I do think the orange contrast adds something, though. The fabric (brown striped cotton, purchased here) is nice, but the stripes are narrow enough that without some contrast it would just be a very boring, very brown shirt.
I only made a few relatively minor changes. I added some width to the sleeve/cuff, and then lengthened the sleeve plackets to make them easier to roll up comfortably. Tom can (and does) wear the first version, but this should make the shirt a little easier to wear.
My attention to detail kind of wavered over the course of the project, because it went on for so long. At the beginning I was very careful to line up stripes and make sure my top-stitching was just so. But by the time I was adding the cuffs, well…I’m just not going to show you the bad one. But it will never show on the shirt when it’s being worn, and I learned a bunch of things. I was just ready to be done, and sometimes you need to finish something off to make room for new stuff.
After making this I’m all excited about making more shirts with fun details – contrast stitching, shoulder tabs, fancy pocket designs, decorative yokes, embroidery… But I realize that at my current pace these things will take FOREVER to complete. Maybe it’ll speed up if I’ve made the pattern several times? Or if I get specialized feet for some of the more time-consuming steps (flat-felling, top-stitching). We’ll see. The internet seems to be littered with people who can just whip out a men’s shirt in a day or two, but for now I am not among them.
Have you finished any long-term projects lately? Do your sewing projects ever just drag on forever?