The elusive dark chambray shirt: Burda 4/2011 #105

Wednesday, 4 June 2014
A few months ago I searched and searched for dark chambray fabric, which I ended up buying online from (with a few other pieces of fabric too). It arrived really quickly, and was the perfect colour, weight and stretchiness. So I cut out a shirt pattern really quickly. And then it sat in my sewing room, untouched. And then it sat some more for good measure. Sadly I have a tendency to do that sometimes.

But I did manage to sew it up at my sewing weekend away - it's amazing how much you can get done when you're far far away from those time monopolisers otherwise known as children, husband and real life!

Actually it is pretty remarkable that this one got finished at all, it was just mistake after mistake. I chose a really simple button front shirt from an old Burda, 4/2011 #105 which isn't that old but doesn't seem to be on their website for download:

It fits really well, which is good but funny at the same time because I was aiming for a looser fit that I could layer this over other clothes! I cut a size 36 for this shirt where I usually wear a size 34 in Burda but it turned out just right, except for needing a bit of a sway back adjustment. The first mistake I made was cutting the yoke with the fold of fabric not at the centre back where it should be but at the shoulder line. So I had to cut the yoke in two and sew it back together to make it the right shape, except then foolishly I sewed it together at the armholes which meant I had to unpick and resew! I got there eventually, and the centre back seam of the yoke is barely visible and looks like it was meant to be there anyway:

Actually the first mistake occurred when I ordered this fabric - note to self when ordering fabric in the future: one yard of fabric is much less than one metre! I didn't order enough fabric to have any left to recut the yoke hence all the fiddling with it. But it turns out that losing some width in the yoke due to the unexpected seam in the centre helped get a great fit (seeing the good in the bad, people).

I also didn't have enough fabric to cut out the cuffs, but since I usually wear my long sleeve shirts folded up to the elbow I figured I could leave off the cuffs and do a tab on the sleeve instead (seeing the good in the bad again). So I sewed the sleeve seams with a French seam because they would be visible - yay for me, taking care to make sure the inside is nicely finished for a change! But here comes another mistake - the sleeves are so narrow I can only just fold them up above my wrist to hide the fact there's no sleeve!

I could unpick the beautiful French seams to let out the sleeve as much as possible but I'll probably just leave it as is. The sleeves are really long even without the cuffs, which I can see on the version that the model is wearing in the magazine photo.

After all those sagas the shirt turned out pretty great and I'm really happy with it. The Robert Kaufman fabric I ordered from washes and wears really well. And here's how I wore it last Saturday on a fabric shopping expedition with the Sydney Spoolettes last Saturday:

This is a simple dirndl skirt I made from some vintage cotton a long time ago (way back in 2010!) that I don't actually wear that often, so it was nice to wear it out while the autumn weather here was still doing its best impression of summer.

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