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The color purple & me.

December 31, 2010
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For obvious reasons, I’ve had an aversion to wearing purple ever since I could buy clothes for myself. Every. single. gift. I was given as a child was some shade of the color, and I got so tired of hearing “Lavender is wearing lavender”. But I must be over it, because this JJ is my new favorite shirt.  Violet, purple, lavender…they’re all lovely, and fortunately or not, happen to look good on me.  So I guess I’ll just suck it up and cringe a little inside if someone attempts to be witty.

I’ve had my eye on this cotton plaid off and on for years, and finally just asked my mom if I could snag what was left from her stash.  Dear she is, she obliged.  There wasn’t much to work with, so no room for errors.  Still, I didn’t make a muslin – just too impatient I suppose.  And the pattern actually gave ease measurements…fabulous!  I went down two sizes from my regular Burda size, because I knew just how snug I wanted the bust to be.  Maybe I should do this from now on with their patterns?  I always have to take them in so much, spend so much time on fitting, and in part because they don’t normally list the ease.  (In part because I’m still learning!)



It fit so well in the bust, but I did think it was a bit too loose in the waist. And I had matched the pattern so perfectly! It wasn’t going to do, though…so I graded it on the side and front princess seams, trying so diligently to keep everything aligned.  I took in 1/4″ on each side seam and each front princess seam (which equals 2″ total…remember, you’re taking in 1/4″ on 8 pieces of fabric).  And, like a good little sewist, I marked my pattern for next time.  Because the fabric is woven, and I didn’t want to mess up the design, the final result isn’t quite as snug as below, but much better than originally sewn up.

how I wanted it to fit in the waist

side/back view of desired fit

This is the first time I’ve worked with a plaid, and it is an asymmetrical one at that.  Also, my mom warned me that the pattern was off in a few places toward one of the selvedges.  But did I listen?  Of course not.  This resulted in one area (above right bust) not aligning correctly, despite the rest of the seam being spot on.

I got ahead of myself when stitching on the arm bands, not realizing there was an overlap for a buttonhole.  So I simply added a loop instead, which I think looks better, anyway.  Not being the ruffly type, I was on the fence about adding them.  In the case of ruffles v. plaid, I thought ruffles might win, not looking so girly against plaid.  Ultimately, yardage limitations made the decision for me and I like the shirt sans ruffles.

a view from inside

Ima definitely make a few more of these, and I think I’ll make the collar about half the height next time.  Details: vintage cotton, sew-in interfacing, hand-sewn armbands & collar, serged seams.

I had planned on being a bit more prolific this month with the posts (I was actually very active in the sewing room).  But life and its end took priority.  I’m going to rename this shirt “Carl”, who gave me the best compliment a sewer could wish for when I wore it for him.  That’s all, ya’ll.  Hear’s to a new year.


CHM, Sr. 1943-2010. My Santa Claus.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Sheila D. permalink
    December 31, 2010 10:15 pm

    I literally gasped when I saw you in purple. I can vouch that you have NEVER worn purple. I was stunned. It is beautifully made and looks beautiful on you. I’m thinking I may need to commission you! I want a ThreadSquare piece!

    I love you, lady…thinking of you.

    • threadsquare permalink*
      January 4, 2011 8:46 pm

      Thank you :) Let’s go fabric & pattern shopping…I’d love to make you something!

  2. January 4, 2011 4:37 am

    Purple is a beautiful colour on you. I love your shirt, it’s extremely flattering and you have made it beautifully.

    • threadsquare permalink*
      January 4, 2011 8:47 pm

      Thanks for such a sweet comment :)

  3. Melissa permalink
    January 19, 2011 2:02 pm

    I love the plaid fabric! Great shirt. I’m new to sewing apparel and am thinking about sewing this shirt as one of my first projects.

    • threadsquare permalink*
      January 23, 2011 12:41 pm

      Go for it! This pattern is a great first blouse project (a simple A-line skirt is an ideal first bottom). It sews up quickly, you’ll learn how to construct sleeve plackets, and it’s flattering with easily-adjustable princess seams.

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