Monday, May 8, 2017

Wearable Muslin: Liesl + Co Classic Shirt in Seersucker

I've really liked working with Liesl + Co patterns in the past, and I'm still on the hunt for the perfect basic buttondown, so I was pretty excited when she recently released the Classic Shirt.

I have lots of buttondown patterns that I love, including the Cashmerette Harrison for body-skimming loveliness, the Style Arc Elsie Overshirt for a boxy v-neck, but I really wanted a basic boyfriend shirt: a bit slouchy, but not oversized, without a lot of extra seaming and with all the basic buttondown details. 

My Archers, which fit that description, have been fine, but not WOW projects for me, probably because of the lack of darts. They just don't feel quite right. The new Classic Shirt seemed to tick all of my boxes, though, and also had the added benefit of cup sizes (A/B, C and D).

The Classic Shirt has tower plackets and double pleats on the sleeves, a curved hem and double pleats on the back bodice. It's got two different pocket options and the option to have the button band folded over from the main shirt front, or sewn on separately. The back yoke seam is slightly curved, rather than being straight.

I noticed that the instructions use a different (from the burrito method) way of enclosing the yoke seams, folding the shoulder seam allowance under and then topstitching at the shoulder. There is also an interesting collar construction method, although I'll admit I stuck with my usual method from Four Square Walls.

I was a little bit confused about how to choose a size for this pattern since it has cup sizes. Should I go by my full bust measurement? or high bust? Liesl answered my question by pointing me to this article. Maybe I am being dense, but it didn't really clarify anything for me since it referred to standard patterns that don't have separate cup sizes: you go by high bust and then adjust the bust to fit your cup size. I know for Cashmerette patterns, though, which also have cup sizes, that you just go by full bust and choose the size closest to your measurement.

But this was a muslin anyway, so I went by my full bust, which put me at a 16, and I chose a cup size D. I think 16 was the right size for the shoulders, though. I don't think I could go any smaller there!

My hips were between 16 and 18, so I graded out to 18 to be safe, but I think that was unnecessary; there's a lot of extra room in the hips! I'm also finding it to be a little bit long through the bodice, which is adding to the oversized feeling. I may go back and tighten up the side seams to take out the excess.

I preemptively did about a 1" full bicep adjustment on the sleeves, which worked out well. I left the length of the sleeves unchanged- they were perfect as is.

The fabric I chose is a cotton seersucker fabric with thin grey and taupe stripes. I got it at this weird store in Bangkok's Chinatown that seems to have garment fabrics that fell off the back of a truck. The selection is really random, they occasionally look a bit roughed up, but there are almost always gems to be found if you're willing to dig. And the best part is the price: everything in the store is 3 meters for 100 Thai Baht (the equivalent of about US$2.90). Perfect for wearable (or even non-wearable) muslining!

The fabric acted a little bit strangely when sewing, though. When applying the iron-on interfacing and pressing areas like the collar, cuffs and button stand, the wrinkles in the fabric flattened and the pieces stretched a bit. I'm hoping they re-wrinkle when I throw the shirt back in the wash.

I cut some of the pieces on the cross-grain for interest, although it's difficult to see in these photos because the stripes are so light colored. I cut the yoke, button band, pockets and cuffs all with the stripes going horizontally. 

I've already started cutting out a second Classic Shirt, making a few of the fitting changes I mentioned (i.e. a straight size 16D with 1" in length removed). I'm looking forward to following along with the Classic Shirt Sew-along, too, to see if there are any helpful tips and tricks!