I was hoping to get a bit of sewing in this month, but I haven’t gotten a lot farther than a first draft of a button down shirt pattern. Of course, I wasn’t expecting to get a lot done this month, and this sets me up nicely to be able to work on some projects over the rest of the year, so I’m happy with the progress, minimal though it be.
I did manage to get a new sewing project started this month. I’ve decided I am going to get a button down shirt pattern worked out by the end of the year. I pulled out the work I had done with Butterick 5526 and the Cashmerette Harrison shirt, but looking at how many alterations I was going to need on either of those, I decided to try my luck with a totally different starting point, Kwik Sew 3586.
I think Kwik Sew always had a sort of weird reputation in the sewing community because it sold itself on having quick and easy patterns and very basic styles, but honestly, the drafting is actually better than the other Big4 pattern drafts in a lot of ways. I posted a picture of the top page of the instructions sheet because you can see the shapes of the pattern pieces – look at that sleeve! It’s shaped to actually curve with the arm, and the sleeve cap is drafted without too much ease because it’s designed to be set it in flat. Even the front and back pieces are very subtly curved to add shaping, and these are on the Plus Sizes version of this pattern, where I feel like so many other pattern drafts would just give us giant boxy rectangles in this size range. In my mock up all the pattern pieces fit together perfectly, which is impressive considering I was using a wrinkly threadbare old sheet that I couldn’t be bothered to iron as a starting point. I was sad when Kwik Sew went from offering garment patterns to mostly craft patterns and even sadder when it was retired as a brand. I’m glad I stocked up on Kwik Sew patterns when they did their massive clearance sale because for sure they have some excellent drafting of wardrobe basics.
(Side note: What are we calling them now? Big4? Big3? Big1? Everything is so dwindled and consolidated I don’t even know how to refer to them at this point…)
I am still making a few pattern tweaks, but this is the best starting point I’ve had with a shirt pattern, ever. I think this is the… 5th? pattern I’m trying as a starting point. Butterick, Cashmerette, McCall’s, Burda… I’ve tried a lot of shirt patterns and abandoned them all because the amount of changes were always substantial. With this pattern, I started with the 1X and I think the only real fit tweak I need to make right away is raising the under arm sleeve opening and altering the sleeve pattern to match because it is very, very low on me. The bust dart might be a tad low, but not so much that I feel the need to raise it at this point (it looks very low on the dress form, but the dress form and I are very different bust sizes now). Maybe after I make a shirt and wear it a bit I’ll feel differently and modify it for version 2.0. I think once I get a really solid pattern from the Kwik Sew style, I can compare it to other patterns to maybe get a better starting point for different shirt styles or see if I can just mix and match different design elements onto my starting pattern in the future.
In other news, my sister is nearly complete on her dress project! There were definitely a few almost-rage-quit moments, as I’m sure we can all relate to, but the dress is now a dress, which is super exciting! I will see if I can get any photos to share once it is fully complete.
Again travel preparations and real work have taken precedence this month. I am really looking forward to the next few months when I should (hopefully) be spending more time at home and (maybe, hopefully, finally) working on my next sewing project.
None this month, but I did get to start work on my next project. Hopefully the prep work I did in early October will result in something showing up in November. And my sister is close to finishing up her dress! I spent time helping with some things (mostly the talk down off the ledge preventing rage quit when the seam ripper comes out type things), but I think that counts here too.
WIPs & Upcoming Plans
My goal for October was to “work on a project” and I did that, even though it might not have been as much as I would have liked. The closet fix and wardrobe re-assessment are still on the radar and honestly might be my priority for November. I fell a bit down the style systems rabbit hole again this month as part of my project planning, so perhaps I will be writing some additional posts on a few things I have been thinking about there in the coming months, if just to gather my thoughts. I will also hopefully be finishing up my Kwik Sew shirt pattern project and then I can decide if I want to make more practical things or if I want to take the time to make some impractical things over the holidays. I might be needing another party dress at some point as well, which could be a fun project to take a break from the more practical things I have planned. I’m looking forward to the end of the year in terms of sewing projects because I’m hopefully going to have more time to dedicate to them over the next few months.