Negroni Muslin Finished!

My Negroni shirt muslin is finished and I’m quite happy with it. I played around with the pockets and if I had enough fabric, would have tried to match the stripes better, the pocket on the right was just for fun. Once I got the plackets worked out, they were VERY simple!

For my final shirt, I’m going to do a mash-up of the Negroni shirt and Kwik Sew 2777 , I’m going to use the collar and stand from Kwik Sew and everything else from Negroni.

Thank you Gigi for creating a tutorial on fabric pattern matching, I’m going to start on my paisley shirt next weekend and am looking forward using all the tutorials found along the way.

My only complaint is perfect stitching with my machine (Sapphire 850), when it comes to crossing seams, the stitches seems to get a little smaller going over the hump and I hate when that happens. If you have any hint or tips, please forward them along!

And now for your moment of zen…

TDF took this photo of me kissing the (lucky) boar in Munich, Germany (Oct.2010).

Today I sewed the plackets on my muslin, I had a brief moment of confusion on the short end of the plackets, neither Sarai’s nor Peter’s instructions were clear to me so I just had to guess, which worked out in the end and by complete fluke, the stripes matched up!

I liked how Sarai recommended pressing 1/4″ on the sleeve head prior to sewing the sleeve to the body of the shirt, it worked out very nicely!

Embroidery Library has another sale going on now and I couldn’t resist, I found these adorable robot images that TDF loves so I embroidered a little robot on the front left chest of his t-shirt and a ray gun on the middle back, I love it!

And now for your moment of zen…

This is our Devon Rex cat who loves to snuggle in your sweater. She’s 14 years old and has always been a little on the naked side   :D

Colette Negroni vs. Kwik Sew Men’s Shirt: Round 2

Happy MPB Men’s Shirt Sew-Along day everyone!! Today is day 1 and Peter has already posted the first instructions. Since I rarely have enough time after work to sew on week days, I traced my pattern pieces last Saturday and cut out my muslin.

And speaking of the Colette Patterns Negroni Men’s Shirt, on to placket applications…

Admittedly, the majority of men’s shirts I’ve sewn have been short sleeved, they’re quicker and easier. I have made one long sleeve men’s shirt and here’s the one and only placket I’ve completed (on both sleeves, of course):

Kwik Sew Men's Shirt Placket

Not bad, looks as it should. Here’s the pattern piece:

Placket Pattern Piece

I didn’t like how it was put together, you had to make a tiny, awkward hem on the wrong side of each sleeve, easy to screw up.

Kwik Sew Placket Instructions

Now here’s the Negroni pattern piece and instructions:

Colette Negroni Placket

I like the application of  the Colette Negroni placket far more (than Kwik Sew), it reminds me of how you would make a welt pocket in a way and is a text book application of a sleeve placket. I think I’ll merge the Kwik Sew and Colette Negroni patterns adding the Kwik Sew collar stand and yoke application method to Negroni pattern and the Negroni sleeve placket to the Kwik Sew 2777 pattern.

Colette Negroni vs. Kwik Sew 2777, Men’s Shirt Patterns

Yesterday I was studying the Colette Patterns’ Negroni men’s shirt pattern. I quickly discovered she does things a little differently from convention and, IMHO (I’m no pro by any stretch of the imagination), not any easier or better.

The first bell that went off in my head was triggered by the fact that there is no collar stand on the Negroni shirt. It’s true, I was brainwashed by David P. Coffin’s Shirtmaking book, which I read cover to cover, and agree that all shirts should have a yoke and collar stand. For me, it represents quality but in this case, I can overlook it.

The second issue I encountered was the way she joins the front and back yoke, first she joins the front facings with the inside yoke.

Back Yoke & Front Facings

After attaching the back of the shirt to the outside yoke, you attach the front facings, sewing around the collar like you would on jacket construction.

Attaching Front to Back

And here’s the problem with attaching yokes in this manner, you can’t sew it properly and she states in the pattern, “You will not be able to stitch all the way to the neckline, but stitch as close as you can.”  You end up with a gap where you can’t sew which drives me nuts! Sure, you can’t see it from the outside but I know that small gap is there and I don’t like it.

In comparison, here’s how Kwik Sew attaches the front yoke to the back in a very neat, efficient way. First you sandwich the back of the shirt between the inside and outside yokes then press the yokes up.

Kwik Sew method of attached the front and back yokes.

The first time I tried this next step, I had to sleep on it before figuring it out. First you pin the right (or left) front piece to the outside yoke piece, then you take the inside yoke piece and bring it to the front of your work, moving the shirt front and back to the side and out of the way.  Pin all four layers together at the shoulder and sew (the shoulder) seam. Repeat on the other shoulder, turn everything right side out and voila, a neat and tidy yoke attachment, I love it! No gaps, no sewing acrobats, simple, neat and clever.

Kwik Sew Yoke Attachment Step 2

I checked the plackets and cuffs, more on that later.

Embroidery Inspiration

One of the many details I love about Robert Graham shirts is the subtle — or not so subtle — embroidery, on the inside yoke and sometimes on either side of the placket.  And since I have a new embroidery machine, why not put it to good use?! I initially purchased it with the thought that I would make my own clothing labels but have found many more uses for it.

I plan to embroider the inside yoke of my men’s shirt , the design has to be light and airy, so last night I downloaded more embroidery files from Embroidery Library Inc., my favorite downloadable site. Who doesn’t love a product you don’t have to pay shipping/taxes and duties for?! Here are the designs I’m considering:

1) Golden Flower and Paisley


Flowers & Paisley

2) Golden Flower and Paisley II

Golden Flower and Paisley II

3) Floral Filigree 1

Floral Filigree 1

4) Floral Filigree 2

Floral Filigree 2

5) Simple Swirls

Simple Swirls

6) Simple Symmetry Medallion 2

Simple Symmetry Medallion 2

Please give me you opinion on which one you’d choose for a Robert Graham-esque shirt? I’m not 100% sure if the fabric will be solid turquoise or skinny stripes or something else and the thread colour will obviously change.