Cozy (and maybe too warm)

Dec. 31, 2019

If you'd rather click through the photos in a gallery, go here.

This is my only sewing post for 2019. It's not just that I haven't been sewing, but that's the biggest part of it. Since moving to Washington, I have found it so hard to stay indoors, and if I am in the house, I want to spend time with Mikey by the fire.

The other part of it is my time in my sewing room has been spent on repairs and making car camping equipment. I've made a waterproof bag for an outdoor rug and straps to secure boxes to our roof basket. Plus, I made wallets for Mikey and myself. 

But this shirt is the only garment I've made in a year. I started it last winter. It must have been shortly after our return trip from Kansas City because we bought the flannel at Stitchology in Albuquerque. I know I started it when the weather was still cold enough for flannel.

I worked on it a tiny bit at a time in the warm months. But this fall I gave myself a goal to finish it before our trip to visit family. I applied the snaps three days before we left. 

I packed the shirt in Mikey's bag for the trip, but of course this year was the first we had beautiful weather. So we took these pictures in front of my my sister-in-law's house, and Mikey immediately had to take it off before he started sweating! I think it got to 60 degrees the day we took these pictures.

The pattern is Thread Theory's Fairfield. I cut size 4XL and added 3 inches to the length in the body and sleeves. When Mikey tried it on for initial fitting, he said, "It's really long." I couldn't tell whether he was complaining it was too long (first time for that!) or was just surprised because he'd never tried on a shirt that long before. He's 6-foot-4, so he's always complaining about regular-length shirts coming untucked or pulling up too short on his wrists. That definitely won't be a problem with this shirt. I'll let him wear it a few times before I make length adjustments on the pattern.

I also added about a half-inch to the neckline (collar, collar stand and yoke) for fitting purposes. Now that I know it fits his neck, I can make him dress shirts to wear with ties.

On first fitting, the shirt was wildly too large, so we took it in starting at the sleeve seam and ending with 1.25 inches out of the side seam at the hem. That took the size inside the 3XL cutting line, and it's still probably a little big at the bottom. 

The flannel is thick and super soft. It was finally cold enough in Topeka to wear his new shirt a few days later, and he reported he was quite toasty. 

I found some matching red buttons at our island's fabric store, but as I was finishing up stitching, Mikey decided he wanted pearl snaps. I didn't argue because snaps are fun to install and easier than button and buttonholes.

And now for the nerdy stuff. I'm not the biggest fan of flat-fell seams, and there are a lot of them in this pattern. I didn't mind so much on the armscye because I rarely make adjustments there. But the side seams are set off at different seam allowances to eliminate cutting after the first-step stitch. And I made major fit adjustments there. It wasn't bad but not worth it to me. 

The pattern offers pleat and back dart options. I've never made a men's shirt with darts, so we tried it out. I really like it in this fabric, as you can't see them. But we bought a strong plaid flannel also for this pattern, and that won't look so clean with darts. I might try to figure out a way to make it without the pleat or darts.

So that's it for 2019. I have a huge stack of wool that I'm going to start knocking out in January. All the merino shirts for me! Happy new year! 

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