The Alex Shirt

I can't believe I've only just got around to using a Sew Over It pattern. I love most of the patterns from their range and have a couple in my stash but haven't managed to make any yet.

That is until now.

When they released their eBook My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break I hit the download button straight away. I love the concept of the book, five patterns that can be mixed and matched for loads of possibilities. Four out of the five patterns have variations as well so you really do get your moneys worth.

You get the instruction book, sizing charts and each of the patterns delivered to your inbox for you to download. If you want you can print the instructions out but I just kept my computer to hand whilst I was working.

I decided to go for the Alex shirt to start with as it was the perfect pattern to use with the fabric that came with the October box. It's a loose fitting shirt with an open collar and sleeve tabs. You can also add patch pockets but because this fabric is quite busy I decided to leave them out.

This was my first time using a PDF pattern as well. I'm not sure I'm converted yet, the cutting and sticking I found a bit tedious and there were a few points that didn't seem to match up. I checked printer settings and re-printed a couple of pages but still wasn't quite right. I kind of went with it though, cutting between pattern pieces to match them up individually rather than trying to match the whole piece of A4 paper. It seemed to work so I'm happy. Luckily perfectionism isn't a trait I completely possess.

I cut a size 16 at the shoulders and then graded from 16 under the arms out to a 20 at the hips. I decided to make a toile with this pattern, even though I was fairly confident with the fit there were a few techniques; self faced yoke and collar that I'd not done before so wanted to practice first.

Luckily Lisa at Sew Over It has done a few YouTube tutorials to help with some of the techniques in the book. The video for attaching the yoke was so helpful as there was a bit of clever twisting that had to be done, I'm not sure I'd have figured it out on my own.

Having made the toile I had a bit too much fabric billowing at the back, so I took about 8cm out from the middle using this tutorial for a sway back adjustment.

The fabric frays really easily so I decided to use french seams on the inside so that all the edges were concealed. I'm particularly glad I did this on the sleeve so that the turned up cuffs look a little neater. The only seam that was finished this way were the armholes, I just did a zig zag stitch to finish them off.

I love the little details of this shirt such as the inverted box pleat the sleeve tabs and the slightly curved hem. The collar went on perfectly, although as you can see in the picture I pressed it the wrong way, the seam line should be rolled slightly underneath so that you can't see it. Never mind, you have to be looking pretty closely to notice it.

I love this shirt, it's so comfortable for everyday wear. I love that it can look so different depending on the fabric you use, I think it'd look lovely in a light sheer fabric. I also love the dress version of the pattern cinched in at the waist with a belt. I'm definitely planning to make more.

Check back next week to see what I have made with the fat quarters that came with the October box.

Do you have any sewing plans for this weekend?

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