Friday, October 22, 2010

The Story of a Shirt..... more or less.......

Let's be honest here. This was one of those projects where I was so looking forward to making it...... and then I was looking forward to being done with it long before I was. Don't get me wrong, the pattern was awesome! It was just me. Am I the only one who needs projects like that? Where you need something to go not so right just so you learn something that you needed to learn? Yup, thought so. Getting a sense of reality is always great ;)
He's putting "war paint" on the kids for the Boston tea party. Don't worry! It was voluntary! ;)

Anyways, so we are looking at the green-ish shirt that my dad is wearing. He requested it for his Rogers Rangers impression(google it! It is interesting!) and he had some specifications. It needed to be green (camouflage after all!) and large enough but not too large to go over another shirt un-tucked. My first mistake was when I was planning out the project. I thought to myself..... this pattern is just squares and rectangles! How much easier can that be? I don't need a mock up! Wrong. You always make a mock up. Always. End of story. Lesson number one.

So I cut it out of my linen and proceeded to follow the great instructions doing most of the seams by hand, mind you! So it is all done except for the cuffs and hemming it and my dad tries it on. It is much too large in the body and the sleeves are too long. Now what?!
And feathers on this little guy to get ready for the Boston tea party too......

The last thing I am going to do is take the whole thing apart. He brilliantly suggest slitting the shirt up the front and making it into a wrap shirt of sorts. It is period correct and solves that problem. He then suggests cutting out a bit of the sleeve length and then sewing it back together forming a seam right around the elbow. Brilliant again. Solves those problems no thanks to me. He takes it off and I proceed to make the changes. The shirt does get finished but it is still white. No problem. I dyed the fabric for these stays and these and these...... and these and for my sister's dress (which I have no pictures of as usual.) I can do that. I've done it before. I can do it again. No big deal......

Have you ever tried dyeing something green before with green and brown dye? You want an earthy color that doesn't look like a chemical dye was used..... and it is supposed to match that belt that your dad already has. Just make some samples right? Easy enough. I think I made at least a dozen. I got the one I wanted and then I forgot how I got it. That makes a person feel un-intelligient in the least. In the end, I dyed the shirt the right color, rinsed it out. End of that. But then I put the shirt in the drier. It came out the color that you see here but it was brighter and less gray when I was done. I was slightly disappointed. Just slightly.

The man has a shirt. I am still sewing...... It seems like a long time ago now but I appreciate that shirt. Simple things keep you humble? mhmmm

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

P.S: I just realized that picture with the knife is kinda creepy. My apologies. You kinda have to have a sense of humor in this living history stuff ;)


  1. I enjoyed this post Bethany, it really says what we sewers have always not be overconfident!

    You learned from this shirt what is going to help you as you continue to do your craft: do a mock up, take your time, and write everything down :D

    In His Grace,


    PS: the knife looks sharp and useful!

  2. lol, Bethany, that is a funny post! I know exactly what you mean! sewing can be so EXASPERATING....


  3. Rather, sewing for men can be exasperating! More so than for ourselves. :-) Great post, Bathany, and the new blog look is sweet! ~Ivis

  4. I really like the new banner. I always have trouble with dyes!