Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Fabric Mart Fabricista: Liesl + Co Recital Shirt in Tencel Chambray

So... some fun news: I'm now a Fabric Mart Fabricista! I'll be blogging over on the Fabric Mart blog every few months. Here's my first project!

For my first project with Fabric Mart, I chose this killer Aegean Blue rayon/tencel chambray... it's a lovely color with a cool, slightly nubby texture. The chambray has a great hand: nice and drapey but also perfectly crisp when pressed... ideal for shirtmaking! It also looked fabulous as a jumpsuit, as Tiffany demonstrated recently!


Speaking of shirts, I made the Liesl + Co Recital Shirt, a princess seamed shirt with a pleated, tuxedo-style front. I love the versions of the Liesl + Co Classic shirt I made earlier this year, and Liesl said the Recital Shirt was based on the same block, with many of the same details, so it was a no-brainer to try out this pattern!


Let's be up front about one fact: the pleats on this shirt are not my best work. I don't know what happened, but somewhere along the line, between the pattern tracing (wow, the lines for all those pleats were very close together!), fabric marking and remarking (I used a Clover Chaco Liner, but the chalk lines seemed to disappear before I got to sewing the pleats, so I had to re-do them), and the sewing, things went embarrassingly awry. They are all different sizes and spacing!

But once they were done, I couldn't bear to unpick them. The thread I used so closely matched the fabric that it would have been impossible to remove it! I decided that, although you eagle-eyed sewists can clearly see my mistakes, your average Joe likely won't notice it. I never claimed to be a perfectionist. (BTW, have you listened to the Love to Sew Podcast on perfectionism? Worth a listen!). I moved on and finished the rest of the shirt.


So, back to the rest of the shirt: I feel like I made up for my mistakes with the pleats with the rest of the details: my collar is crisp, my tower plackets nicely topstitched, cuffs cleanly sewn, and buttonholes blameless. Everything went swimmingly after the pleat disaster! The only fit changes I made were to do a full bicep adjustment of 1", which I also did for my Classic Shirts.


I love some of the details; the little pointy, fold-over collar, in particular. I had perfectly matching buttons in my stash, which was fortuitous!


I like, but don't love the final shirt. I adore the fabric, but the shirt feels a bit oversized. When I wear it untucked it looks a bit sloppy. It's nice tucked in, although I need to find the right pants to wear with it. Here I've paired it with my True Bias Lander pants, but maybe I need to wear slimmer trousers to counteract the slightly oversized shirt?


I'm looking forward to making this shirt again and perfecting both the fit and those pleats!






23 comments:

  1. How fun! Fabric Mart is my favorite store. It's funny you mention feeling the shirt looks sloppy - I was actually thinking how polished it looks even untucked. And I like the pleats being slightly different widths - it's interesting. I think the shirt looks great.

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    1. Thanks, Masha! I've worn it twice since making it, both times untucked. I don't think anyone is noticing the pleats. And skinny jeans help!

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  2. That is one neat shirt and I really want one!! Jo xx

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  3. First - congrats on becoming a Fabric Mart blogger. I hope you enjoy it.

    Second - I looked at this pattern and bought it and a lot of it is because of your review of the first one.

    Third - ain't no one looking that closely at the pleats and I didn't notice until you said something - so moral of this - stop saying something! LOL!

    Fourth - I want to make mine to wear over leggings or skinny or straight legged jeans...the fullness over fullness is what's throwing the proportion off IMHO.

    Thanks for the review!

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    1. Thanks, Carolyn! Ha ha, I should stop pointing out my mistakes.

      Skinnier pants definitely helps- that's how I've worn it this week!

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  4. I love that you provide such honest reviews! That fabric looks amazing. The pleats looked "organic" and I didn't really notice the issues until you pointed it out!

    I do wonder if the shape of this shirt might work better over skinny pants, though ... try it and let me know!

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  5. Same here with not noticing the pleats, and then LIKING the spacing. Reminds me of modern quilting lines.

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    1. Ok, cool. We're definitely going to call it an organic design feature, then.

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  6. I was wondering if you would like this pretty pleated shirt as a dress?

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    1. It could make a cute shirt dress lengthened!

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  7. Congrats on the gig! :D Love the shirt. :)

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  8. Great looking shirt! I've tried many methods for marking pleats - chalk, thread marking, tracing paper, etc. The method I've settled on is to snip the pleat lines at the neckline and hem. Mark the width of the pleat on your machine bed using painters tape. Fold in a pleat by matching snips, press it in and stitch using the painters tape as your guide. Do one pleat at a time.

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    1. Not sure why my comment above came up as unknown - I'm Ella.

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    2. Thanks for the tip! I think that's the same method I used for another pleated shirt (Made by Rae Josephine), with excellent results. Those pleats were smaller and not overlapping, but it should still work. I'll definitely try that next time!

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  9. I really like that shirt! I'd personally pair it with some skinny pants/jeans just to offset the bulk of the shirt. OR I'd tuck it into a midi or short slightly flared skirt. I like the shirt pattern, it's almost like a "boyfriend" tuxedo shirt. Very hip ;)

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    1. Thanks! Yep, skinny jeans is definitely the way to go. I wore it that way twice this week and am happier with the look that way!

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  10. Your shirt is fantastic! And you've made me even more excited to make the pattern, which I got as a birthday gift just last week. I can see what you mean about the oversized nature of the shirt, but there's nothing unflattering about it. Like others have commented, perhaps a slim pair of pants and some ballet-type shoes will be more the thing if you want to wear it untucked. Thank you, again.

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    1. Thanks! Slimmer pants is definitely a better look. Looking forward to seeing yours!

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  11. Fantastic!! I want a shirt like that.

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