sewing

Colette Negroni Shirt


I have decided that I love sewing. One of the main reasons is the speed. It feels ludicrously quick compared to how long it takes to knit something. Up now, a shirt I made for Trev!

When we went shopping in Brighouse a fortnight ago, the bottom left fabric was chosen by him, to make specifically a Colette Negroni shirt. It's marked as an intermediate level pattern, but given that the Thurlows were also an intermediate and came out ok, I figured I'd be ok with the difficulty level.

Ordered the pattern in the week and it arrived Saturday lunchtime, in the smart new Colette packaging. (I also love the Clover chalk pens – so much better than pencils or bits of chalk – genius!)

Tracing took most of the rest of Saturday and I ended up using the last of my Swedish tracing paper. This means I've been unable to work on another pattern since, but that's ok.

I decided to cut out a large for Trev – chest wise he is smack in between a medium and a large, but his current waist measurement puts him in large territory.

The pattern is very well written and comes together pretty quickly. By Sunday night, all that was needed were buttons and buttonholes!

Now the evenings are a bit lighter I was able to persuade Trev to model the shirt for me one night after getting home from work.

He's pretty happy with it. He does feel it's a little large, but I don't think we could scale him down to a medium at the moment. It's better for it to be a bit big than a bit small, as he definitely wouldn't wear the latter. He has mentioned that he might like for the overall length to be a couple of inches shorter, which can easily be accommodated next time. He also felt that the sleeves might be a bit too big, although in length they're comparable to some RTW shirts he has.

I made the decision to cut some of the pieces such as the back yoke and pockets on the diagonal, to add a bit more interest to the shirt. I LOVE how the back of the shirt has come out:

Looks so professional yet was actually so easy! As were the pockets, which aren't quite as professional. I could have done with being a bit more forceful with the point turner to make them more point-y. Despite that, I think I lined up the pattern pretty well so the point ends in a central place on the pocket flap itself. Just a shame it doesn't match the pocket.

The collar came out pretty well. This is my first time making a collar and this particular style is called a “camp collar”. It's not the same as the collars you normally see on shirts in shops, which sit on a “collar stand” which attaches to the body. The collar here is sewn directly to the main body of the garment so it does sit a little differently.

Hopefully you can see what I mean here, along with a bit more pocket detail:

The fit around his shoulders makes me wonder if I should have made a medium – if not all over, then have graded up to a large for his waist and hips. I feel like this shoulder seam should sit higher up on his shoulders, right?

I love that the pattern asked me to include these little “pleats” on the back. They don't do much other than add a teeny bit of shaping I guess, but I do think they definitely help the garment look a bit more polished.

This was my first time working flat-felled seams too which I love! They're brilliant for adding strength to the seams of a garment and also ensure all raw edges are enclosed – which makes for a very comfy inside of the garment. Here's the inside, looking at one of the side seams:

You also flat-fell the seams that join the sleeves to the body. Unfortunately I was a bit of a dope and forgot that you're meant to start at the centre top and then work your way round to the underarm – doing each half of the sleeve separately. This is probably why my sleeves don't look as neat as they possibly could, but they're not bad for a first attempt. This is inside the shirt:

Outside doesn't look too shabby at all:

Generally I quite like the insides of the shirt and even at the back yoke, where everything meets there are no raw edges. You assemble everything in a bit of a clever way, so that all of the shirt is inside the two yoke pieces – you then pull the sleeves and bits of shirt out through the sides of the yoke which you then do up.

The only disadvantage of this method is that it leaves you with little gaps where there are spots that you can't sew up properly. You can see these where I've stuck my finger in below. You can't easily see these gaps and so far knowing they are there doesn't really bother me.

So that's my first shirt! I'll definitely make more. I want to refine the fit of the Negroni on Trev and also try another shirt pattern that feature a proper collar stand, so that the finished shirts aren't all super casual.

Already I think I enjoy sewing for Trev more than for me as he's easier to fit – I'm not looking forward to tops as it's probably going to be an endless round of full-bust adjustments and muslins. Hopefully as I get more competent it will get a little easier.

What have you all been up to this weekend?

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9 thoughts on “Colette Negroni Shirt

  1. It looks great. Sewing is SO much speedier than knitting. Once you have made a pattern a couple of times as you will with “standard” things like shirts, you’ll find you can make them faster than you can buy them, the travelling to town, looking, trying on, travelling home all adds up.

    Instead of looking for fitted blouses, why not look for a camp-shirt type pattern for yourself? I used to make this style as a casual top and I’m quite busty, the looser fitting meant it was ok to have very minimal darts and having a wardrobe of shirts to wear in pretty, soft cotton or linen is a real wardrobe stretcher in a hot summer when you don’t want clingy things anyway.

    1. Thanks Natalie! That’s a great suggestion – I am on the lookout for some top/shirt patterns for myself. At the moment the only tops I have planned are stretchy knit ones, so it would be good to try something else. I do have a couple of linen shirts that are past their best, so making a couple more in the run up to summer would be great – particularly now I’ve found somewhere that stocks linen fabric!

  2. Wow!

    I’m VERY impressed.

    I agree re sewing in comparison to knitting, I love the speed too. So far I’ve made bags, baby quilts and other small items but clothes are on my to do list for the future.

    1. Thank you 🙂 Other than sewing some knitting project bags, I’ve not tried any other bags or smaller projects. I’d love to try quilting, but worry about it being a very dangerous slippery slope!

  3. That looks really, really good! I want to try making a shirt now. I’ve started making another couple of quilts and I’m really enjoying it. It is so much quicker than knitting or crochet, you’re right! Spend a few hours cutting out triangles the other night with my new rotary cutter (man, those things are sharp as my poor fingers found out!) and tonight I plan on sewing them up together.

    1. I would love to try quilting! Maybe once I’ve made a dent in the garment queue 🙂 I’m after a rotary cutter too – any recommendations? I think it would be much quicker than using shears – not that I mangle my fabric, but it’s not far off sometimes. You need some sort of safety mitt to protect your fingers!

      1. Oh gosh I know, my poor finger :p It’s healed pretty well though. I’m not too sure which one I have (lost the packaging) but it cost something like £6.50, and is 45mm wide. Not an expensive one. It’s very good and a lot quicker than scissors. I enjoy using it, but the only problem is that you need to have a cutting mat too. You should def. try quilting, it’s loads of fun! 😀

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