Monday, September 12, 2016

Classic White Harrison Shirt

Wow, for some reason it feels like for-e-ver since I posted anything! It's not been that long, but there's been a lot of sewing that I haven't been able to post about and I've been itching to! So satisfying to click publish on this one!


Continuing on with my quest for more solids and basics in my wardrobe, I give you my classic white buttondown! Buttonup? Whatever. You know what I mean. Collared shirt with buttons.

This is the brand spanking new Harrison shirt pattern from Cashmerette, described as "a fitted button-down shirt that doesn’t gape over curves... designed with double princess seams for a uniquely curve-friendly fit and all the features of a classic shirt." It's got the Cashmerette signature cup size option, back princess seams, traditional collar with collar stand, yoke, tower plackets and all the shirt-y bells and whistles...


I was a tester for this pattern and can tell you that Jenny put a lot of work into getting this pattern right! This shirt is from the final version of the pattern.

For my Harrison, I chose a size 14 C/D at the bust and shoulders, graded to 16 at the hip, my typical Cashmerette size, which turned out to be perfect.


I opted for basic white fabric. But not too basic! This is a pretty, textured cotton. It has a tone-on-tone floral design woven in that gives it a little bit of a permanently wrinkly look. It's incredibly soft. A little transparent, I now see in the photos, but what white shirt isn't?


I LOVE the fit in the body!! It skims over the body without clinging or pulling. Awesome. The sleek fit makes it perfect for tucking into a skirt, but the shirt-tail hem also looks cute un-tucked with jeans or pants. 


Here, I demonstrate the Harrison shirt with black skinny ankle pants. This outfit could go two ways: restaurant waitstaff or Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction. I chose latter and did my best to emulate Mrs. Mia Wallace's epic dance scene (you know, before things went south and she ended up with a hypodermic needle sticking out of her heart). I may have ended up looking more like a Thriller back-up dancer, but that's ok, because I had fun... take it away!:



I have to say that the sleeve placket method and instructions are awesome. These are my third and fourth sleeve plackets ever (#1, a success and #2, a failure, were during Harrison shirt testing, using a slightly different method). I am delighted with how painless they were to sew! Jenny's instructions for other tricky bits like the cuffs and collar are also fabulous.


Speaking of cuffs, somehow I managed to put the buttonhole on the wrong side of the cuff (doh!), so it was on the part of the sleeve placket that goes underneath. So I had to sew my button on the inside of the cuff. Ha. I am an idiot sometimes.


My only spot of trouble with the Harrison shirt pattern is the sleeves. Somehow I forgot between testing and sewing the final pattern (this shirt is made from the final pattern) that I found the sleeves to be far too tight in the bicep area. Oops. I cut the sleeves for this shirt from the pattern as-is and could barely move my arms it was so tight across the bicep. I didn't have any more fabric to re-cut the sleeves with a full bicep adjustment (because I had already cut a Springfield top out of the remaining fabric!), so I used the cheater method and sewed the bicep area with a really small seam allowance. It worked out ok, but you can see its still a bit tight there, so I really should have made the pattern adjustment before cutting.


I also struggled a bit with the sleeve cap ease. Although I eased the fabric in with no accidental gathers or tucks, there is still a bit of poofiness at the shoulder than no amount of ironing or steaming will remove. The more I sew set-in sleeves, the more I think I am on Team Sleeve Cap Ease is Bogus. Or maybe I just need to improve my sleeve cap gathering and sewing technique! I've made another Harrison since this, though, and got the sleeves in perfectly, so perhaps it's just this fabric, which stretches out of shape easily.


All that whingeing about sleeves, but I do have to say that I am happy about the sleeve length! After having to take like 9 miles of length out of the monkey-arm Archer sleeves, it was nice to have sleeves that are the proper length right out of the envelope.


Anyway, long story short: I love the Harrison shirt and have already sewn a second one, with a full bicep adjustment. Coming soon!

