I made a shirt!

Looking at this, I can't quite believe this is the fourth garment I've made on my sewing machine. I feel like I've skilled up so quickly! I started with a pretty ropy version of a 60s sleeveless top (Simplicity 8246), which taught me I needed to do full bust adjustments. I then did a better (wearable!) version of that top, which taught me I really needed to learn how to finish raw edges, and that I need to learn how to do all-in-one facings. After that was my Colette Sorbetto, where I did finish the seams nicely, and learned how to bias-bind armholes. And now this, a full-blown shirt. No gape in the button bands, and no bra visible at the armholes.

I had to do a full bust adjustment and move darts to make the pattern work, but all the time spent mocking up a toile was worth it. Because I trace my patterns onto sewable tracing paper, I now have a customised pattern I can reuse as often as I like. The whole thing is French-seamed – even the darts have been done that way to remove fabric bulk – and I did the hem by hand as I think it gives a nicer finish. 

I'm already planning to make another with some patterned navy (OF COURSE) fabric from my stash. If I do, I'll use my overlocker to stitch/trim the darts all at once, as I'm not entirely happy with the ones I've done here on the regular machine, though the overall result is fine from the outside. I'll also reduce the height of the collar and collar stand as this one feels a bit Vic Reeves. And I think I'll hem the main part of it, then finish off the ends of the button bands separately as these ones go a bit thick at the hem and they'd be better just turned in on themselves and stitched closed. Possibly omit the interfacing for the last inch of the button bands, again to reduce thickness. But those are nitpicks; all in all I've very happy with this shirt.

I also don't have anything that goes perfectly with the shirt – the perils of buying offcuts of fabrics in colours you don't wear much. I'm thinking a spring green or aubergine purple A-line miniskirt or pencil skirt would be just the thing to make to go with it. (Most likely the purple, as then my lime green loafers would finish off the whole look.) What do you reckon? Mini or pencil? Or a mini and a pencil?

Quick note on the party I mentioned in my last post, as I was very excited and you might be wondering how it went. Bluntly, it was a disaster. I'm not very good at big events, and being alone in big cities scares me, but I'd thought I would have people from a Discord (games social media) I was on to support me. As you know, I've been having stress/anxiety issues this spring. Well, I got stressed and scared because I felt so isolated at the party, they had better people to hang out with, and then I got lost leaving the venue in a part of London I'd never visited before... I cried on the train home (I found my way and got on the last one with a minute to spare) and got home wanting to cut my wrists. As a way to find out who your friends aren't, I don't recommend it. Had a massive anxiety spiral after that, feeling like everyone hated me and crying all the time, but I'm mostly okay now, and that's largely thanks to Mr Robot (of course!) and my lovely goth, steampunk and vintage pals. Anyway, I'm trying to look at the full half of my glass – those aforementioned lovely pals – and reminding myself that the empty half can be filled up again.

You're the full half of my glass!


  1. I love the shirt and I actually think the collar is just fine. But that's me ... As I love both green and aubergine, I'd have a hard time picking just one colour. Spring green would be lovely with your hair, but aubergine might be more you. Aubergine A-line mini skirt, yes, that's it! As for that party, I can feel your pain. I've never been good at going to parties where I don't know people on my own. I'm very bad at mingling. I would have been stressed and anxious as well. Having a lovely husband and pals is so important. They are, after all, what counts. xxx

  2. I love the colours of the fabric, I think it really suits you, style and colour. I'm so sorry the party was miserable and sad that you felt so crap afterwards, some people really are just shits. Looking forward to seeing you soon. xx

  3. I love the blouse-you did a great job of it. I'd always go for a mini over a pencil skirt because pencils are so awful if you have to get in and out of cars, or climb stairs, etc.

    I once spent a party hiding in the ladies room at a very fancy venue as I had to wait for my ride home. It was a nice ladies room, but I found out who my friends were and weren't.

  4. I'm seriously impressed with your skills, Mim! That blouse is wonderful, the fit is superb and having seen your neat stitching over on IG, the quality of your work is stupendous. I'd go for an A-Line mini skirt in aubergine-y purple, it would look brilliant with your loafers.
    I'm sorry the party was so horrible and the getting lost and nearly missing your train home must have been a nightmare. xxx

  5. Well done you! It looks great on you and I think a green pencil or mini
    A line skirt would look fab, but of course I love green, so I would say that wouldn't I? So impressed with your sewing development. Will it be the Great British Sewing Bee next year? I nominated my friend Ann for the first series. She is a superb sewer but they never contacted her...

    I'm so sorry to hear about your horrible party and journey home. Thank goodness for Mr. Robot and all other sources of support. Hope you're feeling less anxious and stressed now.


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