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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Sunday, December 31, 2017

All day shirt pattern review - Liesl and Co.

This is a long review as it involves my major Christmas sewing project.

This year I made four men's shirts. One was an overdue one for my youngest son using some custom printed poplin from Spoonflower (electrical circuits - he is in the wind energy business now in Austin Texas) and three flannel shirts for the same son, my middle guy now in San Francisco, and my son-in-law here.

They were all in town for Christmas and I thought a sort of group sew made sense, at least to me.

First the pattern.

I have made the boys a number of shirts over the years and not been totally happy with the patterns. The Big Four patterns are too boxy for current styles and some of the specialty patterns out there are either not too well drafted or dated in cut.

I wanted a real RTW draft so on a whim tried this pattern from Liesl and Co.:

This pattern turned out to be exactly what I was looking for.

Reasons I liked this pattern and will be using it again, and again and again, I expect are:

  • The fit is exactly what I have been searching for - modern but enough easy to be comfortable
  • Two useful views - a button down collar, casual version, and a more formal dress version with an almost spread collar, also fashionable
  • Really good construction advice, using some of my favourite techniques, which also tend to be those not included in most other patterns, the method for the stand collar in particular

The best way to talk further about this pattern I think is with pictures and notes.

Here we go.

First the Spoonflower print fabric one for my son. 

If you haven't heard of Spoonflower they definitely are worth checking out. The idea is you have access to an enormous number of Indie print designers and you can select the fabric (from knit to woven- big selection) you want it printed on and make a custom order. I was very happy to see poplin as a listed fabric, it is a great fabric for shirts and I was very happy with the quality. Too many cool prints are in quilting cottons and these are simple too loosely woven to hold up for shirt wear and it was nice to have an interesting pattern in a real shirt fabric.

There are various reviews of Spoonflower, some say the blacks fade, but I can only talk about my one experience.

I have to say I was happy with my purchase. True the fabric was slightly stiff, I would expect that with a surface printed design, but I did pre-wash and line dry it before I cut and did not detect any fading.

I sometimes wonder if some of the colour fading folks talk about is because so many people wash and machine dry their clothes. For instance my son was amazed when I told him not to put this shirt in the dryer (he would probably do that and put them in at hot water with his jeans).

Service was a bit slow on my order, required a few emails to make sure it was on its way, about 3 weeks, but in the end I found the customer service, if slow, outstanding.

I will order from them again.

Here is the shirt on my youngest with some detail shots and comments:

See how nice the fit is? Slim enough but not tight. Love it and so did he. Guys in the office wondered if I could make more. My son said he was pretty sure I only do this for my own kids. He is right about that.

Here is the cuff. The slightly rounded corners make this nice and neat and the "Burrito method" cuff application is super easy and smooth.

For accuracy in marking details like the stitching box of the cuff placket I always just trace it off, and using a short stitch length do my stitching. When this is done the paper just pulls away.
Hit my picture limit in Blogger, so part two will be posted next.


sewingkm said...

Great post, Barbara. I'm anxious to read your next post. Karen

Sydney Brown said...

Great looking shirt! Nice to know a good pattern for men's shirts.

Anonymous said...

Great shirt pattern, Barbara. My lads always complain about the fit of store bought shirts. I think they have enough hand knit toques and socks. Shirts would be a big surprise for next Christmas.The tip for the placket box is a gem. Collars still stress me out so I'm glad to read your positive comments re the instructions in this pattern.


Abbey sews said...

This looks like a nice, modern pattern. Investors never bothered making anything for my husband because of the current patterns that look like little tents.

Congrats on the book and a happy 2018! Abbey

sunnlitt said...

That is a great-looking shirt!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the pattern.
Glad to hear that you had such a lovely holiday.

garnet128 said...

I love this print from Spoonflower. Great looking shirt.

Anonymous said...

What an attractive shirt (assisted a bit perhaps by the cool fabric and handsome model.....). Thank you for taking the time from your travel prep to keep us up to date on your gift sewing!