Happy swoopy :-)

I’ve finished it.

I went at it slowly and carefully, not wanting to make a mistake with such lovely (and incidentally, expensive!) fabric. There was one near miss, but I won’t burden you with that! The body and two-piece collar went together without trouble, but the sleeves were quite finicky. They’re just below elbow length, with a deep, firm cuff, two pleats and a continuous bound placket (opening). They went in quite easily; I got a bit obsessive about making sure all the notches and pattern marks were in place before I started work, and it truthfully does help things fit together better. Mostly I’m a bit cavalier about these things, but not this time. In traditional fashion, the overlocker has decided to go on strike, or more accurately, a Go-Very-Slow, leaving the armholes the only bits un-overlocked. The mechanic I talked to on the phone says it’s probably a bearing that needs replacing, so the overlocker will be going into Janome Hospital in Townsville in mid-August. Till then, I’m back to finishing with zig zag; adequate, but not perfect 😦

I have to say, the buttonholes were a bit of a thing. There are 10 of them on the pattern, and my sewing machine has a history of going freestyle with the buttonhole foot without notice or provocation. So I a) decided to reduce the number of buttons (I’ll never wear this thing done up to the throat); and b) sat down with scrap fabric and made a dozen of them before I was confident the machine was cowed into submission and obedience. They turned out perfectly.

The buttons themselves… I’d originally thought about using little buttons in all the detail colours in the fabric: pale and raspberry pink, yellow and pale blue. Thing is, there was always the chance it’d look like a mistake. I didn’t want dull grey buttons. Mother of pearl would have been nice, but in the end, I decided to go with self-covered buttons. They’re very fiddly, but the effect is such a perfect match that I felt it was worth it. Mind you, the buttons themselves are far from perfectly made (pretty, but soooo fiddly…), but because they’re made of the fabric they blend in invisibly.

I really love the finished shirt. So much so that I bought some fabric to make another one, but this time I’m going to go with shorter, elbow-length sleeves with no cuff. I love the new fabric, which is cotton poplin from a range called Animal Friends, and it’s the Flying Stork pattern, with a tiny touch of silver in the design. I think it’s meant for children’s wear, but in this case, it’ll be Kate wear. Best of all, I got it for an amazing price. Spotlight VIP members (moi, naturally!) are currently getting 30% discount on most fabric lines. This fabric was also marked down to $8 a metre. On top of that, it was on the 75% off table AND I had a 20% discount winning scratch-card from Spotlight’s recent mail-out. I think I got 4 metres for about $2 in the end…

I also got some fabric for sashing the pastel rainbow scrappy quilt, but that’s for another day.

54 thoughts on “Happy swoopy :-)

  1. jeanswenson says:

    The shirt looks great! I love the napkin(?) hemline πŸ™‚

    • katechiconi says:

      I have no idea what the correct term is (I *think* it might be ‘handkerchief hemline’), but the corners of the points had to be mitred and the hem was very narrow, so I’m glad the effort paid off πŸ™‚

  2. Swoopy shirt is stunning – a beautiful photo of you. I love the new fabric -excellent shopping- looking forward to its creation.

    • katechiconi says:

      You have to love a bargain like that… The new fabric is a bit heavier and stiffer, so I’ll be interested to see how it performs using the same pattern.

  3. Nancy says:

    I love this shirt and all the detail of it — collar, cuffs,and the hemline. When you mentioned the buttonholes I immediately looks for the buttons and, for obvious reasons, couldn’t see them. Great job all around!

    • katechiconi says:

      They’re definitely there, but beautifully invisible. I think for the Stork Squadron shirt, I might use pink buttons to pick up the colour from the fabric. Either that, or silver!

  4. Emmely says:

    It turned out lovely! I can certainly understand you want to make one in another fabric. And a second attempt always comes together a lot faster.

    • katechiconi says:

      Especially if I don’t have placket bindings, pleats, cuffs and two more buttons and buttonholes to do! I’m really pleased with this one, it’s super-comfortable, cool, and irons beautifully. I hope to be wearing it for years to come.

  5. Now that is a gorgeous photo – Both you and the shirt looking so perfectly joyful!

  6. Hello !! I’m with Wild Daffodil, who got in ahead of me with their compliment! That looks a splendid shirt – comfy yet super-smart, and you look delightful – Thanks for sharing.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you too! It’s a lovely pattern, the shirt skims over the bits you want skimmed, it’s got a fun and elegant shape, and it’s comfortable. It’ll look good dressed up, or with jeans and sandals. A win, I reckon. Which is why I’m going to make another!

  7. nanacathy2 says:

    Isn’t it just stunning, no wonder you want a make another and you wear it beautifully and with great aplomb. Happy Days.

  8. cazinatutu says:

    It’s just so beautiful and suits you so well – the softness of the fabric makes it drape, the colour is timelessly elegant, and it was definitely all your hard work making it so perfectly. Many congratulations. And I’m sooo jealous.

