Feels like the First Time


Remember that shirt I was going to make for Mr. Penney? Well, I finished it last week. Here is the result:

New knit shirt

And here is the review that appears on Pattern Review:

Pattern Description:
Men’s button front knit shirt based on this Banana Republic shirt

Original Banana Republic knit shirt

Pattern Sizing:
A men’s medium, with an addition inch added to the chest

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
It looks pretty close to the shirt that it is based on.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
To get the pattern, I followed the instructions in David Page Coffin’s book on shirtmaking. This was pretty easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I wish I had used a straight edge and a french curve to make the final pattern. I freehanded it the whole way, mainly due to lack of patience.

Fabric Used:
A red cotton/lycra knit from Gorgeous Fabrics.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
After making the initial patterns following the method in DPC’s book, I added an inch to the chest at my other half’s request. I cut the front and the back pattern pieces and redrew them with a quarter inch gap where the cut was made.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would use DPC’s method of copying a garment again, but it will be a while before I make this particular shirt again. This was my first time sewing with knits. The problem I ran into was sewing interfaced areas with non-interfaced areas, like the buttonbands on the front. The non-interfaced fabric would not feed evenly because of the drag of that fabric against the surface of the sewing cabinet. I eventually corrected this problem by sandwiching what was being sewn between two pieces of wax paper. I don’t know if there is a better way. I sure hope so.

It turned out ok. It was definitely a learning experience, mostly with sewing knits. I need to go back to taking baby steps.

I will eventually post a pic of Mr. Penney wearing the shirt. He has tried it on and it fits, but I did have a camera around at the time.

Copyright 2008 by G. P. Donohue for textillian.com

10 thoughts on “Feels like the First Time

  1. Waxed paper is one of the standard methods. However, there is also a special sewing machine foot that has rollers so the foot doesn’t drag on the cloth so much. There is also a lot to be said for careful hand-basting before machine sewing.
    The shirt looks great! Sewing with knits successfully is a real test of skill and you passed it.

  2. Wow! Great job! It looks nearly identical to the original shirt! The red is so fabulous, too.

    I agree that cotton/lycra jersey can be a total pain in the butt to deal with. It can be easier with a serger I’m told, and also if you use some of the special knit interfacings that are available.


  3. I’ve been sewing men’s shirts for at least 25 years, and I have an aversion to knits. Bravo to you for taking that on.
    I just got a shipment of patterns this past week from FolkWear, mostly shirt patterns. Those are a fun sew, and you can use you handwoven fabrics. 🙂

  4. Oh my, you’re quite brave to have a go at knits. The color is gorgeous and it came out very well. Good job!

  5. I am in awe of your sewing talent, the shirt is beautiful. I look forward to seeing Mr. Penney model it. Is there anything you can’t do?

  6. I’m so impressed! And I think yours looks better than the original. Sewing a shirt from a pattern is challenging enough, but creating your own pattern from a finished shirt — wow!

  7. Fantastic! I have a set of French curves from my days back in soil mechanics if you want them, just catch me on Wednesday.

Comments are closed.