Mens Slim Fit Button Up Shirt

Paul wears button up shirts at least six days a week, but has trouble finding a shirt that is slim enough for him. I was so glad when I saw Simplicity 8753, with a slim fit view and picked it up right away. As soon as I saw this gorgeous Italian cotton on super sale at my local fabric shop I just knew it would be a perfect match for the S8753 and I had to have it for Paul.

Thankfully, I had recently taken the Palmer Pletsch Tissue Fitting button up shirt course with Evelyn and was able to implement those techniques to make a perfectly fitted shirt for Paul. I started by taking his measurements and learned that Paul was a size 38 in the chest but a 34 in the waist. I cut out the tissue pieces in the larger size, pinned them together, and had Paul try it on. I ended up bumping the side seam out to a 36 to allow him more room to move and breathe. I also shortened the sleeves by an inch, then cut out the fabric. Although this plaid is a repeating pattern it is not a balanced plaid so I took extra care in cutting out each piece.

Paul got another fitting once I had the fabric pieces cut out and pinned together. At this point I made a few additional changes, letting out the side seam a bit at the hip and thinning the sleeves by one inch. Then I was ready to sew!

I had the opportunity to try two new-to-me sewing techniques with this pattern, sewing sleeve plackets and flat felled seams. I can't say enough good things about the instructions in this pattern, which led me to gorgeous results and I was thrilled to add a few new sewing skills to my repertoire. One additional thing I really appreciated about this pattern was the additional pattern piece to help aid with button placement - no more wonky button placement! I know this will become a tried-and-true pattern in my collection. If you've been thinking about purchasing this pattern, or own it but haven't made it yet, I can't encourage you enough to give it a try!

The fitting and pattern matching took as much or more time than actually sewing the shirt. I have been practicing slower and more intentional makes and found this one extremely rewarding. Thankfully Paul loves it too!

Time estimate: 20 hours
Size: 38
Fabric used: 1 7/8 yards, Italian cotton
Care instructions: machine wash, tumble dry low

Cost to make
Pattern: $15
Fabric: $16
*used thread from my stash and buttons from my mother's stash
TOTAL: $31

P.S. Check out my Insta stories, @Sew_Help_Me, to see the fitting process step-by-step!

Photos by K.Willerick Photography

Scanlan Theodore Garnet Crepe Knit Wrap Jacket Look-a-like

You know how much I love replicating royal looks, and this time I had the company of a sewing friend! When I saw Shannon, from Indoor Shannon, also recreating royal looks I reached out and asked her if she would like to work on a project together and she said yes!

We soon landed on recreating the Scanlan Theodore Garnet Crepe Knit Wrap Jacket Meghan wore to the 2018 Invictus Games. We each chose our own pattern and fabric. You can read all about Shannon's make on her blog here.

With the help of my mom I selected vintage Very Easy Vogue pattern 8656. It was from her stash and the pattern pieces already had a few adjustments. I love learning about the adjustments she needed to make to this pattern when she made it years ago.

The bones of this wrap top pattern were a great starting point for the look I wanted to recreate. The main things I needed to tweak were adding some fullness to the skirt front and shaping the front to slightly curve upward. I started by tracing the original pattern piece off, cutting the new pattern piece at the waistline, and slicing and spreading the bottom portion in a few pieces making sure to avoid the dart. In each place where I cut the pattern I left about a millimeter attached so I could spread the pattern while keeping the seam length the same.

I rounded the right, front skirt of the wrap, while leaving the left side full length to more accurately copy the original garment. I also needed to shorten one of the ties and add a few hidden snaps for the final look. I really like how my replica turned out, but wish I had added a few more inches in width to the skirt portion of the top.

I used a stretch knit crepe from JoAnn to create this look. I hadn't sewn with a stretch crepe before and wasn't sure what to expect. It was easy to work with, had a fair amount of structure, and formed to my body well. It had the texture of a crepe fabric and a slight stretch like a sturdy knit.

I finished this top just in time for the holidays and enjoyed wearing it for a number of occasions. Shannon and I would love to see your royal replicas so make sure to join us in tagging your pieces #replicateroyalty #sewmeghan and #sewkate!

Time estimate: 8 hours
Size: 10
Fabric used: stretch knit crepe, pomegranate; 95% polyester, 5% spandex
Care instructions: machine wash gentle cold, nonchroline bleach, line dry, cool iron

Cost to Make
Pattern: borrowed
Fabric: $23
*used thread and snaps from my stash
TOTAL: $23

P.S. I also made the shirt he wore in our family photos. Stay tuned for that post coming soon!

Photos by K.Willerick Photography

2019 Review and 2020 Plans

This year I made a goal to sew nine specific items in a #MakeNine format. I planned to make:

I only made three of the items I originally intended to make. I wish I had prioritized making a few more of these pieces and will try to make most of the remaining pieces in 2020, although the Morris Blazer isn't the style I'm currently looking for in a blazer and I don't want to take on a project that demanding right now. I'm not sure how I got distracted from my #MakeNine goals, except for finding patterns I liked better or wanted to round out my wardrobe. I find that I don't wear the Moneta Dress much, but get a lot of wear out of my Pussy Bow Blouse and Ogden Cami.

I also prioritized making a few replicas of Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle's best looks and have the patterns and fabric for one additional replica. I think these makes were some of my favorite and brought me the most joy. I will certainly be making more duchess look-a-likes.

After two full years of blogging my sewing makes I can see a measured improvement in my sewing skills and I have a much better understanding of my personal style. I have also learned that I prefer to have a bit more freedom in my sewing and do not plan to make a traditional #MakeNine plan this year.

I would like to start my 2020 sewing by focusing on patterns and fabric I already own, really like, and want to have the opportunity to wear. 2020 is the year of sewing my fabric and pattern stash! What are your 2020 sewing goals?
[name=Marissa] [img=//] [description=Hi, I'm Marissa, a hobby seamstress. Thanks for joining me on my journey as I create a handmade wardrobe. Like and follow via the social media links below to see my newest makes!] [(instagram=] [(facebook=] [(bloglovin=]