Now that I have the design turned into fabric, it is time to create a shirt.
While I was still making sketches, I considered continuing the design onto the back, and even the sleeves. And the more I thought about it, the less I liked the idea. Since one of the design ideas was that it should be wearable, the sleeves would move, and with it any lines that I’d try to continue onto them. In my mind, this would distract, instead of add to the design. And the pattern that I used for this shirt, a loose-fitted one, has pleats in the back where the yoke meets the rest of the fabric. This is a good feature, since I want the shirt to be wearable. But it also means that those pleats would seriously distort any type of geometric design I could come up with.
So I ditched that idea. And considering how much time it took to create the front, I’m not shedding any tears over that decision. I think I would have given up on the project if I had to do the back and the sleeves too.
To make it not completely boring, I added a strip of black to the bottom of the back yoke. And while I was sewing that together I saw that there was one black line that ran all the way across the front. I couldn’t help myself, I cut the back where this line would match up and inserted another black strip of fabric. At least the back would some decoration.
The sleeves were rather easy. Make a cuff that looks like a colour block, and do the same for the placket. The plackets would be yellow blocks with black lines, and the cuffs would be one red, and one blue. And I completely forgot to take any photos of the process.
Now only one thing was left; the collar. And if you have been following me on this blog, or Instagram, you know that I have a thing for collars. I couldn’t let myself get away with something simple. So it was literally back to the drawing board.
One thing was obvious; even though the black lines weren’t very wide, they were too big for a collar. The simple solution was to just make them half as wide. This would not be as big of an issue as I initially thought. These seams don’t have to be finished; they’re completely hidden inside the collar and only need to be pressed open. I would not have to make faux French seams here.
There wasn’t really a method to creating the design. I made a collar stand from paper and made a rough paper collar that I taped onto it. Then drew on that to see what I liked. Matching the lines up with the horizontal and vertical lines on the shirts was the most pleasing. And, of course, it had to be asymmetrical.
Transferring this design onto fabric was finicky. The precision required to make it look nice was even higher than with the front of the shirt. But I didn’t have to do the seams finishes, and there were a lot less seams.
Now the only thing left were the buttons. I chose small black ones, on both sides of the wide placket. This would not disturb the symmetry, while being as unobtrusive as possible.
This was a great project, because it required so many new things of me. I needed to sketch, quilt, draft, and above all, not become frustrated with the tediousness of it all. There are a lot of things I learned, and there are many things I would do differently if I were to make another one. Yet, I’m very happy with it, and it feels good to finally (a year after the thought entered my brain) have it be part of my wardrobe.
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