About Me

My photo
Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Friday, August 15, 2014

My Chambray Shirt!

So I finally found a fabric of high quality I felt was suitable to make a dark Chambray shirt that you see, well, everywhere!  They are so cute!  I had to have one, and of course, I had to make my own.  That is what us girls (and fellas) do when we want to create a garment and make it our own.

First the inspiration photo from a recent Eddie Bauer Catalog I received in the mail.  I like the more fitted silhouette and the contrasting top stitching.  I also really like the dark fabric, how cute!

So, I found a dark blue fabric in 100% cotton at a local quilt shop.  The quality is so unbelievable, that I feel like it is one of the nicer fabrics I have worked with lately.  I just love a beefy cotton that holds its shape, is pliable, and needle holes disappear if you take stitching out.  You know what I mean?

Next was to pick a pattern.  I thought about my recent success with the Grainline Archer which is so adorable, but after making three looser fitting tops, I really wanted one that was more fitted to match my inspiration top.  So, I was at JoAnns to purchase some notions and noticed that McCalls patterns were a mere 99 cents--yes, you read right, less than one dollar!  What's a girl to do but peek though the catalog and find a few patterns.    And, as you'd guess, I found 6124 which gave me the fitted shape I was looking for.
I choose view D with the long sleeves but the length of A-B.  Don't let the boring line-drawings fool you, this is a cute top!  I set off to get this top moving along.
Cutting out was simple and I was happy to find the sleeves for view D were two pieces.  Who makes a top with two piece sleeves?  Well, I did because that is what the pattern called for and I like that detail.  Besides, I had enough fabric, so why not?

I also used medium weight couture quality interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply and my buttons were also from that source.  I just love their interfacing and now I am totally in love with the buttons as well!

I cut a size 14 in the bust and made a slight FBA but modifying the princess seam by extending it a 1/4 inch bigger than called for.  I graded down to a 12 in the waist and hips.  My usual alteration is a 1/2" swayback adjustment and I did that by making a wedge in the pattern piece at the back waistline and grading to nothing at the waistline seam.  After putting the top on early on in the construction process, I realized I needed a bigger sway back adjustment so I raised the back neckline by another 1/4".  I still have some wrinkles at the back waistline, but I am wondering if I have it too fitted?  Any fit experts out there that can help me and give advice would be much appreciated!

So when I constructed the collar stand, I decided to pull out a recent Threads magazine and use the steps an article by Louise Cutting uses to construct the collar and stand without and hand sewing--yep, you read right, zip, nadda, none!  Wow, this is a technique I will use from now on!  I loved it and it really wasn't any more work than putting in a collar and stand with a method mentioned in a typical pattern.

Here is what I did:
1.  Prepare the collar stand by making all the markings needed such as termination points for the collar and the pivot line.

2.  Next, after making the markings, I used my french curve and drew a line connecting the dots that followed the shape of the collar stand.
3.  Sandwich the collar stand pieces between the blouse with the interfacing side on the right side of the top.  Pin in place matching the markings.
4.  Fold the blouse back away from the collar stand to keep it free from the collar stand

5.  Sew the seam and then trim to 1/4 inch.
6.  Press the seam line open and pull the collar stand up and away from the top making sure you pull the unsewn seams that attach the collar upwards

7.  Stitch the collar sections together, trim, press and topstitch the edges

8.  Stitch the collar to the stand to the blouse's right side.  Keep the inside collar stand piece free.
9. Fold the collar upwards causing the remaining unsewn collar stand to fall into the seamline, trim, and press the free collar stand inside matching up the seamlines.  I used steam a seam to get everything lined up nice and pretty!

10.  Edge stitch the collar stand and hot damn, you are done.  This is one of the nicer collar stands I've made lately without handstitching!!!  Try this method, it works!

So....other than that, stitching this top up was pretty uneventful.  I do have to say that the sleeve seam was a little difficult.  The top portion of the sleeve set in beautifully but it was really hard to get the lower portion to lay as pretty as the top did.  Not sure what the issue was, but I need to remember that for the next time I make this top.

Next time, I will try the top on before I put on the buttonholes.  I don't mind where they are now, but I think that tops look better when there is a button at the fullest part of the bust.

Sleeve length is great for me and I am 5'7".  If you are taller or smaller, you might want to check that before cutting and sewing this baby out.

All in all, I like my top!  Thanks for reading!


  1. Very nicely done! I'm still hunting for nice chambray :)

  2. Love your new shirt.. Looks great on you.. I like the 2 part sleeves.. They seem to fit better.. Happy sewing.