So, it’s only been six months (*coughs* at least…) since I bought the Thread Theory Fairfield pattern with the intentions of making Mr Distracted a well-earned handmade shirt! And I’ve pretty much had the supplies for this make for just as long; fabric washed and ironed, pattern printed and ready to go. I guess I was put off starting by ALL. THE. PATTERN. PIECES.
No kidding, there are a lot of pieces to sort through and cut. And shirt making doesn’t exactly strike me as easy to begin with. But once I bit the bullet and started, all of my excuses just melted away.
I have a specific shirt combination in mind for Mr Distracted, however I decided first to make a wearable toile (because yeah, we all know how they go…) using this khaki and vanilla tropical leaves fabric from Fabricland. It’s quite a nice cotton, slightly stiff but also lightweight, so should make a great summer shirt that isn’t too soft and floaty. The Fairfield pattern has a number of different variations that can be made – for this shirt I decided to go with the shaped back darts for a fitted look, and the short sleeve pattern addition which is available for free from the Thread Theory website.
The shirt construction includes techniques such as flat felled seams to the side seams and where the sleeve joins the bodice (eek), and the exciting burrito method for the yoke - I don’t think I will ever tire of the fear tinged thrill of pulling the rolled up shirt out from the stitched up yoke to see if I’ve sewn it right! It’s a brilliant technique.
I found sewing this shirt pretty satisfying. The instructions mostly made sense - but Thread Theory also have a sew along series for this shirt here. Sometimes it really helps to have photos instead of diagrams to decipher the pattern instructions.
It took me a day and a half to cut out and sew the Fairfield, and it pretty much went to plan. The collar is a little off somehow - but I can’t quite workout how as everywhere I measure the shirt matches up, yet the collar does not. I think next time I need to pay more attention when sewing the plackets and when attaching the collar and stand - somewhere in there is where I must have gone awry. Luckily for me the collar size is just a fraction on the snug side for Mr Distracted; so since he’s never likely to button it up fully I didn’t sew on the top button or button hole, and no one need ever know the collar doesn’t match (it can be our little secret, okay?!).
My only problematic mistake was not being careful enough when I used my nifty little button hole opener chisel thingamajig. Three of the button holes ended up with sliced stitching to the sides where I positioned it too close. I’ve used some fray check for now, but I guess the next technique I need to learn is how to bind a button hole by hand… Ahhh well, lucky it’s a wearable toile eh?!