Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I made a pattern!

Yes, yes, I am amazing.  I wanted to make something that looked like this piece of beauty from Alabama Chanin's Denim Look Book:

(Can you tell I'm really obsessed with Alabama Chanin lately?  I've spent hours pouring over her website and books.)  I wanted to make a shirt like that, with the many vertical seams, but she hasn't released a pattern for that dress.  Soooo... I decided to draft my own (shirt version, that is...)

I started by putting on the corset top that I made earlier, then using tape to mark where I wanted the lines to be on my new shirt.  Then I took off the shirt and cut paper pieces using the marked shirt as a guide.  I sewed a muslin from that and used that as a starting point to draft changes.  5 muslins later, I was ready to make the shirt.  FYI - while the line-marking part of this worked really well, I should have used a NON-stretch shirt that fit perfectly.  I had to do quite a few extra iterations because the starting point was a stretchy shirt, which hid imperfections with the fit (and also resulted in my first muslin being ENORMOUSLY over-tight).

The material for the shirt is from a thrifted pair of men's jeans (which looked a lot like a new pair that my s.o. just bought... he saw me on the couch with the pants and the scissors and started to fuss.)  I hemmed most of the shirt by just folding the edge under and topstitching, and then put a bit of maroon bias tape to cover the raw edge at the neckline.

I love the shirt, and I'll definitely make it again. (Doesn't the back look great?)  Next time, I'll try a stretch material and tighten things up to get rid of some of the funny spots and make it really come in under the bust.  Plus, I really need to figure out how to emphasize the seams more.  I want them to really be a strong feature and you can barely see them in the pictures.

(Oh and P.S. that is the WIP skirt that I finished up with a bit of hand sewing.  The other WIP skirt - I took out the gores and replaced them with green, found that it was not significantly improved, and took no small amount of satisfaction in placing it neatly in the kitchen trash can.)


  1. Ruth, it's GORGEOUS! I love it! It fits you like a glove (I know, 5 muslin's later, but that's normal!) and I love that you used thrifted denim! Great work!

  2. Whoa! GREAT JOB! Like you, I'm enthralled with this book and the patterns...but haven't made anything yet.