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.