After ten days of working hard on the Jade and without touching my sewing machine, the urge to sew became to great to ignore. I needed instant satisfaction. Both fabric and pattern had been in my stash for over half a year, so it was time to pair them up. I timed myself during this project, because I was curious how long it would take me. Like Meg, I always underestimate the time some tasks take. Cutting for instance took me one hour. For such a simple project! Granted, the pattern is off grain (aaah, that’s why it was so cheap…) so that needed some extra attention. But it’s something to keep in mind when planning a project. But back to the project: I made myself a Sloppy Josephine.
Everything started out quick and smooth – I serged the sleeves and side seams in under half an hour. The cuffs were no problem at all, but the neckband is when things started to slow down. I fiddled with getting the right stretch of the band in the right areas, but messed up anyway. Usually 10% stretch is good, but not in more curvy areas such as the front on this shirt. I should have stretched it for 20%, so now it doesn’t lay nice and flat. I didn’t unpick but went on to topstitching. I hadn’t done this on my new machine yet, so I started at the basis. I lowered the presser foot tension and chose the lightening stretch stitch. That didn’t work: the neckline became really wobbly. That seam was the hardest unpicking I ever did. I had to rip every single stitch and they were sunken in deep into the fabric. So that was another half hour for unpicking two inches of seam. Next step was to get out the walking foot I purchased with the machine. That went a whole lot better: a smooth but stretchy seam. Unfortunately the traces of that first seam are still visible on the right side. In total the neckband and hem cost me two hours extra.
I really like this shirt anyway, I love the brush strokes of the fabric and it’s perfect if you want a simple shirt but not as standard as a Renfrew. I heightened the neckline at the front by an inch btw, I was afraid the neckline would get too wide. The raglan sleeves are super easy to set in. I’d like to make another one but with 3/4 sleeves. I made an XS but should taper to S or M at the hips next time. My three measurements are always alone in their separate columns. So my next goal: make a simple shirt and make it perfect. I should be able to do that by now, right?