Right, time to show off … can I please?
With Jimmy and my boy away for three weeks at the beginning of the holidays doing their thing, I thought it would be a good time to get ‘lost’ in a brand new, never attempted before (by me anyway) sewing project.
I’d decided a little while back that if I could make Jimmy a present for his birthday it would have to be something a bit special and a big surprise. We always used to make each other things (he once made me a papermaché lion brooch and I made him this case for his camera not so long ago) but this time I wanted to make him something he could wear. Enter the Negroni, courtesy of Colette.
With the house to myself and in constant threat of feeling sorry for my lonesome self (pathetic I know), I found myself cutting out the pattern and getting truly stuck in. I thoroughly enjoyed the process and actually my worries about the pattern being for ‘intermediate level’ were unfounded as in true Colette style, it’s so clearly explained. Having said that, I did pop over to male pattern boldness and his sewalong to check I was doing it the right way on more than one occasion (wonderful blog, really helpful)!
In a moment of rational thinking I decided to make the Violet first in preparation, just because I hadn’t attached a collar before (well not ‘properly’ anyway) and I also needed practise at putting in front facing and button holes. I think it was a good plan, the whole thing didn’t seem so daunting when I knew I’d done something similar before.
I was careful to cut the fabric so that the checks would line up when the finished shirt was buttoned up but it would have been nice to cut the back yoke on the bias too now I think about it!
The whole shirt came together very well. I have discovered the beauty of flat-felled seams too and was very quick to point these out to Jimmy when he opened the parcel on his birthday! I chose version 2 for this as I knew we would be in hot Turkey for the big day and also I didn’t want to frighten myself off with those plackets and cuffs (although I will try the long sleeved version next time)!
Just a couple of tiny things to point out and I only do this because I want to be completely honest about my sewing progress (I could keep quiet and hope no one notices!) but there’s a bit of a wobble going on on the button hole side of the facing. Once you’ve put in the button holes though (sigh) there’s not a lot you can do. Also, a titchy matter of a pocket flap being a bit wider one side than the the other, but hey, I’m a graphic designer and these things stick out to me!
I can’t tell you how pleased I was when at the end of the day I’d achieved this make. What’s more, I’d made it for someone that I love very much and he appreciated and loved that too! Anyway, here it is in all it’s finished glory …
I have got a great photo of Jimmy on his birthday wearing this but as he has teamed it with these (a gift from our girl) and tucked it into his shorts (for comedy effect I promise you), he’s asked me not to publish … I can understand why!
Next time (yes there will be a next time) I’d like to try one of these pockets and maybe a stand up collar like this or maybe not, that ‘camp’ collar with the little loop is very cool. There are some great versions out there and I’m inspired to make a plain fabric Negroni with a patterned yoke as Florence has done so perfectly here. All in all an enjoyable, bust adjustment free (hooray!), wonderful make and the pleasure of giving it to the man in your life is priceless.
The fabric is from here, it washes well and was lovely to work with, only £5 per metre too. The buttons are aqua coloured shell buttons and were 12p each (from my local knitting shop) and the pattern was £12.50 from Sewbox.
I never thought I could get so excited about a man’s shirt, but I urge you to have a go at this pattern, you won’t be disappointed!