Sunday, August 19, 2007

An American Shirt

Kwik Sew 2777. Some barrel scraping conveners at the AGU have asked James to submit an abstract to their session, so for the first time we might be attending the "Fall" AGU meeting in San Francisco. How exciting! Taking place in mid-December this meeting really does coincide with the time the leaves are falling in Kamakura, while British people are more likely to consider mid-December to be mid-winter. I wonder what it is like San Francisco in December - don't they have summer all year?

Anyway, of course James will seek to blend in with the locals so what better than an American shirt? Question is what makes it look so American? The consensus of the comments on my review on PR seem to think it is the extra (muffin and steak?) space in the body and arms and the sloppy off the shoulder fit (for putting your muscles in from working out at the gym?). But I think there is summat funny about the collar. I think British collars are more square...? Of course it is not fully American because it does not contain a pocket to fill with leaky biros and notepads which, at least when I used to visit labs in the US with my Pa when I were a little girl, is a vital accessory for all American scientists.

In reality, this is a practice at men's shirt making using some incredibly cheap (100¥/m) and less than lovely fabric. It doesn't drape well which I think may make it look even baggier than it is. The real reason for making it is to see if I can make James some shirts which fit. All his long-sleeve shirts are too short in arms and body and too wide.

I've got the length sussed at least. I made size M adding several inches to body and arms to make the equivalent of XL lengths. I had some fun practicing some shirtmaking techniques. It is hard to keep edgestitching neat on such inordinately huge lengths (much easier on tiny blouses for jules). I had one or two other problems, getting the machine stuck on the collar points and finding that the top cuttonhole was in the wrong place. The are discussed further in my review on PR.

I have David Page Coffin's famous shirtmaking book. When I read his book I can't get the image of the pedantic and murderous George from Desperate Housewives out of my mind.... Anyway this time I followed only a few of his simplest suggestions - how to turn collars and how to roll-hem the hem. Next time I will probably try and incorporporate more of his clever techniques but this time I thought I'd try the pattern instructions - which seemed good enough for a practice.

I have now adjusted the pattern a bit, taking 1.5cm width out of left and right body and yolk pieces. Then I took 0.5cm off front and back at the edge and so 0.5cm off the edge of each sleeve top tapering to nothing the cuff. I also very slightly reshaped the back armscye moving it in 0.5cm at the base of the yolk. I wonder if that will mess everything up and mean poor James can't wave his arms, but that part really did seem like it had loads of extra fabric.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It'll probably be raining in SF in December - winter in the Bay Area means rain, and probably fog and wind, but not that terribly cold. That's why there are so many conferences here around the holidays - everyone's trying to escape from 2 feet of snow in Minneapolis or such.

Love the shirt, and your recent projects (found your blog via PR).