Monday, October 13, 2008

Red velvet shirt - how to

So ... how'd that red velvet shirt come together? It was easier than it looked. The original plan was for a tunic style woven shirt but then DH found this great panne velvet and it was too perfect. So new plan. Found this (moderately NSFW) drawing and really liked the neckline. Unfortunately none of my patterns quite fit the bill. So time to frankenpatten!

Pulled out these two patterns. The first is a knit pattern and has the body, rounded bottom of the neckline I want, and the sleeves. The second has the high neck bit. Unfortunately it's a woven, too narrow in the front (an outfit like this needs to show skin!) and has darts at the neckline. Darts, knits, and me don't mix.

Here you can see how I traced out the back. The top quarter is a tracing of the coat pattern, the rest is the knit shirt. To match up the two patterns I used the shoulder line and back center to line everything up. I pinched out the dart (it's the line down the back at a 45* angle) and raised the neckline to compensate. It was a lot of trial and error and hanging up on the dressform to get it roughly right. Good thing is it doesn't have to be perfect. Lesson learned from days working backstage - it just has to look right. It doesn't have to BE right. Sometimes those two things are actually contradictory. That's life.

Here's the front. Again, top bit is the jacket pattern, bottom is the knit shirt. And again the center line and shoulder line were very helpful in merging the two patterns. The mandarin collar came forwards too much so I measured out just where I wanted to to be and then started drawing. I really liked how it looked so plopped it down on the red velvet and started cutting! I had plenty of extra fabric (at $2.50 a yard, it was worth getting extra!) so no reason to not go forwards with it.

A closer look at how I pinched out the front dart and increased the angle of the high neck bit. In retrospect I really need to remember about seamlines - I just drew where I wanted the finished line to be rather than 3/8" (my favorite serger seam) away. Oh well. It worked out in the end.

I sewed up the body of the red velvet, then cut up and sewed it up again in a heavy black knit. Serged the necklines together. Flipped the lining inside. Serged in the sleeves (in the round - ick) which also secured the lining. Right now I'm leaving the hems raw but I might serge them together along the bottom. We'll see.

Anyway, there's the making of one vampire hunter shirt!


luckylibbet said...

Clever frankenpatterning. I'm looking forward to the finished product for the contest, and the review, natch.

Alicia said...

Thanks, it was fun to do. :) I'm looking forwards to seeing the end result too ... I keep hoping it all continues to come together!