This year for his birthday I really wanted to do something extra special for my awesome husband, Doug. I make a lot of things and spend a lot of what free time I have, crafting, making, and plotting projects. Usually I make things for others, my daughter or myself, but it occurred to me that I hadn’t actually made my husband anything. Seriously? What kind of wife am I? I’m only half kidding.
I wanted to be prepared so I started planning this project right after Thanksgiving. I decided to make him something practical and he wears button down shirts to work similar to Colette’s Negroni Shirt pattern, but he doesn't have any that are blue. So, I stole his favorite shirt for a day to measure it against the finished measurement sizes on the pattern and crossed my fingers that I could accomplish something that seemed so advanced.
Pattern: Negroni Shirt for Men by Colette
Modifications: Omitted loop and button at top of shirt
Fabric: 3 yards of 1" woven Gingham in Navy - 3 yards
The fabric choice was easy, we had just gotten in all of these great woven plaids from Cotton and Steel in all kinds of great colors and this blue one was perfect for Doug. This pattern has a lot of pieces, and if you’re pattern matching, give yourself time to think it through. I cut my pockets and pocket flaps on a bias, but in hindsight, I wish I had cut my back yoke and my cuff pieces on a bias too. Eh, live and learn and next time, I’ll know better.
The construction of the top part of the shirt was confusing and I had to read through the instructions a couple of times to wrap my brain around getting the yoke sewn in. I’m not gonna lie, it didn’t look or feel right and I said a prayer, pinned generously, and carefully and slowly sewed it all together. But I have to say, the technique was genius and looks so professional and impressive.
I had never flat felled a seam before and actually had fun learning this new technique and basking in how pretty it made my inside seams. Plus there is no special foot required if you use this tutorial on the Colette blog. Just be sure to pay attention to the seam allowances at these steps or you won’t have enough fabric to flat fell your seams.
The placket had me a little nervous too, but after conquering that yoke, this step seemed simple. I did dumb things like sewing the facing on backwards, but it wouldn’t be a complete project without a little seam ripping, so I took a deep breath and started ripping. The snaps were kind of an afterthought, but ended up being the perfect (and quick) addition and gave the shirt a casual feel.
Over all, I’m so thrilled with how it turned out. It was a satisfying sew that kept me engaged and challenged, and was totally fun. The fit couldn’t be more perfect and I could tell he was genuinely impressed and surprised. And I think he may actually wear it from time to time. Yay!
Happy Birthday, Doug!