Behold a new gingham shirt - my last minute entry into the Did You Make That? Ginghamalong. It's simple, classic and very wearable and I don't need a crystal ball to predict that this will be a much loved item in my wardrobe for its entire life. I made just the one gigantic error during construction (see below for the full blood and guts horror story), which I'm hoping will fade from my memory over time... Other than that, everything went to plan!
The gingham I used was 100% yarn dyed cotton which I snapped up for the bargain price of £6.50 a metre from this eBay seller. The seller advises a cool hand wash, which I promptly ignored (the only fabric that's ever hand washed in this house is silk) and it washed beautifully in the washing machine at 30 degrees. It presses well and is lovely to work with - a really nice quality cotton.
Because of school holidays I knew I wouldn't have long to make this shirt, so I used a pattern that's already been adjusted to fit me well - the Sewaholic Granville shirt (previous versions here and here). The thought of trying to pattern match the gingham didn't exactly fill me with joy, but I did want the checks on both sides of the bodice and the button bands to line up horizontally, so that's where I concentrated my efforts. It worked! I used a combination of Tasia's tutorial and just simply lining up all the underarm seams as shown here. The gingham on the collar seems to line up with the bodice gingham too, but I can't really take any credit for that one, pure fluke!
To further save time (and also because my buttonhole foot is still playing up), I used snaps on the front button band instead of buttons. If you have a pair of Prym pliers, snaps are super quick to apply, but I still find positioning them a little nerve wracking. They're almost impossible to remove without damaging the fabric, so if you get the position wrong you've well and truly pissed on your chips. The relief when they were all in (and the right way round!) was pretty huge. I do like the look of snaps on this shirt, they give it a cool, ready-to-wear feel.
Anyway, about that gigantic error… As per last time, I used this tutorial from Four Square Walls to attach the collar and under collar as I prefer the construction order Andrea uses to the pattern instructions. All was going swimmingly until I realised there was a massive amount of ease in the collar. Now I know there should be some ease in that area to allow the collar to be turned back easily, but this was ridiculous. I eventually resorted to easing the collar in with gathering stitches like a sleeve, but I wasn't happy and was gutted that my planned classy shirt was going to make me look like Harry Hill. Luckily, I had a sewing epiphany... in my sleep! I literally woke bolt upright one night after sub consciously working out what the problem was. Yes, your friendly neighbourhood sewing moron had only gone and attached the collar to the shirt upside down. Ahem. God I felt stupid, but at least I actually worked out what was wrong before wearing it out in public! I promptly cut out another set of collars/ under collars and attached them the right way round. It took about an hour to sew the collar and this time everything matched up perfectly, making me realise just how well drafted Sewaholic patterns actually are.
After all the eleventh hour drama, I couldn't be more pleased with my new gingham shirt. Yes, I know it's a sleeveless shirt and we're heading into autumn, but I can guarantee it will get plenty of outings underneath cardigans and jackets. In fact I think I'd like to wear it forever.
Thanks to Karen for hosting such a fun sew along. Let's face it, she was never going to have do much arm twisting to get me to join in, but I'm glad I did nevertheless. My gingham Granville is officially my new favourite thing! x