Saturday, October 4, 2014

Comic Book Shirt

Fabric: Green Lantern comic book covers, from Spoonflower. This is the basic combed cotton. Out of the package, it felt decidedly . . . crunchy. I was a little worried. I washed it first on cold (dried on regular), then ran it through the whole cycle again on hot. After having been through the wash twice, it did soften up substantially. I didn't measure to see what the shrinkage was. It seems to have shrunk some, but not drastically. How's that for scientific? When it came time time cut, despite having almost 1/2 yard more than called for in the pattern, I didn't like my pattern matching options. (The pattern repeat is about 10" wide and 20" tall.) So I lined things up to match the center fronts, and the pocket, and cut everything else however it fit (keeping the grain in mind), with the exception of the piece for the back (cut on fold), which was no-way no-how going to fit. I did some measuring and realized that if I were careful, I could get it out of one more yard, so went off to order one more yard (since they won't let you order portions of yards -- some of the seam allowances are actually in the white border around the print (but not the selvedge)). When I got the additional yard, I just washed it on hot, and it seems to have faded some compared to the other 3 yards. It's not incredibly noticeable, but if you look closely it's a little different.

Pattern: McCall's 2149. I've used this pattern before to make some Hawaiian-ish shirts for the husband. It's an older pattern, but still apparently in print. Obviously this is a style that doesn't change much, so that doesn't really matter. It's a fairly good pattern, although there is one quirk where the pattern instructions tell you to clip to the interfacing, where it really wants you to clip to the stitching line.

 The pocket is pretty well-matched, isn't it? I fixed that stitching along the left edge after this picture was taken. Doing so left some holes, but they're not something anyone not giving the pocket a close examination would notice.

I French seamed the side seams, and used bright green rayon seam binding around the armholes.

I was so focused on matching up the fronts correctly that I didn't even think about which side the buttons are supposed to go on on a man's shirt. (I sew mostly for myself - I'm selfish like that.) As I was cutting open the last buttonhole, I had this thought that I might have done them on the wrong side. I couldn't even bear to go check, however, since there was no changing it at that point. (But yeah. They're on the wrong side.) The pattern called for 4 buttons, which seemed like an insanely small number, so I used 6 instead, using the same spacing, but not leaving a big area without buttons at the bottom, per the pattern.

When looking at the prospect of hand-sewing 6 buttons, I realized that my sewing machine can sew on buttons. So I got out the manual and tweaked the settings, and voila! Amazing. I don't think my old machine had that capability.

I didn't take many pictures, but here it is all finished (a little blurry, as it was being held - and moved - at the time of the photo):

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