SEWN: Birthday Negroni

Monday 21 January 2013

My. First. Men's. Shirt!!!! Each of those words deserves its own emphasis!

Well hello handsome!

Confession: I have never sewn an item of men's clothing in my life. P has been asking for something for himself for quite some time. Soooooo, I got on the Colette Negroni bandwagon. Late to the party, yes I know, but glad I made it eventually.

And what better reason than for my gorgeous hubby's birthday yesterday? Can I just say, there is an awful lot of blood, sweat, tears, and of course, love that went into this shirt. And a fair amount of quite colourful language. I own a few Colette patterns, but this is the first I've made, and the instructions are awesome. There were a few steps that had me screaming scratching my head, but that's more my own idiocy than a fault with the pattern.

Like any sensible sewer working with a pattern for the first time, I felt it was probably a good idea to make a muslin first - a wearable one, but a muslin none-the-less. Try explaining that to a very impatient husband... suffice to say my pleas of "no stripes or checks or repeating patterns" fell on completely deaf ears. Gingham, I tell you, GINGHAM. Self-flagellation is my middle name.

This sucker took me 5 hours to prepare, lay out and cut. Yep, you read right, 5 freakin' hours. P called me from work in the middle of it all and I started to rant explain gently to him in great detail the pain his choice was putting me through. He got off the phone pretty quick.

I decided to use Colette's suggested method of matching plaids and stripes and have to say, it was the only/most exacting way I was going to get any matchy, matchy happening. But, listen folks, it essentially requires you to double your layout and cutting, and also to create pattern pieces that take away the need to place anything on the fold. Well f*&k me, it works but 5 hours people, 5 HOURS!!!

But check out this back view....

Bias cut yoke, exactly centred. Swoon...

I cut a size medium as P's measurements matched pretty exactly. The only alteration I made was to take a half inch of the sleeve length, and we could have perhaps made it an inch. I've read a few reviews that suggest this shirt is designed for an ape very long-armed model, but hedged my bets as the finished arm length measurement actually matched P's RTW shirts. The sleeves are a little long for P's taste, but it's not too big a deal as he almost always rolls his casual shirt cuffs.

Check out those button plackets!
They almost exactly line up with the
plaid of the sleeve body

We decided to create just a little contrast by making the inside cuff from a solid navy blue. It's fine, but I think to show it off with a single turn back of the cuff might require a much stiffer interfacing than the lightweight suggested in the pattern. You can just see in this image that the blue lining looks quite wrinkly and too soft to make the look really work.

Almost matched the flap to the pocket.

And I bias cut the pockets and yoke for a bit of interest.

In the end we were pretty damn happy with the fit and finish. I would consider grading to a small through the waist and hip area next time for a slightly more fitted finish.

Happy birthday P!!!


  1. Unbelievably awesome men's shirt! You are now the queen of matching plaids. I bow to you.
    (amanda.claire on PR)

    1. Awww thank you! I might otherwise be known as anally retentive, but same same :)

  2. That shirt was definitely worth the pain - it's a stunner! Great fit (I think the width around the waist looks good), wonderful check matching (what a lot of it you had to do!), natty pockets and plackets, and your shirt looks just generally awesome in this fabric. And Version 2 won't be so painful, especially if there are no checks to match...

    1. Thanks Gabrielle! Yep, told hubby I'm done with long sleeves, next time its version 2 for sure with no pattern whatsoever :)

  3. A good use of your blood, sweat and tears! I just bought this pattern even though the Hubby doesn't really wear shirts. Maybe I can convert him ;) Totally banning him from stripes!

    1. Ellen, definitely spare yourself the pain - no stripes, checks or other repeating pattern!

  4. The shirt looks great! I am hoping to make one for my hubby too some time. It was lovely to meet you on Saturday too!! :)

  5. Did this have a collar stand or just the collar itself?

    1. Hi there! The pattern is "standless", so I went with no collar stand. There are people out there putting them in though, so if you're clever I'm sure it can be done :)


A comment? For moi? Why, thank you!

CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan