Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Lounge Lizard Shirt

At least that's what Mario's calling it. This was adapted from a shirt he fell in love with while we were in Paris in May, but he couldn't bring himself to pay 60 euros to bring home. Why spend that kind of money when you have a girlfriend who sews, right?

There's no picture of him wearing the shirt because he's not getting it until Christmas. He saw it briefly in the fitting stage, but he can't have it for another 2 months. Hee hee!

This is my standard Kwik Sew men's shirt pattern, improved with Pam Erny's cuff placket method and her collar and collar band instructions. All of which made the shirt come together much more smoothly than usual - though there were some tense moments simply because I couldn't see what I was doing.

The collar band, inside yoke and under-cuffs were done in a small leopard print cotton; the body of the shirt is a black cotton shirting with a touch of lycra, so I could make the shirt a bit more fitted without it pulling.

As per the inspiration shirt, the buttons were black and square, and the buttonholes and button were sewn with a thread that coordinated with the leopard print. The contrast of those orangey-tan buttonholes on the black shirting make me happy for some reason.

This shirt came together pretty quickly. I started it one evening last week, just planning to do the first steps - front bands, pocket, maybe the yoke - but it went together so well that I got about 2/3 of the shirt done that first evening. Including the collar. Which happened after 10:00 p.m. and didn't give me a problem.

When the sewing gods are smiling on you, you must appease them by sewing until you can't see straight. Which is what I did. I even got the sleeves on that night, though I saved the side seams for later. Flat-felling when tired is just an invitation to disaster.

A few days ago I did those side seams, and constructed and attached the cuffs. Yesterday, I did all the buttonholes, sewed on the buttons and hemmed it. Even the collar band buttonhole didn't fight me. Which is a first.

All in all, I don't think I did a bad job of reproducing the shirt he was lusting after. I forgot, however, just how much I hate sewing black fabric with black thread under the inadequate light of any of my machines. Even with my reading glasses, I was blind as a bat.

So the shirt's done, and I'm almost finished a pair of TNT pants in a gray wool gab, and I'm bored. The shirt turned out well, the pants are coming along fine - but I need a challenge project, and I need one soon. Sewing as relaxation is fine, but part of what I love about it is the mental challenge, the puzzle-solving. Right now I'm torn between the coat I've been planning (chocolate brown wool from Gorgeous Fabrics with a gold peacock-feather brocade lining) or the Hotpatterns Humongous Tote in screaming orange lambskin with a lighter orange brocade lining.

BTW, can anybody tell me what the %*#&%* is up with Blogger and their photo uploading? There no "known issues" about it, but the discussion groups are full of grousing and every time I try to upload a photo, size it to "small" and click "done," I get this ginormous thing that overflows the margins of my page. If any of my photos in this post are wonky, it's because I went in manually and re-sized them and I'm not quite sure what I'm doing. Rant over - but if anyone has any suggestions how to get around this, or how to get Blogger to listen, I'd appreciate it.


Maryissewfast said...

Nice reproduction Karen...the lounge lizard shirt looks fabulous! Isn't it great to sew? Mary

Lori said...

Wow, Karen, what a wonderful job on the shirt and a great present. The question is, can you wait that long or will you give him the present early? I bought a small OTT light at Joann's, it was a Black Friday special and it is bendable, sure helps with the topstitching, etc.

Vicki said...

Can't help with blogger, but what a great knock off. Lucky Mario!

Brooke said...

That shirt is AWESOME. Must not let husband read your blog or I will be making him one and I am still recovering from making his suit for the wedding!!

Auset's Stitched Treasures said...

Wow! Love the shirt. Fantastic job. Lucky man.

Tany said...

Great knockoff! It looks terrific!

Kat said...

This is really impressive work, Karen!