    • katechiconi says:

      The beautiful fabric really makes it for me, but now that I’ve worn the shirt, I’m ready for another one (or two, or three… well, you get the idea). And actually, it’s not a difficult pattern to make, if you can use a sewing machine: Butterick B5786.

  9. claire93 says:

    oh gorgeous! fabric, pattern, sleeves, collar, and lovely swooping bottom bit which really suits you.

  10. Carole says:

    That is a gorgeous shirt! Love the new fabric too. What a bargain πŸ™‚

  11. It turned out wonderful! I love it! And it looks wonderful on you! Thank you for sharing the photo of you in it. The Lawn is such a terrific fabric for that kind of pattern. I think I’d have to order it online as I’ve seen none in our fabric stores these days. Maybe I just haven’t looked but might give it a go. πŸ™‚ You inspire, you know. πŸ™‚

    • katechiconi says:

      Lawn is perfect for something like this, if it’s a tightly woven, good quality version like the Liberty stuff. Light, strong and cool, and it sews up beautifully. The Japanese make some beautiful printed voiles and lawns, which is what I mostly use. Liberty needs too many dollars for my pocketbook!

  12. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    The shirt is lovely and so is your picture !

  13. dayphoto says:

    You are such a cutie! The shirt turned out well!

  14. rosejasm says:

    Oh yes that is super! Extra points for covering the buttons too – always makes it look high end in my opinion xxx

  15. craftycreeky says:

    Looks wonderful, so glad your sewing machine knows whose boss πŸ™‚

  16. tialys says:

    Gorgeous shirt, gorgeous lady!
    No such thing as ‘children only fabric’ in my opinion – well, maybe some of the more ‘cutesy’ ones.
    I used to make a lot of covered buttons – do you have the doodah thingy where you place the button face down on top of a piece of the fabric in the concave piece then put the back of the button on top and press down with the second piece of doodah? I appreciate I might have blinded you with my tech speak but hopefully you know what I mean.

    • katechiconi says:

      These buttons are a domed face that has little spikes pointing inwards on the back. You put the dome down on the reverse of a circle of fabric and then fold the edges in so they catch on the hooks. Then you push a back on, which traps the fabric edges inside. The big trick is to get the edges smooth rather than with pointy bits where the folds are. No additional doodah involved. I see your tech speak and raise you! Glad you like the shirt; the Husband is no fashion photographer but at least I don’t look like the back of a bus…

  17. You really do look beautiful. πŸ™‚ The new shirt is lovely, the perfect color and shape for you. I’m glad it came together so well, even with some fiddling.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you! That’s really kind. I’m thinking that some of the problems I had were due to the fabric being so fine. Hopefully the poplin for the next one will be more user-friendly.

  18. Kathy D says:

    I second! Beautiful lady and beautiful shirt. I biggified the pic and still couldn’t see the buttons – well done. Love the stork fabric and I say we are all kids at heart.
    I have a piece of cotton that was made in Japan and it is SO different than what I can buy in the states, it almost has a silky feel. Like yours it is waiting on the shelf for the perfect top. I think I will do a search for more fabric made in Japan.

    • katechiconi says:

      Exactly, and the prints are lovely, too. They’re more expensive, but it’s definitely worth it for something that feels so nice and will last so well.

  19. kathyreeves says:

    You and the shirt look wonderful Kate! Beautiful job!

  20. magpiesue says:

    It looks great! It also looks like something I’d enjoy wearing – but I’ll never make one for myself. I do not enjoy garment construction. At. All. And what a deal on the fabric for your next shirt!!! Woohoo!

    • katechiconi says:

      I can’t say it was a huge blast making it, but I did enjoy reaching each stage without a disaster or irretrievable mistakes. It was satisfying. The next one will be much easier to make, and I’ll be accordingly less worried about making mistakes because the fabric was so cheap.

  21. Lynda says:

    This turned out so pretty that now I want to make one! It is after midnight and I have reread your post twice and did not see the pattern maker… or else I am really that tired. Whichever, I would like to know the pattern maker and number. Please and thank you! πŸ™‚

  22. You look fabulous in it, Kate. It was well worth the wait and the slow progress. I think the second one will look fabulous too.

  23. Emma says:

    I love it Kate and it fits you great! The next one is going to be amazing too, I love that fabric it’s too cute 😊 and you got to love Spotlight sales πŸ˜‰

    • katechiconi says:

      It looks a bit flat in the photo compared with the actual thing, so you can imagine how much I really love it! The Spotlight sales can be tough – so much fabric, so little time.

  24. What a beautiful shirt, Kate. It looks lovely on you as well. I like asymmetry in design, so that handkerchief hem really appeals to me. Congratulations on yet another beautiful project.

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