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Dec 11, 2012

The Shirt is Done!



Hallelujah, friends, my color block shirt is finished!  Well, almost.  I still have to hem the bottom and add buttons and buttonholes, but it will only have three of each, plus the cuffs of course.  And a bit of pressing.  But I couldn't wait to share it with you.

As you already know, I have been consumed by this shirt -- pretty remarkable when you consider the size of the shirt relative to the size of me.   I've come close to ruining this garment at least three times, and somehow each time I managed to save it.  I guess it was meant to be.



It won't surprise you to know that, now that I've managed to squeeze an entire second shirt out of my $35 worth of fabric (two-and-a-half yards@ $14 per), my purchase no longer seems like such an extravagance.

I don't think I've ever had so little fabric left over from a project: just tiny scraps cut up into even tinier pieces.  The inside yoke is actually black cotton I had in my stash.



I know a few of you were hoping I'd stick with the caftan idea, but I'm not really the caftan type; I wanted a shirt I'd really wear.   Do you like the contrasting cuffs?

The back diagonal was supposed to run in the other direction but whatever.

I tossed and turned last night trying to decide what kind of collar I wanted, and I ended up doing a standard collar and collar stand (as opposed to a camp collar like you'd find on a vintage bowling shirt).  The neckline was already a bit low on my neck (hence the caftan look), and I thought a camp collar, which lays relatively flat, would make the neck of the shirt look too big.  As you can see, the inside collar stand and the underside of the button placket are done in the contrasting red.





I could have made the outside placket red too, but I didn't want to overdo the color blocking.  I like it fine as-is, though the placket doesn't pop.

If you're going to the Pattern Review party tomorrow at Elliott Berman, I'll be the one wearing this shirt -- just pick that guy out.



Two quick questions:

1) Red buttons or standard white -- or other?

2) Should I reinforce the diagonal seams with "Snug Hug" or twill tape, or is the fact that they're stitched to each other enough?  (Plus, the seams aren't at stress points.)

Thanks for your encouragement through this project and have a great day, everybody!

28 comments:

  1. This is one of the best renditions of colorblocking I've seen. Way to go, Peter!

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  2. Love the final product - I'm so glad that you were able to fix the challenges you ran into. You colorblocking is infinitely better the examples you came up with. I think your assessment of the collar was spot-on.

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  3. the white buttons would blend in with the polka dots, red would stand out on the black, but blend into the red. Going with the color blocking theme, red buttons on the black and black buttons on the red?

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  4. Hooray, success!! The contrasting cuffs are smashing. I agree with the above comments - your color-blocking rocks and looks way better than the RTW examples.

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  5. That is a great color block! Really cool, I didn't think a color blocked button down could look nearly so good.

    As far as the buttons, does the shirt look very black in normal light? In the pictures, from a distance it almost looks like a navy blue, perhaps due to the small white polka-dots on the black.

    Based on that, if you used white buttons of any size larger than the polka dots, could it perhaps look like an American flag? The very small white dots don't read that way, but might buttons?

    It could just be my monitor displaying the black in a strange way, but that's what came to mind when thinking of white buttons on the shirt.

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  6. HoW would you apply the Snug Hug? I'm intrigued by this stuff that's being getting a lot of ink lately. I wish it were a bit wider. it's a lttle bit hard to cope aage with my fat fingers.

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  7. I vote for white buttons! Love the shirt. I gotta say, you totally changed my mind about the color blocking.

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  8. FABULOUS! I think it turned out great and well done without being overdone!

    Happy holidays to you, Michael and of course, the puppies!

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  9. I like this more than I thought I would, but I wouldn't have put the collar on. I would have just used the stand, making it look like the shirts we called 'grandfather shirts' in Australia in the 70's. They were the height of fashion for my generation in the 70's. I guess it was that hippy-boho-chic look long before it had a name. I'm tending towards black buttons.

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  10. Your version is so much better than any of the examples you posted. Wish I was going to that party!

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  11. Love, love, love the shirt. I vote for snaps!

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  12. Love, love the shirt but am not crazy about the cuffs. It tends to draw my eyes to them and i'm seeing them instead of the whole shirt. But love the diagonal, either way it goes.

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  13. Barb aka WoodencanoeDecember 12, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Opposite colour buttons on the front and cuff plackets. They're not so large as to be too distracting but will fit in with the theme. Enjoy the party in your outstanding new shirt. I wasn't convinced about colour blocking either until I saw your finished product. Well done.
    Have fun over the holidays with Micheal and your fur kids.

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  14. White buttons. The shirt has enough going on, so I vote for plain buttonage.

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  15. That is one very cool shirt! Wear it. A lot!

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  16. Keep the buttons discreet to avoid a clownish look. As the colour block is on a diagonal I would at least stitch it twice to act as a stay.Even without stress that bias has a lot of give. The shirt looks great,wish I was going to the party

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  17. I love it! And I was one of the nay-sayers when you posted about patchwork and colour blocking.

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  18. Ok, I was against the color block thing, but this turned out really well. What I am really impressed with is your ability to combine design elements, customize them, and make it all work. You are an inspiration to us all.

    standard shirt buttons. Let your shirt be the star.

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  19. I had to be quiet after everyone pooed the color block idea as I actually liked one of the vintage patterns and thought it would be great done in more up to date fabric choices. I am glad you pushed on and made this. Designers have to ignore doubters and proceed without caution. Nice work and I love the collar style you used.

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  20. Well done!
    And you have a fun blog, i'll be back.
    x

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  21. This turned out so great that you don't need to ask anybody's opinion about how to finish this. You decide! Peter, this is the most elegant color block I have ever seen.

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  22. Outstanding execution of color blocking, and a triumph in limited fabric waste!

    I vote for black-on-black and red-on-red for the buttons. The larger aspects of the shirt are the star (aside from the man wearing it).

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  23. That colour blocking turned out beautifully! As far as the buttons go, I tend to think black.

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  24. This is way cool! Great job, dude!

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