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Apr 15, 2015

Working on a Chambray Shirt



I saw this shirt, from Levi's vintage line, on Pinterest recently and I really liked it.

Doing a little online research, I discovered it could be purchased here for about $170.  Since I have a lot of chambray and denim in my stash, I decided to see if I can come up with something similar.

I'm using this light blue chambray for the torso:



And this darker chambray for the contrast:



What's the difference between chambray and denim?  You can find out here.  I just learned myself!

The pattern I'm using is a recent eBay purchase, Simplicity 6955, from 1966 (View 2).  I made a few adjustments, mainly to the back, including a sloping shoulder adjustment and the addition of a Western-style, shaped yoke.





Here are some of the pieces cut and pinned to my body form (I only leave them pinned like that for a few hours tops, not overnight, to avoid stretching.).  Originally I was going to use a heavier denim for the contrast (visible in the pic below), but I realized it was too stiff and thick for a shirt.



I'm using this floral Liberty-type floral remnant for the inside collar, the inside cuffs, and the underside of the pocket flaps.



I did a stitching sample of topstitching and am opting for regular thread rather than thicker topstitching thread.  I'm mainly using my Singer 201 for this project.





I didn't get very far today, but I'm hoping to have a finished shirt by the end of the weekend.  Here's the front so far:



I realize I always feel more centered when I'm working on a sewing project; the cares of the world just fade away.  Can anyone relate?

Have a great day, everybody!

19 comments:

  1. Looks like a fun project, especially for the Singer 201. I love mine. But when looking at the picture of yours I'm left wondering... If you've mounted the bobbin up on your spool pin, then what the heck did you cram into the bobbin case? ;) - Looking forward to seeing the shirt progress!!

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    1. I nearly always feed my top thread from a bobbin; I buy big thread spools that don't fit on a machine. In the 201 is a Class 66 bobbin.

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    2. Do you use the same color thread for the top and lower?

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  2. I don't know about the cares of the world fading away. Lately, with me, it's more like I'm completely obsessed with what I'm doing and don't want to do anything else until it's done; I want to ignore the fact that I really should be doing something else. Also, I'm a really slow sewist (I'm on the fence about the word "sewist." I originally wrote that I was a "slow sewer," but that sounds like my drains are clogged)--anyway, I'm SLOW, so: obsession to the point of exclusion of all else until I'm done combined with slowness. Yikes.

    I think your shirt is going to look great.

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  3. I don't know that I'd say that my cares melt away from me, but they're definitely more manageable. Tonight, I made a black bamboo/cotton/spandex Grainline Studio sweatshirt. It soothed me.

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  4. I wish I had more time to sew - I spend all day immersed inteh sewing world at the shop, but I spend more time in Ms Excel than I do in front of my beloved Bernina 1120.

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  5. This gonna be a beautiful shirt. I've been listening to old "Being Here" podcasts while I work on my projects, both my sewing and the boat. Thanks so much for turning me onto it. I forget about all the things I need to be doing in the future, and just enjoy what I'm doing in the present moment. Even if it's struggling with my temperamental buttonholer!!

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  6. Peter, any chance you might share how you get those perfectly lovely points on the western yoke? Pleeeeease?

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  7. I really like your fabric choices!

    Maybe I'm so crazy right now because I haven't sewn in ages...

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  8. Yessss....The cares of the world disappear when I'm sewing!

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  9. What a great looking shirt. The modern vintage look is so hip these days among the "denim world". I love the whole look with the jeans (that you never wash) and the boots.

    Peter, just a suggestion, I feed my vintage 201 and 15-91's with large cones of thread on a thread stand. I have a felt spool holder and an used wooden thread spool sitting on the spool pin, and feed the thread that way instead of using a bobbin. It keeps the right tension on the thread since I do find putting a spool of thread on these machines always gets squirreled up and they never fit.

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  10. FREDDIE!!! He's somewhere between the Fred Mertz and the Betty Ruble of your foursome.

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  11. If your shirt is anything like the one in the first picture, I'm going to love it. Looks great so far, especially your edge stitching.

    I have a couple of shirt patterns in this Western style and have wondered if I'll ever use them. Now I know I eventually will.

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  12. Looks like a fun shirt in the making. Now hitch your thumbs in front belt loops and start two steppin. Can't wait to see shirt finished. I lose track of time sewing. I look at every stitch especially on the Singers. They are so lovely

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  13. This looks like it's going to be awesome! I love how creative you are with shirts!

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  14. Sewing is my meditation, depending on the complexity of the project. Most of my t-shirts are meditative, but I have a raincoat ready to cut, that will be more of a challenge. Putting welt pockets in coated fabric!!
    I love the contrast in your shirt. Looks like something you'll wear and wear!

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  15. The dark also has a twill weave, so it;s likely denim. Btw, I also do that top-mounted spool thing. Loads of them lined up ready to go.

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  16. Oh woe is me. When I was young, I was often frustrated by how out of touch my older customers were when it came to the price of objects and services. Now here I am, thinking, *&#%!*#{%} 170 dollars for a Levi's shirt. I am one of THEM now.

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