Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Made by a Fabricista: A Tale of Two Flannel Shirts

I have always loved flannels shirts. They have come and gone and come back in style at least once in my young life. And I'm sure it will come and go a few times as life goes on! When I bought some flannel shirting fabric for the website, it got me really excited about making my own flannel shirt! You can find cotton flannels basically everywhere, but I'm a bit picky at the kind I like. I like a yarn-dyed flannel. This means that the color is in the thread, NOT printed. Flannel can also be printed, which you find a lot in quilting flannels. Plus the great thing about garment quality flannels is that they can sometimes come in up to 60" wide. That means you get more bang for your buck! 

The flannels I used are both from our website. The red/black check plaid is from Julie's Picks. The blue/green/red plaid is currently on our website HERE. If it's not available when you click on it, check out our flannel section HERE

I had heard a lot of good things about Grainline Studio's Archer Button Up Shirt and had it on my list of patterns to sew up. It is a loose fitting buttondown shirt. I also really liked Sewaholic's new pattern, Granville Shirt. The Granville Shirt comes with princess seams, which I know are flattering on me and basically all body types. So I set out to try both patterns in search of a TNT (tried and true) buttondown shirt pattern. 


First up: Archer Buttondown Shirt from Grainline Studio
I saw this pattern everywhere. Everyone was making it and for good reason. The loose fitting design is perfect for a slouchy, casual look. It was a quick and easy pattern to follow and the turn out was not too bad! 




You know how on the center back of most men's buttondown shirts there is a double folded area? This pattern calls for that, but has you fold it the oppose direction. I actually thought I screwed up, but after looking at the original garment on their website, I did it correctly. I'm not sure if I like that or not, but we'll go with it! 



I'm not crazy about the elongated pockets, but that is an easy fix. I also thought the collar was shorter than regular buttondown shirts. It reminded me of the first time I was drafting my own collar and it turned out too small. The pattern is also drafted to have the shoulders slouch. I don't like this because it makes it look like I didn't fit the pattern properly. I also took in some of the excess from the sleeves. I probably took in a good inch or so between the wrist and underarm areas.


I also wished I would have played with the placement of the pockets, cuffs, and front placket. After I made it and noticed that other people placed these pieces on the bias, it made me wish I would have. Although I'm not unhappy with the uniformness of the check plaid, I just like to jazz things up a little bit :O)

Here I am practicing my "lumberjack" skills. (With a yard stick!) Such silliness! 




Sewaholic's Granville Shirt: 

I think I found my TNT buttondown shirt pattern...the Granville shirt. It has princess seams therefore showing off curves! I cut out a size 10 and it was almost perfect! I think I need to do a slight FBA because it gaps just slightly at the bust. The directions were easy to follow and I also followed some of the shirtmaking tutorials from Sewaholic's blog. 



The first tutorial I followed was making a better collar. Tasia had a great way of making the collar, the professional shirtmaking way. The process makes the collar stand up better on it's own and not look slouchy. It also curves around your neck naturally. 

There was one part of the pattern that was confusing to me and I almost did it the way I was used to. But I stopped the voice in my head from keeping me in my comfort zone and decided to follow the "new to me" directions. In most patterns, you sew the collar stand and collar together, then sew them to the shirt's neckline. In this pattern, they want you to attach the collar stand and facing first, then you sew the those right sides together, using this template to create a smooth curve. Then attach the collar to the stand. Diane, one of our Fabricista's, blogged about the process HERE. She has great photos of this process. Tasia also blogged about it too, HERE and HERE. While I can't say if it was better or worse, it was just another option and a good option at that!


I constructed this top before Tasia posted the rest of the tutorials for the shirt, but I plan on using them in future Granvilles! 

Here are the other tutorials: 
Button placement and buttonhole tips - I love the buttonhole placement tool! That saves a lot of guesswork when placing buttonholes correctly. 

I have a silk Granville in the works at the moment. I just have to attach the sleeves and I'm finished! (I took a break from it because I had to make something that was on a deadline!) But I'm hoping to finish it over the weekend. You will definitely see pictures!





The fabric is still available, so get it while you can! Here I am with a shelf full of bolts! Get your piece of the bolt HERE. (It's on sale for 50% off!)


Diane, one of our other Fabricista's, made the Granville shirt from one of our flannels too! Check out her blog post HERE.

If I decide to make the Archer shirt, I would like to try the collar technique I learned from Tasia. I didn't care for the way it turned out on the Archer. It was messy looking. I really liked the tailored look of the Granville shirt. When comparing photos of the two shirts, you can tell the workmanship is MUCH better on the Granville than the Archer. Have you tried one or both of these patterns? What did you think? Did you like one over the other? 

~Julie 

8 comments:

  1. Well you look almost like a combo lumberjack/teacher holding the ruler like that, lol! LOVE IT! :D

    The bias pocket would have been adorable, but I think matchy-match looks great, too.

    Glad to see I made the right choice for my frame in buying the Sewaholic Granville. Being a pear, I know it is drafted for my shape, but seeing it on you gives me proof, I can tell it will highlight the waist and allow for the hips. Yes!

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  2. Thanks for the comparison between the two patterns and the links to the tutorials! I've not tried either yet, but I definitely like the Granville on you the best.

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  3. Great job Julie, thanks for the tutorial links!

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  4. Great job Julie, thanks for the tutorial links!

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  5. I totally agree with Ann of SewBabyNews. Many thanks, and I am glad I purchased the Granville pattern too! regards, Annette

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  6. Not a fan of the Archer, but the Granville looks great even without the FBA. I love that this can be done for everyday in flannel and also for work and dresser occasions in silk.

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  7. Heya Julie, having made some Archers in the past I'm going to try the Granville and am waffling back and forth about a FBA. I usually do small FBA's here and there but am always in between in really needing it or not. Looking at your finished photos I suspect we have very similar measurements (I'll make the 10, too) and there's nothing I hate more than a gaping button band. If you made it again would you do a slight FBA?

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    1. Hi Lindsey, I would probably do a small FBA from now on. I made the shirt two more times and still have a slight gaping at the bustline, but I just pin it closed. (hate to admit that! But it would probably fit better overall. Good luck!

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