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 self-taught sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mainly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!