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Jun 25, 2013

What's Wrong With This Shirt? + When Other People Look Better In Your Clothes Than You Do



The vintage flea market cotton print shirt is done!

And it has a problem.  Can you tell what it is?



In case you can't or are too polite to say: the front button placket is roughly 1/2" too far to my right.

You may recall that I adapted V8889, which has a covered front button placket formed by folding multiple layers roughly as wide as the placket itself to form four layers of fabric: two for the placket and two for the top layer.







However, the pattern I worked from was Butterick 4712.  This has a placket that is formed by folding a facing under, then folding again and stitching a 1/4" tuck.  When opened flat, the front now has a placket with raw edges cut caught in the tuck.  Does that make sense?





But what that tuck does is shift the center front 1/2" to the left.  I didn't account for that shift when I added the additional facings from V8889.  As a result, the covered placket is too far to the right.  (This also means the collar/collar stand relationships are slightly off, though it's hard to see and easy to fudge.)







With Vogue 8889, since you're just folding over multiple times, there's no tuck and hence no shift.

The covered placket on the Vogue hits dead center -- especially obvious on fabric like this semi-sheer white cotton. 



I should have noticed this issue sooner but I didn't.  The problem was evident in photos of my work-in-progress but I missed it.  Argh.  

UPDATE: It has occurred to me that I should have just added the extending facings from V889 (that fold up to form the covered button placket) to the right front piece (turned upside down so that it becomes the left side piece, if that makes sense).



Here's the good -- well, better -- news.  Michael loves the shirt as-is and it looks great on him -- I don't know why since gray isn't one of his colors (he's an Autumn).  I guess it's his hair.

He thinks the off-centered thing looks intentional and finds the shirt vaguely kimono-like.



No gray in Michael's color chart!



So Michael gets the shirt and all is well.

I really do like the shirt. I love the print and the cotton is soft as silk.  But I don't think I could ever wear it without obsessing over that off-center button placket.  Forgive me.

Friends, in closing, two questions:

1) Could you have worn this off-center-placketed shirt in peace, knowing it was a mistake, or would you forever be pointing out its flaw whenever people complimented you on the shirt, provided they sometimes did?

2) How do you feel when other people -- perhaps family members, perhaps friends -- look noticeably better than you do in the clothes your sewn for yourself?  Does it frustrate you or, as in this case, does it actually come in handy when something you've sewn doesn't turn on quite right?

Have a great day everybody!

45 comments:

  1. I work with my body doppleganger. A few times I've made thing I didn't quite like and she's happy to take them off my hands. I can't say she looks better in them, but more that she is less critical of them than I. I'm just happy that someboby else can wear and enjoy them.

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  2. I would notice it and couldn't wear it ever. I would point it out to everyone who even glanced at me! I love it if someone else can wear what doesn't work for me.

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  3. Depends: If I liked it that much otherwise, I'd just wear it and ignore the placket and, no, I wouldn't point it out if other people commented on the shirt. Honesty is one thing, but too much self-deprecation gets old (to the listener). The first time I made an actual piece of clothing, I had no concept of seam allowance and I think I sewed everything at 1/4 inch. No joke. Needless to say, there were gaps and weirdness all over. I hand-tacked them closed and wore it anyway, because I liked the dress despite its considerable imperfections.

    As for other people looking better: More power to them. There are lots of things I wish I could wear that look better on everyone else, but there are things other people wish they could wear that look great on me. It all balances out.

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  4. Well I think it looks great on you and especially love it with the white linen pants! It does look good on Michael, too. It would bother me to wear it knowing my mistake, though, so I see you point.

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  5. In my early sewing days, I used to make mistakes and not care - I'd put effort into the sewing and was going to wear the item regardless. Now I've become a snob and also feel the need to point out imperfections.

    As for others looking better than me in things I've made - ugh, happens often with my sister - being bigger busted than me but otherwise the same size-wise, she fills out tops and jackets better. No matter how many small bust adjustments I do. It's very depressing. But I persevere!

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    1. I hear ya! I've got this brother, who's a bit beefier than me, and he could take a hand-me-down and it looked like it was made for him. Other family members didn't hesitate to point out how much better things looked on him, and that's with store bought items.

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  6. I really love the shirt and the mistake is much less obvious with the collar open. I would obsess over it, too. I finally made up some great fabric last week and totally screwed up the neckline. It's a very soft gauzy reversible cotton. I'm thinking of making a scarf and hiding the mistake. Is that cheating?

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  7. My sewing mistakes bother me so much that I won't even allow other people to wear my poorly made stuff.. severe case of OCD perfectionist here. So I'll learn from my mistake and then sew up another garment making sure there are no mistakes this time around. Having

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  8. ..Having said that I didn't notice your off center placket at first and if it makes you feel any better I don't think anyone will notice. It's just us sewists who care about stuff like that:) The shirt looks great on Michael and he looks very happy wearing it!

