A few months ago I decided that I would like a brushed cotton plaid shirt. I wanted it to be a mens style but with a ladies fit.
This Marian Martin pattern seemed to fit the bill. It’s one of my favourite pattern envelopes. Being a mail order vintage one, it still has the original purchasers name and address, Mrs Douglas Rose, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
What had sown the idea was seeing some lovely brushed cotton plaid fabric in Walthamstow earlier in the year. I thought it would make a nice shirt for the winter but as you may have guessed I went back and couldn’t find any fabric remotely like that which I had seen.
I am really trying not to buy fabric if I’m not ready to sew with it, I want to try to get my stash down as much as possible and am pleased to report that I can now close the lid on the fabric filled ottoman in my bedroom, although the loft is still packed with suitcases and plastic Ikea boxes of fabric…
Anyway I bought this blue checked fabric from Ebay, it is 100% cotton and brushed although not really as nice a quality as I was hoping for (I hate buying fabric online, I need to be able to touch it)
Once I had cut the pattern it was a fairly easy make. There are no bust darts as with the yellow blouse I wrote about here. It has waist tucks and yoke gathers at the back and the front.
I’m still not really happy with my gathering both on the yoke and the cuffs, I would like to be able to get it a bit more even. Will need to keep practicing, anyone got any hints or tips?
I was pleased with how the sleeves went together and I managed to get the collar even. With this type of collar I usually have to have a couple of tries to get it fitted evenly.
The third picture below isn't really very clear but it shows the back waist tucks. I love these, it means I can tuck the shirt in really comfortably but there is still enough room in the body for it to be comfortable when wearing.
Now this bit is really exciting (for me at least!) After I had cut out the shirt I kept all the spare bits of fabric and made some fabric replacements for cotton wool pads.
I’ve seen people selling them on Etsy and thought I’d have a go at making some myself since me and my girls get through dozens of them.
I bought myself an overlocker last year and it was a doddle to make them, although for my first few I tried to make them the same size as the bought cotton wool pads which was incredibly difficult. The small size made it almost impossible to manoeuvre the fabric in a small enough circle.
All I did was match 2 pieces of fabric together and draw around a circular object, I think I used a small drinking glass, and then followed the line with my over-locker, the over-locker did the trimming and they were finished in no time.
As a result I made them bigger and I actually like them better that way – I can use one pad several times on each side and can usually remove my makeup using only 2. We pile them up in the bathroom and I throw them into one of those laundry delicates bags and then into the machine.
So much better than using disposable ones and used up most of my off-cuts of fabric. Win/win.