Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pattern Review Simplicity 1538

This year I decided to start sewing with some of those fabrics I have been hoarding in hopes of meeting some sort of magical goal or date. It finally seemed silly to hold on to these fabrics when the reality is I should just use them now. Enter the first project in this plan: a flannel shirt.

I bought a few yards of plaid flannel at Jo-Ann Fabrics one year. I can't even remember if it was last year or the year before. In any case it is a nice weight flannel with plenty of flannel nap. After I got the fabric I found the pattern it is Simplicity 1538. It's a simple shirt pattern suitable for flannel, cotton, chambray, broadcloth, poplin, and similar. It has variations in sleeve and your can opt to add a front yoke for a western style. You can add contrasting fabrics for a unique look. I stuck with just the one flannel although I did cut some pieces on the diagonal.
I decided to make a muslin of the shirt first. Being new to garment sewing and adjusting patterns; I like to see how things are first then make my adjustments. I went into this know that I'd most likely have to do a FBA (full bust adjustment). Luckily this pattern has plenty of ease so I didn't have to go too crazy with the adjustment. I did move the dart placement so it would be more appropriately placed. The other adjustment I made was on the sleeves. My arms are average with relatively thin wrists, so I decided to cut the cuff for a small sized shirt and then taper the sleeves to fit the smaller cuff. I'm really glad I did that because other wsie it would have been swimming at the wrists.
I spent a long time cutting out my fabric. I really wanted the plaid to match at the seams and across the body and arms. I spent quite a while marking and double checking placement before cutting. All this extra work really paid off.
Sewing went fairly well. The pattern was easy to understand although one area could have had some separation between two lines of text on the cuffs. It was a bit confusing on interfacing the cuff and then dealing with the cuff facing. I did change how the continuous lap band for the sleeves was stitched on. The pattern has you line up the stitching lines but due to the taper of the cut line that would have meant my sleeve was only stitched two or three threads in from the cut edge at the point. I didn't think that would be secure for this particular flannel fabric. So I took a deeper seam.
I will certainly use this pattern again in other casual fabrics.
Here is my final result placed on my vintage Uniquely You Dress form.