Thursday, May 11, 2017

Liesl + Co. Classic Shirt in Brushed Cotton Plaid

Flexing my plaid matching muscles today!

After making my wearable muslin of the Liesl + Co. Classic shirt, I almost immediately cut and sewed a second one. The pattern held a lot of promise and only required a few minor tweaks to be my perfect boyfriend-style plaid shirt!

For this version, I made the fitting changes I mentioned in my last post: I cut a straight size 16D (instead of grading out to 18 at the hip) and I shortened the bodice by 1" (remember I had also made a 1" full bicep adjustment, which I carried through to this version). 

Worked a treat! It's amazing how a slight change can make such a big difference in how the garment looks and feels. For me, the shirt feels like it's now exactly the right amount of slouchy without being oversized!

I found this awesome plaid fabric at my local fabric shop here in Bangkok. It's like a lightweight flannel. Brushed cotton? I'm not sure I know the difference... whatever it is, it's delightfully soft. And the colors! A lovely soft green, bright orange, and navy, with hints of white and yellow. Yes, yes and yes.

Honestly, I'm not sure who in Bangkok is wearing this type of fabric; it's far too warm for this climate. But perfect for my soon-to-be home in Vermont! Now to find myself some appropriate footwear... six years abroad in Southeast Asia and now I have next to nothing to wear on my feet that will work below 80F (hence the bare feet in these photos).

Anyway, back to the fabric: the only problem with this fabric is that, after my pre-wash, it was wildly off-grain. I had to wrestle with it, quite literally, to get it to align both vertically and horizontally. Imagine three meters of this fabric spread across the floor as I throw my body on it, pulling it on the bias and pinning the stripes every few inches. And, as I cut my pattern pieces from it, it wasn't even clear if I had succeeded and I wasn't sure it would match anywhere I intended it to. 

 But I persevered and everything ended up fine! I cut the front and back bodices on grain, centering the design in the back and trying to make sure the center front and side seams matched (side seams below the bust dart only).

 I did the pockets, button band, yoke, tower plackets and cuffs all on the bias. I wish I could have had the pockets mirror one another, but I couldn't figure out how to make it work since the pattern is not the same vertically and horizontally. I also did a crap job lining them up on the front bodice. Sewing pockets in plaid over big darts is tough! I pinned them over the ham, but they still ended up a bit wonky.

As I was sewing, I decided to sew the hem and side seams in a different order. I hemmed the shirt first, and then attached the sleeves and sewed the side and underarm seams. I did french seams for the armscye and side seams (and all the seam allowances on the yoke and elsewhere are enclosed), so the inside of the shirt is quite tidy and neat!

As you can see by my facial expression, I am quite chuffed with this make! I looooooove it and can't wait to wear it! 

My husband was pretty jealous of my shirt, "Except for those buttons," he said, "which are too big for me." Um, ok, yes, they're a little bit big, but they work for me! Based on his interest, I've already got a brushed cotton plaid shirt cut out for him (in a different plaid; no twinsies). Coming soon!