55 comments:

  1. Yeah!!! Looks gorgeous! I did make the biceps a bit bigger in the final version, but I also included the measurements in the finished garment table so anyone can see in advance if they'll need a full bicep adjustment :D

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    1. Totally my bad, I just got so excited that I cut without thinking! Love the pattern, congrats on another great one, Jenny!!

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    2. very awesome, my arms always needs special treatment.

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    3. I saw this being described as the holy grail of patterns. Thank you so much, Jenny, for what you are doing for patterns. I basically gave up wearing button down shirts 6 years ago when the "girls" wouldn't cooperate. I cannot wait to start wearing them again!

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    4. I saw this being described as the holy grail of patterns. Thank you so much, Jenny, for what you are doing for patterns. I basically gave up wearing button down shirts 6 years ago when the "girls" wouldn't cooperate. I cannot wait to start wearing them again!

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    5. Awesome, Cheralee! I wish you luck with your Harrison!! I hope you like it as much as I do!

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  2. This looks like the perfect shirt!!

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    1. It's pretty awesome! I loved it so much I made another one immediately!

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  3. I love this on you! I do have a question though. I am totally a pear shaped gal and have found sewaholics granville gives me the best fit in the hips but I still have to do a FBA on the bust. How would you say the fit in the hips on the Harrison is?

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    1. Thanks, Amber! I am pear-ish shaped, too. I had to go up a size from the bust down, which is no problem. I'd say that this is a fairly easy style to fit in the hips, though, especially since it has front and back princess seams so you can let it out/take it in at lots of different points as necessary to fit the hips.

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    2. Thank you so much! Whenever I want to see what a pattern looks like"in real life" I usually turn to your blog! Thanks again!

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  4. Meg, all the heart eyes!! And you have so many pics in this post, I can tell you were definitely happy with this end result. The perfect white button down. Love, love, love.

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    1. Thanks, Abbey! I love the final shirt- very happy with it!!

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  5. You are totally rocking this shirt! Love it!

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  6. Lush! Those double princess seams are genius. totally with you on sleeve cap ease being a big dud - I always slice and dice it out of the paper pattern before cutting.

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    1. Thanks, Katie! Aren't the double princess seams great?! Both functional and beautiful...

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  7. You look so beautiful, and you are totally rocking the dance, I spotted it before I actually read the text! No lies.

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    1. Ha ha, glad you got my movie reference, Jannie! And thanks for the compliments!!

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  8. This shirt looks amazing, and I am so jealous of a shirt that doesn't gape. I need to get this pattern and so one up for myself!

    However, my real reason for commenting is to see if you can fix your mobile website photos. I usually read blogs in a blog reader, and your one image that displays in the reader looks great. But it only shows the first paragraph so I have to click over to your website to finish reading your posts. I understand you want the traffic going to your blog, but as soon as I go there, your pictures look horribly lo-res and bitmapped. So then I have to click on each photo to see a better copy. It's frustrating. Can you either please remove the "read more" setting on your page so I don't have to come to your actual site to read your posts, or fix the poor mobile photos? Thanks so much!

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    1. I read in a reader and have to click over but the photos are fine. ??

      Great shirt Meg! And who doesn't need a white buttoned shirt!

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    3. Thanks, Bunny! The no-gape factor is awesome.

      Ha ha, if I knew how to fix the photos on the mobile site, I would! I'll do a bit of searching, but I'll preface it with a warning that I am not very tech savvy (I'll stick to sewing and words!(, so no promises!

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    4. Thanks, Debbie!! I am so happy to have a classic white button shirt in my wardrobe!!

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  9. This shirt looks amazing, and I am so jealous of a shirt that doesn't gape. I need to get this pattern and so one up for myself!

    However, my real reason for commenting is to see if you can fix your mobile website photos. I usually read blogs in a blog reader, and your one image that displays in the reader looks great. But it only shows the first paragraph so I have to click over to your website to finish reading your posts. I understand you want the traffic going to your blog, but as soon as I go there, your pictures look horribly lo-res and bitmapped. So then I have to click on each photo to see a better copy. It's frustrating. Can you either please remove the "read more" setting on your page so I don't have to come to your actual site to read your posts, or fix the poor mobile photos? Thanks so much!

