I a bit of a selfish sewer (actually completely selfish) and never sew for anyone else. I think this is mainly because I tend to sew on a whim – because I’ve seen a nice piece of fabric, or had an idea about a dress I might make or found a pattern I like. As there is so much inspiration around I rarely have any time when I don’t have a list of things in my head that I want to sew. This time it’s been a bit different, I have found a pattern I want to sew but it’s for a man.
Thread Theory started a few months ago and I have been watching their website and admiring their designs. It’s been noted before that there are few good sewing patterns for men and it’s good to see a company which has decided to specialise in menswear. The Strathcona Henley fitted right in with my current obsession with knits.
I started off with some navy jersey – 1.5m as the pattern says – but found I had barely enough fabric. I managed to get the pattern cut out but had to reduce some of the seam allowances in the process. I haven’t gone back to check the pattern pieces so it may be that I was slightly short changed in the length of fabric I bought, or that it shrunk more than I expected.
This should be an easy pattern but the placket is not that straight forward. My initial attempt was a complete pig’s ear, I unpicked it but having used a stretch stitch to sew it found that unpicking it only stretched the jersey. Fortunately I’ve been able to cut the pieces down to make a Jane sized t-shirt so I didn’t waste all that fabric.
Attempt two was this red cotton jersey of which I had 3m. This time I cut out the front first, so that if I spoilt it I could restart. I’m still not completely convinced I got the placket entirely even but it’s not too bad. I think if I make another I will try using a different placket method – there is one described in my DK sewing book where you use two pieces of fabric and hide the ends on the inside not on the outside like this one.
One problem with the pattern which other bloggers have noted; it asks you to cut the neckband so there is no stretch along the width (i.e. One long strip running down the grain of the fabric rather than across as normal). I’m sure this is a mistake, but it’s repeated in the instructions a couple of times so maybe it’s intentional. Anyway I cut it as I would normally do with the stretch running along the length of the band.
My original plan was to finish it off with a twin needle, but I couldn’t find mine so I went with bands. Unfortunately they turned out to be too bulky (Hugo is a tucker in), so I cut them off and substituted with a twin needled hem. I also had to cut back the sleeves by a couple of inches as they were ridiculously long on Hugo.
I suspect I will be making this pattern again. It makes a nice, comfortable t-shirt perfect for making breakfast in on Sunday morning.