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  9. I couldn't wear it, although there is something to be said for sewing and moving onto the next thing.

    Your white shirt has drag lines emanating from the shoulder seams. There also are long diagonal lines on the right side starting about midway down the placket.

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  10. I can't see anything wrong with your shirt. It looks great. You even have the flowers lined up in front. Maybe Michael will loan it to you once in a while.

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  11. I'm really struggling to notice it even now you've pointed it out. The shirt looks great on both of you!

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  12. It would bother me, too, if I had sewn it and knew about the flaw. BUT I doubt I would have noticed it if you had not pointed it out. How lucky that it is a winner on Michael. I don't really have anyone to share my less-than-winners with.

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  13. I don't even notice the off-center placket, but I totally understand the feeling (I, too, cannot wear anything that is slightly off - fit or construction wise - even if no one else can tell). The shirt looks great on both you and Michael, so I'm glad it found a home (even within the same home ;)). So nice that you two can wear the same clothes, ha!

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  14. I think I could wear it, maybe. I didn't notice it until you pointed it out, but then it became all I could focus on. I think it would annoy me in my own shirt, but only because the buttons are such a focal point. I'm usually pretty forgiving of my own sewing. Not one thing I've made has been perfect, but that doesn't stop me from wearing my creations.
    I have not run into scenario #2 yet, but I think my reaction would depend on how attached I felt to the project. Something I planned for months, obsessed over, and worked long hours on to get the results I wanted- I'd be kind of miffed. Something I made on a whim, nah...

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  15. An Autumn can wear a warm gray. Can't quite tell from the pictures but that gray is probably warm considering how well it goes with the peach in the design. So Michael should have the shirt because it looks so good on him.

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  16. Michael deserves it since he puts up with all your sewing clutter.

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  17. Maybe it's time to get Michael's colors redone because grey looks great on him.

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  18. The shirt looks great. I didn't notice anything wrong with it but when I make even a small mistake it bothers me and even though I know that no one else will notice I imagine everyone looking at the mistake and thinking "I can't believe she went out in public like that."

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  19. Made my son a kimono for a stage performance....at the last minute he wanted a sash. Made out of leftover fabric in 10 min.......just when I thought I could do project runway!!!! Its a sash, how hard could it be!!! First problem was I didn't have time to pull out the ironing board. Should have pulled out the ironing board.

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  20. The shirt looks fabulous on Michael! I probably wouldn't have figured out it was off 1/2" but if I did know, and it was mine, it would probably drive me crazy and I wouldn't wear it. :-)

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  21. To tell you the truth, I think it fits Michael better anyway - especially under the arms. And it is gorgeous, whoever wears it.

    I make stained glass and I have learned over the years that while there is almost always something that I consider a glaring mistake in my work, usually nobody else EVER sees it, not even fellow stained glass artists. So privately I obsess over them, but I quit pointing the mistakes out to people and just accept the compliments. Much better policy, IMHO. ~Kelly

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  22. 1) I can wear anything that is reasonably comfortable, mistakes or not, if it's reasonably flattering as well. Otherwise, it goes directly into the rubbish heap.
    2) My daughter wears my things from time to time and I'm disheartened at how much better they look on her than on me. Then I feel obligated to offer the item to her, knowing that I'd always see my flaws when wearing it again. So I have to be more careful about what I let her borrow.

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  23. There are mistakes and then there are mistakes. Hard to quantify, but I know them when I see them. (Which SCOTUS member said that about pornography, anyway? I can't remember. But I digress....)

    Anyway, the shirt looks awesome on Michael, so it all worked out in the end!

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  24. I don't think Michael is an Autumn. His colouring is too cool and too pale. I reckon he's a warm summer or a cool spring. Maybe time to revisit the whole thing?

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  25. 1) I don't think I'd ever be able to wear something that I could see a glaring error in, but I'm a real perfectionist when it comes to that sort of thing. And I'd constantly be pointing out the flaws. Just the other day I was working on a dress for myself that I just don't like the final result of. It's not terrible, but I don't think it's flattering and I know it could look much better. I'm going to try to make a few adjustments to see if they help, but if not the fabric of the skirt portion will get turned into a skirt that I already know will look good.

    2) I never give my me-mades to others, only because I don't know anyone with my shape. If they don't work out for me, they become something else or end up in the UFO pile until I decide on another use for the fabric itself.

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  26. I really don't notice anything. It could have a hole in it and I wouldn't notice it. However, my friend notices wonky hems, crooked stitching, uneven collars, and the list goes on and on. I remember another friend wore a sweater than she knitted it was beautiful, the other friend noticed she must of used two different dye lots,because the color was a teenie tiny bit off. Who notices such things? I think the shirt looks great. But then I only sew crafty things. She even noticed that my stuffed mouse I was making had ears not sewn on exactly symmetrical.