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  10. It's great! I was too chicken to test this, but I'm planning to make it now - no excuses with that video course! ;) Happy to hear your normal Cashmerette size was good!

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    1. Thanks, Gillian! Ha, my tester version was a dud- it's crumpled up in the naughty corner and will likely never re-emerge... so I was a bit apprehensive about making the final version. But I knew Jenny worked hard on it, so I forged ahead. SO WORTH IT!

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  11. This is great! It looks so professional, especially those plackets. The fit is perfect too and those seams are gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks, Masha!! I am so happy with those plackets- one of those incredibly satisfying sewing tasks! I love the seams, too. Functional and beautiful!

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  12. I was pretty excited for this pattern from the release, and I'm so glad to see it sews up well. It really is fitted perfectly throughout the body.

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    1. It's a great pattern, Siobhan!! I loved the fit so much I went ahead and sewed a second one immediately!

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  13. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing. My Harrison is in the mail. : )

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    1. Thanks, Brenda! I hope you love Harrison as much as I love mine!

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  14. I love this! Why didn't I test this pattern? I've got my pattern and hunting for fabric to try this out. Your version is lovely and can't wait to see take two!

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    1. Thanks, Carolyn! I'm pretty delighted with this pattern- I hope you love your Harrison as much as I love mine!

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  15. Your shirt turned out great, and I think your fab haircut puts you in the Pulp Fiction camp. I'm so excited to finish mine (started working on it pretty much right after I saw in my inbox that the pattern was available). Fingers crossed.

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    1. Thanks so much, Donna! Can't wait to see yours!! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, too!

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  16. I'm in desperate need of new work shirts and this looks to be the perfect pattern! Love your fabric :)

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    1. This is the perfect work shirt pattern! Thanks, Melissa!

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  17. Hi Meg, could you kindly tell me, would this pattern be hard for a beginner? I've been sewing for about a year but never tried a princess seam pattern. You do look great in your new blouse!!

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    1. I think it's do-able for a beginner with a year of sewing under her belt! The princess seams are not difficult at all. There are some tricky bits, like the collar, cuffs and tower plackets, but Jenny's instructions are incredibly helpful. If you really wanted lots of help, too, you could try her online class, which is very thorough and walks through each step. I'd say do it, though, and just use inexpensive fabric for your first version!!

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  18. Beautiful and classy, Meg! I'm planning on a white Harrison, too. It seems like it's a wardrobe workhorse. Also, you are killing it with your Uma dance. :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Tanya! Can't wait to see your Harrison! Classic white is the way to go. Ha ha, glad you appreciate the Uma dance. After I put the outfit and lipstick on, I couldn't help but dance.

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  19. What a winner of a shirt. Jenny is kicking goals!

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    1. :-) Thanks, Anna! Yep, Jenny is killin' it!

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  20. Super sharp! The double princess seams are really, really cool. What is the difference between a button-down/button-up? Sleeve cap ease is bogus! Sew with the sleeves down against the feed dogs and cut down the seam allowance to 3/8". You'll be closer to the seam line, so there will be less poof and the stitching will be more accurate. The feed dogs will do the work.

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! I love the double princess seams- cool looking and functional, too!
      Hmmm, so I always called them buttondowns, but my understanding is that buttondown refers to the shirts that have buttons to hold down the collar points?
      Interesting- I'll try your sleeve method- thanks!!

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  21. I love this shirt on you and I totally though of Uma Thurman too!! Do you usually set your sleeves in after you sew the side seams? I almost always set my sleeves in flat, no matter the pattern and I find it works so much better for me. I am also on team sleeve ease is bogus! Ha ha!!

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  22. You can never go wrong with a classic white shirt. Lovely.

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