Good grief, readers, I had no idea color blocking was going to be so hard.
Yesterday, I finally made my design decision: the two main color "blocks" of my shirt would be cut on the diagonal (front and back). Little did I know this was going to cause me problems in measuring (never my strong point), exacerbated by the fact that I was working with very limited amounts of fabric.
As you can see above, I was able to cut my fronts so that the diagonal lines meet in the center almost perfectly. Unfortunately, I forgot to consider that the left side would lap over the right side roughly one inch (I had decided I would not add a front placket to keep things simple -- hah).
Lapping left over right resulted in this -- ack!
What to do? I thought about adding a front placket on the left and an "under-placket" extension on the right. But that would have expanded the neckline considerably -- plus, to make a placket with a diagonal seam would cause its own headaches and I was running out of fabric.
Here's what I came up with: inspired by this vintage 1960 McCall's shirt pattern in my stash, I stitched the center seam closed from the bottom up to the middle -- basically the entire red section.
And lo and behold, I've made a caftan top!
I am still going to add a front center placket (constructed just like a sleeve placket), a collar stand and collar. I don't think a camp collar (a style that doesn't call for a collar stand) is going to look good with this style shirt. Please don't ask me why the sleeves are so long; I don't know. I haven't even added the cuffs yet.
I'll say this for my printed cotton fabric: its design is quite forgiving. There are a lot of crisscrossing seams (both in front and in back; you'll see the back later) but they've pressed flat quite neatly.
When kind MPB reader Becky showed me this photoshopped test shot she created, I assumed this was going to be a straightforward project. (Actually, my first thought when I saw this was, "Do I still have to make the shirt?")
Friends, I must get back to work. I intend to wear this shirt to the Pattern Review anniversary party at Elliott Berman (where I bought my fabric) on Wednesday (6:30 to 8:30 pm). If not this one, then the solid red one.
Readers, have you every experienced color block headaches? If so, what did you take for them?
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns. I also sew for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!