Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pattern Review: The Henry Shirt from Sewing for Boys

This is the Henry Shirt from Sewing for Boys, a book from Figueroa and LePage.  It is the second thing I have made from the book, the first being the fabulous Treasure Pocket Pants.

Sadly, I am a bit disappointed in this shirt.  I made it, then looked online at other blog reviews of it, and it seems I am not the only one with the following complaints:

  1. too wide
  2. too short (someone else added 2". smart move.  I think I need even 4" or 5" more.)
  3. flares out a bit in the back (I agree with another blogger that a 1" pleat may be too wide on a 2/3T shirt) 
I also had these issues:
  1. My closure strip wasn't the same length as the shirt fronts, so when I went to hem the shirt I only had a little bit to tuck under there
  2. My side pockets ended up a bit low (my fault perhaps), so when I hemmed the shirt, they were flush with the bottom of the shirt instead of with a bit of space like in the photos.
  3. My collar contrast piece was a little smaller than the main piece.  When I put the two together to sew the side seams, I had to cut about a quarter inch off on each side.  As a result, the collar is a bit small. I don't think it is all that noticeable, but it could look better.  
When I presented my handiwork to my husband and child, they did not notice the amazing things about this shirt:
  1. The collar seams are totally hidden - the yoke and collar take care of all of the upper seams and they are amazingly and fabulously gone.  Cutting them on the bias gave me just enough give to make it all match up.  I did, however, need to sew both yoke pieces on with the yoke up, not down (as recommended), to see what I was doing.
  2. It is adorable. The 3.5 length (as is recommended in the book for edgestitching and topstitching) looks really good.  Also, I pressed this item constantly as I made it, and you can tell.  
They only noticed its flaws:
  1. Pockets are too small to be useful (too short for hands and too wide to hold anything securely)
  2. Fabric I chose was a pattern with a pattern, and each would have stood out better against a solid (point taken, but I liked the colors together)
  3. "White thread isn't my favorite color."

All in all, I am glad to have made this shirt.  I am, however, not going to take a second pass at it in the near future.  Or, rather, if I do, I will modify the pattern by:
  1.  lengthening the body
  2. narrowing the pleat
  3. lengthening the sleeves (only slightly- maybe an inch)
  4. making sure the collar contrast piece is big enough
  5. making the pockets taller
  6. If I could figure out a way to make the side pieces narrower, I would, but they are too tied in to the sleeves for me to want to try ~ the whole thing would get wonky.  
  7. Another idea for the pockets would be to add some medium-weight interfacing to the middle of the pocket (an inch above and below the folded part only) to make sure it holds its body (like the In-Style Suitcase Bag pockets use).
Even having said all of this, I am loving my new book and excited to make something else.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this helpful review! Your shirt looks adorable, but I'm glad to know the problems you had with it and the fit. I would be making this for my tiny 3year old, so I think I will forgo it for now since it sounds as if it would be a tent on him. Great job with yours! I love the fabrics together--patterned or not.



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