14 January 2007

his girl friday shirt



I'm calling this the His Girl Friday shirt because I can just see Rosalind Russell in it, clickety-clacketing furiously over her typewriter then dashing off, pencil behind the ear, to cover a breaking story. In heels, pencil skirt, and fantastic hat, of course.

This is Simplicity's Built by Wendy pattern 4112. I love that all of Wendy's patterns are such a great combination of modern and classic—and this one has such fantastic details to make it interesting. I will say that this one was not easy peasy. More like difficult pifficult. It looked easy when I was picking out the pattern, it looked easy when I was cutting out the fabric, and then it dissolved into very confusing, very quickly. Give me a few more days to recover, and I may be of the opinion that it was worth all that effort.



Part of my problem was that I was working with a fabric that looks the same on both sides—and the seemingly simple instructions "right sides together" caused me more confusion than you would ever think possible. The neck band had to be ripped out not once but twice. The sleeve plackets were backwards and had to be resewn. I will say very proudly that I did get both cuffs on without a bit of trouble and they both happily face the right direction, unlike last time. And I will repeat my love for cuffs. Love them. So much fun.

The sleeves. Check out these sleeves. Wendy suggests striped fabric for this shirt to make the most of the interesting cut of the sleeves, and she's absolutely right. They come in two pieces and are gathered in three places, so you work for it, but they are pretty darn cool.

I think I cut out about a size too big, and ended up taking in the side seams considerably. As a result the sleeves are even poofier than Wendy had intended. But I guess if you're going to go poofy, why be shy about it? The body of the shirt has no shaping at all, so it is very comfortable. It might be less flattering on curvier women, but the slightly masculine cut is a great foil for the girly sleeves and neckline.

After all the effort of sewing the shirt, I couldn't bring myself to bother with putting on buttons and buttonholes. So snaps. Twin and I debated about whether the pearl snaps pushed the shirt over the line from charmingly old-fashioned to doofy and grandmother-ish. But we decided that doofy is the new cool so we went with the pearls. And I have to say that taking a hammer to the darn thing was incredibly satisfying.



Walter Burns: There's been a lamp burning in the window for ya, honey... here.
Hildy Johnson: Oh, I jumped out that window a long time ago.

20 comments:

ginny said...

ooo i love that shirt. i recently picked up simplicity patterns 3964 and 4111. i plan to modify them for maternity wear. (im 7 1/2 months pregnant) the pearl buttons really work, you didnt push it too far :)

erin said...

julie!!!! that is great and i adore the pearl snaps.

sally said...

LOVE the shirt. Poofy sleeves are cool.

sulu-design said...

Oh, you never disappoint! This is beautiful - the sleeves are gorgeous and the snaps are the perfect choice.

cristina said...

awesome...so AWESOME. makes me really want to make it since its very very similar to what i've been looking for....might be over my head though. love the stripes.

kay susan said...

Well, it may have been tricky, but you did a very good job!

hannah said...

love the shirt, love the sleeves, love the snaps! excellent work julie, and now i feel totally guilty for staying in my pajamas all weekend and doing not one thing.

connie said...

yes! look at those sleeves!

Alison said...

Pearl snaps are never wrong. Nice job on the shirt -- it looks great on you!

Mary said...

well, looking at it, i think your efforts were worth it. it looks fantastic.

sewing clothing can be so frustrating, but it always ends up being so satisfying in the end. there's nothing quite like making your own clothing.

amisha said...

oh, i love it! the sleeve cut is fantastic... what a great detail. you did a beautiful job!

Jen said...

My god, you have got some skillz, girl! (Er, is that supposed to have only one 'l'? I'm afraid I'm much more doofy than cool... ) Anyway, awesome sleeves, and the snaps are perfect!

loriz said...

I really like it. I have this pattern and am just finishing the short sleeve version. Its such a pretty and feminine blouse.

amandajean said...

"taking a hammer to the darn thing was incredibly satisfying..." hee hee hee....you are a funny girl :) I like the pearl snaps! great job on the shirt.

Stephanie said...

Love the shirt! I just finished the 4111 pattern in a red flannel plaid yesterday and I love it. I have been wanting to make this one too - but I hate making buttonholes. Thanks for the snaps idea, I love them (especially pearl) and now I have no excuses for not making it up. :)

amy h said...

Those sleeves are so good! Nice work.

Jodie said...

This shirt is great! I love those pussy bow tie shirts and can't resist buying vintage ones when I manage to find them.

I would love you to visit my site as I am relatively new to this blogging thing...

www.vintagefilm.typepad.com

Thanks and keep up the blogging!

Missy said...

This is gorgeous! I am in favour of the pearl snaps too. I just discovered your blog (a link from Brainy Lady - love the Ipod Cozie tutorial, by the way!), and I'm already a huge fan! I'm a sewing-wannabee more than anything, and your work is very inspiring.

paula said...

I *love* this. My Sew-U is in the mail but I couldn't wait so I got a different Built by Wendy shirt pattern (the one with the funny diamond inset in front). I wish it had turned out as well as yours! Your sewing is so inspiring to me.

sil said...

Very cute blouse! Your rocking that sexy librarian look.

If you're in Manhattan sometime, check out Paron Annex for reasonably priced fabrics. Their annex is half price - the whole store. It was my favorite place as a poor FIT student.
http://www.paronfabrics.com/stores_locations.htm