(Or, as I like to call it, A Comedy of Errors)
I don’t know why I decided my first garment sewing project should be a men’s shirt. The pattern I landed on, after browsing at JoAnn’s, was the Simplicity Pattern 8427 Mimi G.
Mimi G is an awesome DIY blogger who partnered with Simplicity to create a series of patterns with online sew-alongs. I checked out the sew-along video for a minute before I bought it. Ot seemed approachable and accessible for a complete novice like myself, so I took the plunge and ran it to the register.
I must have thought — welp, if there’s a video tutorial for it, I can do anything I set my mind to!
But as usual, self-doubt got the best of me after a weekend-long, backbreaking frenzy of tracing and cutting pattern pieces out of parchment paper.
I stared at the bags of muslin and quilting cotton I’d so ambitiously purchased for this project.
And then a year went by.
I finally picked everything up again last weekend. Our roommate had moved out, so instead of being limited to a small corner of the living room I could sprawl out in our spare room/VHS library. (How retro-cool does that sound, by the way?)
Goal: Sew the muslin for ultra-precise fitting
My boyfriend’s measurements were all over the place on the sizing chart, so I had chosen the largest measurement and decided to choose the size based on that measurement.
After asking online, I had learned that many sewists make a test garment out of muslin, adjust it to fit, and then transfer the alterations back to the pattern pieces.
Apparently, I’d already cut a few muslin pieces out and started baste-stitching them. The pocket was sewn to one of the shirt pieces.
I continued with the instructions to do the back pleat. After finishing the next few steps, I started second-guessing whether or not I sewed the piece with the back pleat to the yoke facing the wrong direction.
The next mistake made, when sewing the yokes to the back pieces, is that I stitched my shirt pieces together after lining up the edges (rather than lining up the notches). Rookie mistake.
After a couple hours, I’m second-guessing everything I’ve done and needing a quick win, a hit of dopamine, anything to get on to the actual making of the garment.
So after loosely draping the front and back pieces over my boyfriend’s body and deciding, ‘Hrm…that looks shirt-like and fitted-ish,’ I make the rash decision to skip the muslin altogether and just make the damn shirt.
I.e. Fuck it we’ll do it live!