Wednesday, 30 September 2015

CHECK ME OUT! A relaxed Granville with a most awesomely invisible placket

Oh I am too FUNNY! I've made a checked shirt (yes checks, Australians don't say plaid) and I just love it. Over winter I tried to source some flannel in black and white, but wasn't prepared to buy online. I'm kicking Past Sarah. Normally she's pretty awesome and makes smart decisions but she left behind THE perfect Gorman fabric at Clear It a year or two back and I've never forgiven her. Anyway, I found this surprisingly lovely quality cotton check at Spotlight a while back and it had to do.



I used the Sewaholic Granville pattern, first sewn up here. Version 1 really is just a tiny bit too small across the bust, and I wanted this to be relaxed in fit, so I sized up 2 sizes in the bust to avoid popping my FBA cherry. Shoulders are a 10 (and I really could shave a little off I think, back to the 8), bust a 12 and hips are an 8 - crazy combination but it works marvellously for my shape in this pattern.


I didn't shorten the sleeves dramatically - I cut the length of the smallest size, and ended up taking slightly more off so that my cuff attachment aligned perfectly with the edge of the checks. We'll see after another wash but I think maybe another 2cm off would be perfect.


So the point of post really this is to shamelessly toot my own horn about the check matching. There is no humility here. I'm as proud as punch at that placket! I was very lucky that the width of the checks is exactly the width of the finished placket, and that's where I started when cutting out. I aligned the centre of the placket with the centre of the black checks and went from there - placket, front right, front left, then back piece. I stupidly forgot about the bust dart and nearly had a conniption before realising the dart was almost exactly a check wide at the side seam, and I was able to make it work. Match your checks below any bust darts people!


I actually cut this out back in August, and in a most untimely manner Tasia has written the most comprehensive range of posts on check matching for this specific pattern about a month later..... I couldn't possibly deal with the pressure needed to do tower plackets on the cuffs, so just did a bias trim, similar to the Archer shirt. Cuffs and the yoke were also cut on the bias for a bit of interest, and by very good luck the cuff checks pretty much match up perfectly! I did have one completely brain fade and neglected to cut the collar stand symmetrically. I didn't notice this until my collar was completely constructed and top stitched, and the idea of doing it all again from scratch made me want to cry so I've chosen to ignore it. It's not that obvious. Really.

The other major change was to cut the lower back piece as one, rather than with princess seams, again to make check matching less stressful but to also add to the relaxed fit. This was very straightforward - I used the centre back piece to establish the grainline, then pinned the back side piece with the seam allowances overlapped at the top and bottom. Seams were frenched except for the armscyes which were overlocked. I've whinged in the past about my rather dodgy collar stand attempts on previous shirts and this is my best yet. I managed to source a walking foot for my old Husky and it definitely helped - I used it to baste, then edge stitched without it as it makes a pretty raggedy looking top stitching line.


I rather love my little side seam 'tag' - a piece of neon bias binding bought from Purl Soho whilst on honeymoon a couple of years ago - a little pop of colour that makes me happy.


I'll mostly wear this with cuffs up and untucked, but if I feel like I want to pretend that I'm 24 and work in a cafe in East Brunswick I might wear it tucked into my high waisted jeans. I'm so satisfied with this shirt it's ridiculous!


What have you made lately that's making you feel extra smug?

36 comments:

  1. I love this! I had some of this exact fabric from Spotlight which ended up in the scrap heap :( I've since spied a delicious linen black and white check at Drapers which I've been dreaming of but it's quite pricey... I'm almost finished a button down skirt a bit like your Beignet which I'm hoping I'll be smug about. We'll see xx

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    1. Ooh you must buy the linen! Even if it sits in the stash for a while, those sorts of treasures are so hard to find! Can't wait to see your skirt, it'll be gorgeous I'm sure!

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  2. You should be satisfied and super proud of yourself!! This shirt looks awesome and that little pink tag?! Stop! I love it!

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    1. Ha thanks sweetie, oh I do love that tag! Love your WIP doppelgänger Granville - it's looking amazing!

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  3. Smug away! You've earned it. It's a great-looking shirt; I think you got the relaxed-but-sharp fit down. I'm personally smug over my skirt sloper (even though it's not a finished project) because I had been putting it off for so long.

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    1. Thanks Morgan - I'm really pleased with the fit! And your skirt sloper is amazing. How wonderful to make something so absolutely unique for your body. Amazing!

