Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Koi Shirts X 2


I have a hefty backlog of sewing projects going back months that I want to share with you, but these two recent makes are jumping the queue today because they are making me so happy! So, a little background....

I don’t mind doing a bit of selfless sewing when the mood strikes me. However, I don't throw my sewing skills around willy nilly. If I’ve made you a garment, or mended/altered anything for you, even if you paid me in food for something, then it means that you are VERY special to me. The first garment I made for Pat (Mr SoZo) was a western style shirt, created not long after we moved in together. After that, I vowed to make him one garment per year that we were together. However, the last garment I made for him (another crazy western shirt) was FIVE years ago, whilst I was pregnant with our daughter, and I must admit that I hadn’t made him a garment since. There just seemed so much sewing for this new small person (later, people), and for my new body and lifestyle, to do. Plus, I generally made him shirts that he’d wear to go out in the evening. And the new small people has meant that there's been very little going out in the evening in the last 4.5 years, so new shirts seemed a bit pointless. I felt a bit guilty about this complete transference of my creative energies away from him, but I assuaged that guilt by reminding myself that instead of some annual new shirts, I’d just made him some ACTUAL CHILDREN.


Fabric:

Then, this fabric came into my life, thanks to the generosity of Josie from Fabric Godmother. She very kindly gave me this fabric when I was struggling to justify buying all the pieces I wanted during one of their open days last year. Originally, I intended for it to become a jumpsuit to wear to my sister-in-law’s wedding last summer. But a toile of the proposed jumpsuit pattern taught me two important things: A), the pattern was going to require some major tweaking if it were to look flattering and provide sufficient coverage to hide my ugly old nursing bra, which I just didn’t have time for, and B), the fabric probably wouldn’t have worked very well for the style of pattern.


This koi print cotton poplin (also available with ivory, blue or jade backgrounds) has a similar weight and handle to a medium-weight quilting cotton. I rarely wear prints myself, but I know a good one when I see one. The print design is really detailed and has been created using some metallic inks so that parts of it have a subtle iridescence (no, I didn't spell that correctly first time). Because the original jumpsuit pattern was full length, I came away with 3m, which is nearly double the amount of fabric that I usually acquire when buying fabric (I usually make separates). Having that sizeable quantity of stunning, free fabric just sitting there dormant on my fabric shelf weighed heavily on me. I must have been refolding my fabrics (which I do with embarrassingly regularity) and Pat mentioned that it was cool. Before I even thought about what I was saying, I offered to make him a shirt out of it. The offer was met with a favourable (but probably skeptical!) response, and a plan was born. And thanks to the abundance of fabric, I was able to squeeze a mini version out of what was left over from Pat's!


Patterns:

Probably the most successful, and certainly the most used, of the garments I’ve made Pat is this check, short-sleeved shirt, a tweaked version of Burdastyle's Jakob pattern. I used the exact same pattern pieces for this koi version, but turned the sleeve cuffs under instead of outward, and omitted the breast pockets because it looked like it would disrupt the print unnecessarily. Thankfully he seems to have changed size or shape very little in the last eight years, because the fit seems to me to be fine. Looking at these pictures, however, I'm wondering if the sleeves, in this slightly stiffer fabric at least, are a little full. I've got another shirt planned for him now, and I may make an adjustment to narrow them slightly, which should also have the beneficial effect of raising the height of the sleeve head.


I made Frankie's shirt using Burda 9851 (which seems to be purchasable on eBay), the same pattern I used to make this comic book print version, made whilst he was still in utero. Thanks again to Catherine from Clothes and Sewing for giving me the pattern when her youngest son grew out of the size range. To make that comic book print one, I used the size 9 months pieces, however, currently at 20 months, he's only just starting to grow out of that one. For this koi print shirt, I went with the size 18 months pieces, and I think he should get at least a year's worth of wear from it.


Thoughts:

I made these shirts along side each other so that I would need to do less switching between the regular sewing machine and my overlocker. It was fun to see them progress at roughly the same rate, although the construction methods were somewhat different. And there's nothing like making two at a time to remind you just how much work making a button up shirt actually is! 

It's probably no surprise when I say that I love these shirts. I really benefitted from having a couple of successful TNT sewing patterns ready to reach for, so using this amazing fabric wasn't much of a gamble. It's been such a joy to make them for my boys, and hopefully they'll both get lots of wear from them, although perhaps not always at the same time!

6 comments:

SewRuthie said...

Lovely shirts on adorable guys! I bet there is some major happiness right now :-)

BLD in MT said...

I know I'm here for the shirts, but seriously! The eyes on your two models!!! Oh, my goodness. They looks so fantastic all matched up, too. I'm glad the Koi found the right place for transformation to such epic garments! Also, you make me laugh!! "Actual" children...

Linda said...

OMG! how cute! Frankie is adorable, and Pat looks pretty good in his shirt too! Fabulous choice of fabric

Fabric Tragic said...

Fabulous! You’re awesome!

Metalmom37 said...

So cute!!! They look great!

Kathryn said...

This fabric is so amazing!! Lucky boys getting such lovely new shirts!

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