Monday, April 13, 2009

A learning experience

I'm making progress on my MIL's shirts, I'm mostly through the first one which is the solid pink. I've opted for 3/4 length sleeves on that one and short sleeves on the stripey one. I think what I'll do to settle the collar issue is make up a self collar in two pieces for a chevron effect and then make up a white one and decide what I think when the top is nearly done.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a learning experience with you. I almost never make a pattern as it was intended. I'm always making some kind of design change or combining this part with that part to come up with a hybrid. Because of this I would really love to learn to draft patterns myself and have been working on that. I've made several attempts at drafting my own patterns, sometimes from scratch and sometimes from BurdaStyle patterns (which I downloaded when they were free, it still annoys me that they're $4 each now).

To kick my drafting attempts up a notch I had decided that I would try to draft a polo shirt for my MIL. I used a BurdaStyle tank top pattern for the base and drafted sleeves (with instructions from Shirtmaking) and then also drafted a front placket based on the sleeve placket from Shirtmaking. This worked fairly well. Somehow I was off several inches on the collar when it came time to put that on, I'm not sure if that was a measurement failure since I am not great at math or if it was a failure to stay stitch the collar. Maybe it was a combination. (The photo is blurry because my photographer is impatient and doesn't believe in re-doing blurry photos...)

From Grillo Originals

From Grillo Originals

The part that kept me up at night was the part where the placket met the collar. On the RTW shirts I analyzed the collar comes halfway into the placket and the placket is about 1.5-2 inches wide. I couldn't work out how all the seams were finished or in what order everything was made. It made me COMPLETELY NUTS for about a week. Finally I wound up with a workable version only to realize that I had inserted the placket crooked. Ugh. I used snaps instead of buttons too because I didn't interface the placket and was not looking forward to digging the flimsy knit out of my sewing machine. I liked the snaps, I will probably do that again sometime. I'll try not to repeat the crooked placket though.

Here's what I wound up doing at the collar/placket junction. Not the neatest finish, but not that different from RTW.

From Grillo Originals

I wore the shirt a couple of times, but as it turns out the crooked placket is irritating. I'm thinking I'll cut the shirt either into a tank top or into a little polo for my friend's daughter (she wears a 2T so it would probably fit!)

Anyway, chalk that one up to a learning experience. Someday I will get to a point in my abilities where I can just dream something up and more or less make it. For now even the failures bring me some enjoyment so I'll just continue trucking along.

1 comment:

  1. There are some wonderful drafting books available that can help with such things as plackets. Shirtmaking is a great book also.