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  27. What I noticed was that you took the trouble to match the pattern. I didn't notice the placket was off center until you pointed it out. I feel compelled to wear the items I make for myself even if they're not perfect (though if it is something fixable I will get out the seam ripper and undo and redo until I'm satisfied or I get sick of working on it, which ever comes first). If I were you I'd wear it and not say anything about the mistake and if anyone dares to call you on it, claim the asymmetrical closure is a design feature!

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  28. I noticed the flower perfectly lined up at the front placket, not that the placket was a half inch off.

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  29. I'm all about the fabric--and I luv, luv, luv that fabric--so I'd wear anything made out of it.

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    1. Meant to continue on and say that I don't usually point out construction errors unless I'm showing something to someone who also sews. The general (non-sewing) public has gotten so used to badly made garments that they'll never even notice.

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  30. Looks like Micheal's using the old Color me beautiful system. There's a much better one that has 12 "seasons" called Pretty Your World. I bet Micheal's a Cool Winter, which is why he looks good in that grey.

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    1. Well, I wouldn't bet on where he ends up, but consider: my aunt started out Autumn and has greyed and cooled a bit and now her best colors are in that border between Autumn and Summer (colors are warm and greyed). If he still is really interested in having his colors, it's probably time for a new consult.

      It's a great shirt, great fabric, and it found a happy home!

      cheers! Ame

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  31. Well, to be honest: I would at least have amended the collar shape in to some sort of 'Mandarin-/Nehru-Style' - even for Michael.
    Otherwise he's right: looks like ... - therefore: collar amendment.
    Sorry.
    How about to just kiss the bend-over ears of the current collar goodbye?
    I tend to do this at times, when Hubby has worn off the pointed ears anyway; that way we get a bit longer use of sometimes hard to get 100 % natural Material used in his shirts.

    Btw.: it's NOT that you wouldn't look great in the shirt - it's rather, that your unhappiness about the flaw is showing in your face because you seem uncomfy with it.
    Whereas Michael wears it with a convincing and winning smile; hence nobody might even notice due to being so smitten by his smile ! ;-)
    Means: most chaaaarming distraction in this world ! :-D
    Try one yourself, mate - I know, you've got quite some ! :-D

    LG, Gerlinde
    (thumbs up to 'dare-devil' tolerant Michael !)




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  32. I feel your pain, but have a solution. Find a pattern you like and master it until you are bored silly with it then master it some more. Why? True freedom in sewing if achieved through routine! Or as my wife always says "In sewing what is the spice of life? Routine!"

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  33. Jen has pretty much answered for me too.

    One of the reasons I decided to sew my own clothes was that I can't stand the flaws in RTW. I find these tend to relate to poor cutting resulting in crooked hems, twisted seams, mismatched patterns - rather than workmanship. I guess this is because the priority is to get the maximum number of garments out of the fabric.

    I'm not referring to cheap clothes either. I once paid $50 for a Donna Karan plain white T-shirt that was so badly cut the side seams twisted around my body (at the hem). I went back to store to find that they were all the same.

    Years ago I'd go to a department store and swoon over Chanel garment finishes and details - now they were beautifully made (not sure if that's still the case).

    You've written about RTW recently - would you consider doing a whole post on the quality of finishes?

    The shirt turned out great and really suits Michael. I agree with others that he may have undergone a seasonal shift (climate change?).

    Spud.

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    1. That's it! Michael is a victim of global warming!!!

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  34. I love the shirt, but it is too bad about the mistake. I am at the point where I will wear something even if its not just right, but things will probably change as my skills improve and I produce more finished projects.

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  35. It does look very nice on him. I thought the print quite japanese when you showed the fabric, so I agree with him on that.

    I'm pretty picky about construction, but I could have lived with that one. I don't sew for family, except the children. The mistakes in children's clothes are smaller, and therefore much easier to live with. And of course you don't have to wear the botch-ups yourself.

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  36. Hi Peter
    1. I could live with the off centre placket much more easily than say a directional print running in the wrong direction or the fabric off grain. Now you know what's going on with your modification to the draft you'll breeze through the next one. This shirt has turned out charmingly nevertheless and aren't asymmetrical lines on-trend anyway?
    2. You both look great in the shirt (one for sharing?) and I was right - it is a winner teamed with the white linen trousers.
    Keep up the great work we all love the blog
    G

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  37. I love your "Michael and his Color Chart" posts. Surely it's worth his own tag? If you (plural, or yous as we say here) do follow Readers Advice and get his colours redone, please share the experience with us.

    As for giving the shirt away, now you can sew something else without your wardrobe getting full. (Do people in NYC apartments have wardrobes? I mean closets?)

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  38. The fabric is drapey. Michael's shoulders are more sloped. The shoulder seam looks like it is maybe a 1/4" above his actual shoulder point, and the yoke curves more due to his sloping shoulders. The garment hangs differently on Michael, I think because of these small differences. Could that be what you are noticing? If it weren't for placket error, would you be happy with the way the shirt drapes on you?

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    1. Yes. It's the placket thing. Maybe the feeling will pass...

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