Thursday, November 20, 2014

Got The Blues Work Shirt - Built By Wendy (Sew U)

Pattern: Built By Wendy button-down shirt from the Sew U book (2006)

Pattern Description: Slightly-fitted, button-front shirt with separate collar stand, sleeve placket, and buttoned cuffs. Pattern options include yoke, collar, front facing, and pocket customizations.

Pattern Sizing: XS-Large. According to the book's size chart I should make a Large (size 10-12 ). I ended up cutting a Medium from the shoulders to the waist and then tapering out to the Large for my hips.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? Surprisingly, yes, since I refashioned the shirt from an existing RTW man's shirt.

Approximately what my shirt originally looked like
Were the instructions easy to follow? As I was working from a completed shirt, I can't say that I used many of the book's instructions on this version. However, the instructions read clear to me.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It was a more simplified version of the button-down, this version eliminated the back yoke detail. The pattern also included shaping for a feminine shape. However, the best thing about this shirt pattern and instructions were the many ways the shirt could be customized.

This is the true color*.
Fabric Used: A thrifted man's shirt in a wrinkle-resistant! cotton poplin ($5), thread, and Pellon Easy-Knit (AK130) fusible knit interfacing.

The "After"
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made?: First thing first, I had to cut the shirt down to my proportions using the Sew U pattern. That involved my trusty seam ripper and I took apart the side seams, removed the cuffs and took apart the flat-felled sleeve seams. I then cut out the shirt fronts aligning the pattern hem with the existing finished shirt hem. The original shirt came complete with a self-lined yoke and back pleat. The shirt was so much larger that these were not touched in the pattern cutting and were both removed.

In fact, I cut the new band from the discarded yoke and cut the new collar from the original shirt's collar. I reused the original collar's interfacing and retained the finished top edge.

I cut the new sleeves from the originals lining up the pattern edge with the original sleeve hem edge; therefore, retaining the finished sleeve plackets .

I adjusted the new sleeve width by adding a tuck so that the sleeve could slip inside the original sleeve cuffs. I then added a new line of topstitching to secure them there.

When attaching my band collar I realized the length was a bit off so I created a small tuck on the back neck. This kind of tuck is usually used beneath a yoke but was my only option since the band matched the length needed for the collar.

Update: After trying this on I didn't like the way the area puffed up under the collar. I removed the stitching from that collar section and instead created a faux center back seam by taking 1/2" out of the back width tapering down to 1/4" at the hem.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, after I adapt the center back pattern piece for less width and extend the side darts a bit more for shaping. I was pleasantly surprised that no easing was needed when inserting the sleeves, very impressive drafting.

Conclusion: I love that I was able to refashion this shirt and retain all of the detail of the button plackets and topstitching detail. The shirt was quick and easy to make because of this but the fit is due to the Sew U pattern and I will make more of these, even from scratch!

* Unfortunately, most of my pictures were over exposed and none captured the true color.

1 comment:

Kyle said...

What a clever refashion!