I needed a new, neutral shirt to wear with my Owligan, so I made another Sewaholic Granville, because I know it will be trouble-free, and I’ve already done the pattern adjustments. The only problem is that my upper arms have, um, grown a bit since the last one I made, so I had to add some ease to the sleeves. Yes, I can still wear the previous one I made, but the sleeves are a tad snug, and that’s just not comfortable.
I used the Curvy Sewing Collective post on sleeve adjustments to add ease to the upper arm. Turns out my upper arm measurement is only 1/4″ less than the actual sleeve measurement, so I definitely need to do the adjustment. I added just shy of 1 1/4″ to my sleeve width.
This adjustment is surprisingly quick, and I finished within five minutes. Just make sure to add your seam allowance when you draw the horizontal line, and draw it from that point, rather than right at the corners where the sleeve meets the cap. You will also have to redraw your grainline, because this adjustment shifts it outward more at the top end than it does at the bottom, and you want your sleeves to be on grain.
I traced the new sleeve onto a piece of pattern tissue, since I don’t enjoy manipulating multiple layers of printer paper when I’m pinning my pattern. Normally when you do pattern adjustments like these, you would put a bit of paper in the gap you created, tape it in, and carry on with cutting your fabric. I find patterns adjusted this way difficult to store, and difficult to pin, so I traced it onto tissue.
The fabric I chose is a quilting cotton. I know, “garments shouldn’t be made from quilting cotton”, but it was pretty, neutral, and the price was right. It also reminds me of a colouring book for grown ups. I couldn’t find anything I liked in the shirting fabrics, because all they really had were stripes and plaids, and I didn’t feel like messing with matching. THIS is why I didn’t want go go with plaid – I’m sure the finished product will be worth all of the extra work, but I don’t want to do that much matching. This is supposed to be quick to sew, remember?
At any rate, I’ve successfully sewn garments out of quilting cotton dozens of times. Would I have preferred a lovely Liberty of London fabric? Absolutely, but there was nothing interesting at Dressew, so quilting fabric it is. In fact, if you’re interested, Tilly & the Buttons has a great post about sewing garments out of quilting cotton, and I recommend that anyone considering it give the post a read. She does warn against sewing garments with sleeves in quilting cotton, because it is frequently stiffer than fabrics intended for garments, but I say, you be the judge. Some quilting cottons have more drape than others. My fabric is quite soft, so while it is certainly thicker than garment fabric, it has similar drape to a lightweight flannel, and flannel shirts are really popular for autumn!
I cut out my shirt on Tuesday, and finished it on Friday. I am pretty pleased with my new shirt, and I think that while the quilt fabric is a bit thicker than shirting fabrics, it works pretty well. I wore it out to dinner with my husband over the weekend, and found it very comfortable to wear. Remember the caution against sewing garments with sleeves in quilting cotton? No problem, they’re quite comfortable, and don’t feel stiff.
Here is a list of shirtmaking posts on the Sewaholic blog that are handy when sewing this shirt.