Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Pintucked (or, Ottobre 02-2010-17, a spotted white shirt)

I originally intended the next thing I made to be a really straightforward plain white shirt. Instead it ended up being a not-quite so plain white shirt: spotty, pintucked, and semi-sheer but at least still white and a shirt. I used a new-to-me Ottobre pattern to make it, specifically Ottobre 02-2010-17.

Ottobre 02-2010-17, images from Ottobre magazine

The name of this pattern (Ottobre give sometimes-cheesy names to all their patterns as well as numbers) is "Borrowed from Boyfriend", and as this suggests, it is a loose-fitting, over-sized shirt not dissimilar to a men's shirt. I really liked the pintuck detail, but I didn't like the bib frill and I wanted a shirt with a collar stand but no collar, so I just omitted those details. The frill was easy enough to just omit, but the collar-less collar stand had a less good outcome.

Ottobre 02-2010-17, in sheer white cotton lawn, as modelled by Flossie (why do I never notice that it's hanging weird on Flossie until AFTER I've taken the photo?)
As far as the pattern goes, the most important thing to note is that they are really not kidding about "over-sized". Ottobre usually produce their patterns in the full 34-52 size range, but this shirt is only in sizes 34-46. On the other hand, as drafted it is ENORMOUS. When I made the Ottobre 05-2012-07 pattern, with more or less the same underlying body measurements, I used a size 44 and did an FBA. With this pattern, I used a straight size 42 with no FBA and I cut 5cm off the hem (even though I usually ADD length). It's still really long, and over-sized at the shoulders and hip on me. I know that it's meant to be oversized, but if I had made my normal size 44 I'd have been completely swamped. On the other hand, I didn't have to do any of my usual adjustments for broad back or large bicep. I did adjust for square shoulder as usual -- it seems like a simple 1.5cm increase at the outer shoulder on both front and back reliably fixes all Ottobre patterns for me.

As modelled by me. As you can see, it's massive at the hips and rather long in the sleeves due to how wide the shoulders fell on me.
This pattern had many construction details in common with the Ottobre 05-2012-07 "Gardener" shirt that I made twice (and loved) last year. The only really significant detail that is different from the Gardener shirt is the pintucks, and luckily I had some practice with pintucks from making two Pauline Alice Carme pullover blouses last year. Putting together the shirt therefore didn't involve anything new for me, although I did use tailor's tacks for only the second time to position the pintucks correctly. They were quite time consuming to sew as a result but they are such a visible feature of the shirt I felt like it was worth the extra time spent making them look as good as I could manage. Even with the fussy pintucking activity, I think I took less time overall to make this shirt than previous shirts, mainly because I have the big construction tasks like the sleeve plackets and cuffs, the button band and the collar figured out now and don't have to refer back to the instructions or my books all the time.

All of the real construction issues came about because of my choice of fabric. This is a white cotton lawn with tiny polka dots (only really visible in the detail shots below) and it was one of those "I get free postage if I buy one more thing" buys. When my package of fabric arrived arrived, it turned out to be unexpectedly lightweight, to the point of being nearly sheer. Initially, I set it aside and thought I might use it as lining for a bodice or something, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like it would be a great way to make a sheer blouse without having to deal with the sort of fabric you usually have to buy to get that effect. I just don't LIKE sewing with chiffon or georgette, and I don't especially like wearing it either because unless you go nuts and buy silk, it tends to be polyester. With this fabric, although I had to allow for the transparency of the fabric in seam finishes etc, at least it was relatively well-behaved from a sewing perspective and it will be more pleasant to wear.

Construction details: pintucks, collar, unexpectedly well set in sleeves. The pintucks on the right aren't really crooked, I promise (well, you can see they aren't on the shot on me!)
The sheerness mainly meant that I tried to make my seams as unobtrusive as possible. For most of my construction I did the narrowest French seams I could manage and a narrow hem. In a few places I couldn't quite see how to make the seam/seam allowances smaller without really compromising my construction (the last seam of the button band and collar stand) so I left larger seam allowances sandwiched into those sections. The armscye seams are overlocked because I have yet to successfully manage a french seamed sleeve.

I didn't interface any of the usual interfaced areas (cuffs, button band, collar) partly because I wanted this to look soft and unstructured, but also because none of the interfacing I had really worked with the fabric -- I tested on some scraps and even my lightest interfacing looked wrong. I really should have interfaced with self-fabric, but I didn't have enough fabric left to do so. I fear this will reduce the longevity of the shirt quite a lot -- already I can see how it's affecting the buttonholes at the front.

Overall, though, I'm pretty happy with most of the sewing, with the exception being the collar stand. I should have done something more than simply omitting the collar to get the collar-less shirt look I was looking for -- reshaped the collar stand somehow, I guess. As it is, it's kind of a weird shape and stands away from my neck. I don't mind it, but it's not really what I was hoping for. Also, I'm still not getting the really nice finish on the join of the shirt and the collar stand that I am looking for, even though I'm following the David Coffin Paige recommendations. I feel like only practice is going to get me there though, so I'll just keep plugging away at it I guess. Maybe to prove that point, after I whined about how I still wasn't able to put sleeves in well and practice hadn't helped, these went in perfectly first time and are some of the nicest sleeve cap seams I've done so far, in terms of how (relatively) unpuckered they are.

In conclusion: one not-quite plain white shirt for my wardrobe (which meant I could dispose of a plain white shirt I hated, hurray) and one more shirt pattern attempted. :D

As a chaser after a slow and detailed pattern, I also made another pair of knit capri-length Burda 8271 PJ bottoms. I must seem obsessed with PJs as I make them regularly. However, it's actually just that I haven't bought any in years and it seems like every time I replace a pair the appalling state of the other, ancient RTW pairs I own is thrown into sharp relief. I don't have an armoire full of nightwear -- it's pretty much one new pair made, one old pair straight in the bin.

I actually have nothing new to say about this pattern, other than that I definitely like it better made with knits than with wovens (I previously made one pair with each type of fabric). This fabric was one of my very first knit buys, and I have no idea why I bought it. I would not be seen dead in such a twee print outside of nightwear!

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, can't see the picture of you. Looks like a good shirt - lawn is so cool comfortable!