Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Negroni Shirt - Part I

I have finally started my first shirt!

I am using Colette 1014 Negroni. I found out about this pattern over at Male Pattern Boldness a mere two years too late to participate in Peter's Men's Shirt Sew-Along.

I was going to make Vogue 8889, I had bought the pattern, I had read the instructions, I had examined the pattern pieces and I bottled it.  It just didn't feel like a first-timer's pattern.  I still intend to make Vogue 8889 because I think it is a great looking shirt but for the time being I have my ironing board full with Colette 1014!

So where have I got to?


  1. Pre-washed the green (aborted  quilt backing) fabric
  2. Cut up and ironed the paper pattern pieces I need for the short sleeved version of Negroni
  3. Traced size L of the pattern pieces onto some plain tissue I had lying around
  4. Worried about how much the fabric had shrunk and how I would make the cutting layout work


  1. Stopped worrying
  2. Fathomed an alternative cutting layout
  3. Cut most of the pattern out of the green fabric


  1. Bought green thread and fusible interfacing
  2. Soaked interfacing in hottish water to pre-shrink it
  3. Finished cutting
  4. Started sewing!

Look! I made pocket flaps.  One of the things I really like about this pattern are the free pocket options which can be downloaded.  I chose the asymmetrical pocket flap in conference with The-Much-Belovéd.  We both liked the idea of the way they might look with the pointed pocket option.

This is how they look with the pockets.  I made a card template to press the pockets around.  This is a really neat technique that I have only just read about.  I wish I had known about it when I was making the apron for my sister back in December!

The green was not planned for this project so the yardage is a bit touch and go.  To help make it go further I have used some of the owl fabric left over from the fence rail quilt to make the pocket flap facings - cute?  I even remembered to match the bobbin thread to the contrast fabric.

My very first shirt pocket - ever!  How proud am I?

I just haven't been able to bring myself to sully that sleek pocket flap with a button hole.  Is it wearable left as is?

Pocket is edge stitched and the flap is top stitched

Tomorrow I need to make another one to match this and decide whether or not to add buttonholes to the pocket flaps before I go much further with the construction of the shirt.

I am enjoying sewing this pattern. I am going to take my time and savour it.


  1. Lovely pockets. I think they're fine without buttonholes.

    1. Thanks Peter
      I am going to skip the buttonholes for the time being. If this leads to problems when the shirt is worn then I guess I won't miss them off the next one ;0) BTW I am finding MPB archive very useful for this project. You may have averted a disaster here with your post on preshrinking interfacing.

  2. I like the asymmetrical flaps. I wouldn't put in a button, because then a decision of where would the button go. In the center or at the apex of the flap? Which sewing machine are you using for this project?

    1. Hi Wilson
      The pattern placement for the buttons is at the apex of the pocket flap. I am using the Singer 201K treadle for this project.

  3. I was two years too late to the negroni sew along also. It took me thirty hours. I will follow your progress.

    1. Hi Anonymous
      I am a slow coach so I don't really keep an eye on my time. May be I should keep a log for interest. Were you pleased with how your negroni turned out?

    2. It was a qualified success. I made a large, error #1. I don't know if I traced the pattern wrong but I had lots of "ease" aka difficulty, in the collar and shoulder, and proper cuff attachment remains a mystery. The stripes all lined up nicely, and I look in the side seams 4" total. Then I gave it to my brother as I was tired of the fabric after a solid week. Not bad for my first attempt at a shirt or any apparel. I'm in the midst of making a copy of an Andrew Christian bathing suit: maiden voyage into the world of stretch. But I've hoarded enough fabric for a dozen shirts.

  4. FWIW, This shirtmaker thinks the flap is fine without a buttonhole. Great progress...enjoy your shirt-making journey ;)

  5. The under fabric of your pocket flaps is adorable and I like the asymmetrical design. You probably won't need button holes, but why not put them in just for fun?

  6. Love the color; love the owl print. The shirt looks good without a button. My suggestion is to make a third pocket flap and try placing a button hole on it. The first two remain perfect and you will have the experience of trying.

  7. If you were going to put a buttonhole in, it's best to do it before sewing the flap to the shirt!

    1. Hello Roger
      I agree. I've decided not to add buttonholes on this occasion. Managing the bulk of a whole shirt under a buttonholer would be a recipe for disaster I fear. I'm going to see how these flaps behave when the shirt is worn and plan future shirts from the results.