Saturday, April 6, 2013

Butterick 3475: A sewing milestone

We've reached a sort of sewing milestone around here.
My smallest boy has finally grown in to some of the clothes I sewed for my biggest boy. Although I've known how to sew pretty much my entire life (Thank you, Mom!), I didn't really sew consistently until about five years ago, when I was pregnant with Myra. I started by sewing slings for babywearing, and before I knew it, making clothing for the kids, Mitch and eventually, for me. My first big clothing project was matching shirts for Logan and Mitch. I blogged about it here - before I even had a separate sewing blog.
I used this pattern at least a half dozen times in several different sizes. It was my go-to boys pattern up until I found Ottobre. The pattern is Butterick 3475, and amazingly, it is still in print! The brown shorts Duncan is wearing above are also from this pattern. Logan's wearing them in the top picture.
When I pulled this shirt out of the box it had been living in for nearly 5 years, I flipped it open to see how it was constructed, and I thought some of you might like to see my humble beginning. If I recall correctly, the fabric is a poly/rayon blend with a linen like appearance. It frays like mad, but as you can see, I didn't finish any seams. In fact, while the bottom hem is nicely double folded, the sleeve and pocket hems are a single fold. I can't believe this is still holding together, but it is! At least I zigzagged the facing edge. I'm pretty sure the pattern told me to do that.
OK, I'm kind of proud of that smooth, rounded pocket. Nice work, Past Katie! But what is up with the buttonhole placement? They're like an inch away from the edge of the shirt. And the buttonholes themselves are no work of art either. Janome makes a pretty skimpy buttonhole if you only go over it once. I clearly only went over it once.
More shameful unfinished seams, here. This is inside the collar at the shoulder seam. This collar is constructed with a cut on front facing that wraps around to the shoulder, covering the collar seams there. The back neck seams are clipped and tucked inside the collar, which you are supposed to hand sew down. Ahem. You can see that my aversion to hand sewing is not a new thing.
So, even though my sewing was far from perfect, both my busy toddler boys have comfortably worn these shirts, and I suspect they'll survive another couple of kids as well. I wanted to share this with you, so that you can see that wherever you are on your personal sewing journey, what you make and do has value, and the more you create, the more you'll learn. Happy sewing!!

20 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you showed this! I've learned so much in the past couple of years, but early efforts had a lot of finishing issues. I was really just getting the gist of how things fit together. I'd often be three steps beyond where I could finish a seam before I realized I might have wanted to. Now I really love fancy insides!

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    1. I think it's good to look back sometimes at how far we've come. Perspective is good!

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  2. Isn't it fun to pull those things out and see your learning? You've come a long way! I think Ann is right--once your construction is good, your insides start looking purty too.

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    1. So true! We have to learn to crawl before we can walk, right?!

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  3. The boys just love wearing the shirts you made - and really don't care about the insides! Thanks for sharing the pictures about your early sewing journey. So many of my early garments had the same seam finish as yours - no overlocker in those days!!!

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    1. Boy has that overlocker changed my life! :)

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  4. How special is this!!! They look adorable!

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    1. They both make me smile an awful lot. :)

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  5. Thanks for sharing the "ugly truth" of a beginning sewing project. I have some of those too! In fact, I wore a jacket the other day which has a lot of faults...but it was the 2nd jacket I ever made and I still love it. Your boys look great in the shirt!

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    1. Thanks! It's good to have a look back at how far we've come!

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  6. Isn't it fun to see how your sewing evolves. So happy both of your boys were able to wear this shirt, it looks great.

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad it's still holding together!

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  7. Oh how brave of you to share! I've looked at my early projects with such embarrassment that I've just binned them, and cringe at the thought of some of the clothes I've actually worn!

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    1. There have definitely been a few makes that hit the bin before I could photograph them! This one is definitely not the worst.

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  8. You did a good job --- your shirts have survived two boys!! Many ready to wear purchased shirts cant't claim that.

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    1. Isn't that the truth! I can't believe how quickly my boys can shred a RTW shirt!

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  9. There are a lot of milestones in life. One day you'll be sending your kids off to college, making their dorm-dec, and sewing brides and bridesmaids dresses. It happens quicker than you can blink and eye!

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    1. I'm starting to have a glimpse of that. Sending them off to school has been tough enough. I'm so glad I have a few years before I have to face dorms and wedding dresses (hopefully in that order!!!).

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  10. "I suspect they'll survive another couple of kids as well." Orly? ;) Your kiddos are so cute. I think the shirts I make still look like this. Lol.

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  11. Thanks for your post! Some of the things I made for my first is going to go into storage really soon. It is fun to revisit our progress

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