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  4. Looks awesome! I have yet to make a real, button-up blouse. I did just make some super clean, narrow hems in polyester crepe recently that have me super pleased... They look so neat and polished, and even in a fabric that didn't want to press at all!

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    1. Thanks Rachel - goodness narrow hems fill me with dread, so to conquer them in polyester crepe is Utterly Smugworthy! Nice one!

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  5. Pattern matching perfection! Of course you're proud, who wouldn't be!

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  6. Such a lovely fit, and your check matching is truly impeccable! I gave up on matching anything but the side seams on my Archer after realising that my fabric was seriously off grain. Hence the bias contrast everything :-)
    Go you for getting it looking so good.

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    1. Oh how frustrating for you! It looks fantastic from your IG pics!

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  7. Very nice - I learned to sew on gingham check and nearly 50 years later I'm still a sucker for it!

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    1. There's just something about a great gingham isn't there? I've got some neon gingham in the stash waiting for summer! Watch this space!

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  8. Ninja! Go you check matching queen! Its all sorts of perfect really. I did the bias back yoke on my hubby's negroni and I love the look. Sarah, this is fabulous!

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    1. Thanks so much lovely! Yeah I love that negroni you made - I lurked so many black and white checked shirts in my planning stages to decide what to do!

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  9. I love this, what a great shirt!! That invisible placket is brilliant - you're right to be smug! I'm usually most smug about the last thing I made, except when it's a total fail, obviously. It just makes me so permanently pleased to be able to make clothes I like at all!

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    1. Thanks Jo - you're right, I'm always thrilled when it works out, but so often I have some little dodgy thing that makes me just a little disappointed but not this time! WHOOHOO!

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  10. I have almost this exact fabric that Danielle from One Small Stitch sent me a couple of years ago. I keep deliberating over what to make with it. You might have just sold me on a shirt, I love yours so much. But if I'm honest, the check (I'm a Brit, so it's checks for me too!) matching keeps putting me off!

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    1. Oh Helen it wasn't that bad! That sewaholic post is so comprehensive and I think as long as you've plenty of fabric to play with you'll be fine. It's ridiculously satisfying!

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  11. I love how your shirt turned out, and it looks great tucked in too! I feel you on the tower plackets too though--no matter how many times I make them, I still have to take it step by step with my Reader's Digest Guide for Home Sewing... And sometimes they still come out wonky! Lately though, I am smug about having just made tiny baseball caps for my 3-month old twin boys. Not only did they turn out adorably and protect their eyes from the sun at the beach, but it was a scrap-buster too! Win!

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    1. Infant baseball caps do indeed sound utterly adorable! Thanks for coming by!

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  12. The white buttons on black are really fun. Great fit and I love how it looks tucked in, pretend café or no pretend café.

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    1. Thanks! It's a look I rarely go with but now is The Time for The Tuck I think.

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  13. I'm super late to this party - but I looooooooove your shirt!! And you are completely correct to be smug about your pattern matching - I could never have the patience for more than side seams (well assuming a bias cut button band :D). I always find Sewaholic sizing so funny (mostly because I'm not pear shaped), but I managed to make this shirt in a straight size 12 with an FBA and it's great! But I think your fit is spot on, no FBA cherry popping required (LOL).

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    1. Thanks lovely! Means a lot coming from the Queen of Shirtmaking!

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  14. It turned out really beautiful!

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  15. What a fantastic shirt! I'm slowly veering over to the plaid and gingham team; I've always loved them on others but never felt like they were quite "me." You just nudged me a little bit closer :-)

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    1. Thanks Gail - your madras blazer is amazing though- check on check on check!

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  16. Oh my! If anything, I'm not sure you're quite smug enough! SUPERB check-matching. Fabulous shirt. Any twenty-something Brunswick café worker would be utterly jealous ;)

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    1. Oh don't worry, in real life I'm super smug! Thanks so much xx

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  17. Ooooooooh lovely! I am a sucker for gingham. In fact, I have this same gingham from spotters and I made a skirt out of it. Just used a waistband I know worked and made up the pleats. I was feeling smug but then I ended up having to take it in and the check matching is not as it once was. Still! I am pleased with it, if not as smug as I could be. Maybe I'll have to go back and get some to make a shirt, too. I am too in love with your version!

    I am in awe of your matching skills and that placket business is just plain old showing off! Well done :P

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    1. Thanks so much! I was just at my local spotty last night (damn you 40%off sales) and they've still got it there!

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