So three years ago I made this Western-style shirt. I used a vintage Seventies McCall's pattern and fabric I found locally for $2/yd. which turned out to be Pendleton wool. I was so proud of the result. I mean, I'd only been sewing for four months.
But guess what. I never wore it -- OK, maybe once. For one thing, I found my use of plaid -- those bias cut pockets and button placket in particular -- overwhelming to my smallish frame. I used a cheap interfacing on the collar and cuffs that was too stiff. There were also construction problems, (admittedly invisible to most, given the busy-ness of the plaid) that I wasn't proud of. This collar stand, for instance:
The topstitching on this cuff:
I also found the collar too wide and the shirt too long to wear comfortably outside my pants.
For three years this shirt has failed to earn its keep in my closet.
That ended today when -- inspired by last week's successful shirt tweaking -- I decided to take this shirt apart and rework it. Fortunately, I saved some of the leftover fabric, so I can make an entirely new collar stand, collar, and cuffs. I've removed those busy pockets and Western yokes and I'm even considering re-doing that bias placket.
If I have learned anything since I began sewing, it's that just because I can sew something doesn't mean I should (Western shirts, I'm looking at you!). With more than three years of sewing garments under my belt, I have a much better idea of what I will wear and what I won't. Busy, bold plaids are not my thing, no matter what the price of the fabric.
I'm not entirely sure it wouldn't be easier to start from scratch,
but I don't have enough uncut fabric. At the very least this should be an
interesting experiment and I'm hoping I like the result enough to wear regularly.
In closing, readers, have you ever completely re-made something years after you completed it? (We're not talking UFOs here.)
Did your tastes change, your size change, or did you simply want to see something with potential get another chance?
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, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!