Monday, September 21, 2015

Birthday shirt in a day

Almost one year exactly, just after the raging success of his plaid shirt and vest, I took my son to District Fabric to pick out material for his next shirt.

photo from

He picked a rayon knit.
This one.

I'M BLIND!!!!!!!!!!!

As it was his 16th birthday today, it seemed time to make good on the promise.

A promise that needed a knit stitch that worked.

Now I really don't have any one brand of sewing machine that I love or hate anymore than another. My Bernina bugs me, but it is paid for, and I have a billion dollars tied up in those presser feet. And I thought about that when I bought the walking foot for it (on Ebay) last spring.

I did borrow a Brother when the Bernina was in the shop, and I disliked it immediately
for the lightning stretch stitch.
photo from

I could not borrow one, so I bought a rebuilt one on the sale rack. This one has one hundred stitches (if you include the buttonholes), about 98 of which I will never use except to make a blog post. Still debating taking it back this week. It is a really nice stitch.
That was yesterday.
So now I need a pattern that fits him. 

The male members of the family do not share my fitting issues: they all need stuff that is small and they like it more fitted than most menswear patterns.

So I worked from clothing I knew the fit of already.

It's tracing and connecting the dots from here, onto tracing paper.

Truing up the lines

A little transfer paper and a wheel for the curves

Truing the side up  (matching the collar seam mark the marker is pointing to) and then folding in half

A front and back collar line

I cut one side out for the front, and the other for the back.

The sleeve head came from this shirt, the sleeve body from another knit shirt. Handy that I'm drafting at a table right next to the laundry, many models to choose from.

Preshrunk and ready (well, it would not lay out properly, so I had to cut the pieces on a single layout. We're skipping the sweary parts)(and the part where laying out the fabric made my eyes hurt)

first thing you see when you open the box

and just in case you missed it before.

If you love your Brother sewing machine, don't read the next paragraph.

There's no speedy work on this machine, and the needles they provide make a horrid clunking sound going through fabric. The drop in bobbin does not like to be threaded in, and it is deeply picky about tension and how it's wound. The stitch 'cycle' sometimes will not clear the thread over the bobbin at the end. You can't adjust the bobbin tension. I guess I am a front loader bobbin person. And no, I don't like the on-machine threader. Or the needle always ending in the down position. But that stitch....
Dreamy # 03!

what is with the kids and the beanies these days?
A little like the end result. We are discussing making these 3/4 sleeved, and he wants more of these shirts.
He has promised not to make any sudden movements while wearing this.

Happy birthday, Blondini!


  1. I love the shirt and the fabric. Your son has an excellent taste and know what to chose. I have a very traditional son with boring clothes, by the way. I am 60+ years old, yet I love your son' choice. Happy birthday to him from the Netherlands. Carmen

    1. Thank you. He agrees with you completely. I have another son who would roll up and die before wearing this (he is the one in the Dora the Explorer bucket hat).

  2. I totally agree that Blondini has great taste. It's hard to dress interestingly when we're bombarded by so much choice of RTW. This is very original.

    My son turned 15 in August so if yours lived in the UK, they'd be in the same school year. (they pick from September to next August for the same academic year).

    1. They could listen to music on their headphones and 'game' online together. Wait a minute, maybe they do that now. Oh, pesky 8 hr time difference! Into the TARDIS with you!


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