The Sherbet Over-Shirt

shirt pattern

I need some over-shirts to cover my fat ass and they need to have pockets so I can take the dog for a walk without having to bring a bag.  I get overheated easily and can’t wear sweaters or jackets for walking.  Searching for a pattern to work with was predictably (and ridiculously) hard.  I wanted set in sleeves and a loose fit and long enough to cover my ass but not fuddy duddy and golf-y looking.  Forget it!  As usual I realized I was going to have to make my own design.  I don’t have slopers for my size and it would just depress me to spend tons of time making them (plus, I lack an obese sized dress form – and I only know how to make slopers using dress forms).  I needed a pattern to alter.  This is the one I chose – I thought it matched most of my starting needs until I got it home and saw that the sleeves aren’t set in.  Drat!

started out as

It was on sale for $1.99 so I didn’t have to worry about cutting up the pattern.  I set about making it wider at the hems in both the front and the back because I am always larger on the bottom than the top (even when I was a regular-sized person).  I lengthened the sleeves a little because I wanted them long enough to roll the cuff up.  Forget about those side vents.  I also drafted pockets (3 tries and I still have to alter the ones you’ll see below) and did away with the collar.

pattern work

This shirt has already taken up quite a bit of dot paper and my re-draft will take even more.  I have to either order it online or beg some off of my friend Autumn who owns the corset company Dark Garden.  Dot paper is the perfect weight for drafting – it’s light enough to allow pleating and folding and then also using to cut fabric from but heavy enough that you can trace around it and it doesn’t tear easily.  The markings on it are  in a grid making it easy to line things up and use your ruler to good effect.  I want a whole roll of it but it weighs a ton so shipping is really expensive.

the sherbet shirt

So here it is!  It bears almost no resemblance to the original pattern.  I’m happy with the front, though I still need to make the hem a little wider.  This looks much better on my dress form because she’s several sizes smaller than me.

whale of a back

That pleat is there because of a pattern problem.  I do NOT like the contrasting back panel.  I’m also not a fan of my curve line there which is not flattering on me.  When I try this shirt on the front looks okay but in the back I look like a whale-backed Alfred Hitchcock shaped sherbet popsicle.  I’m already short-waisted so that curve should be the other way around – or the seam between top and bottom should be straight.

back and cuff detail

I am very pleased with the cuffs.  Though on the next version I think I will make the contrast piece much longer so I can fold up the cuff and still have some of the contrast be on the inside.  I’m not sure how to explain that.

pocket detail

I have rarely intentionally worked with directional patterns for design effects.  I was pleased with this even though my stripes don’t match up perfectly.

clean stitching

Pardon me – this picture is superfluous.  I only include it because I like looking at that clean stitching and how I managed to sew that facing in without this recalcitrant fabric puckering or bunching.

front and button detail

The buttons are vintage.  My button holes are a little shaggy.  My sewing machine (Pfaff 2046) doesn’t like doing button holes so I have to cajole and trick it.  In every other way than that my machine has met my expectations.

facing and button detail

That is my favorite detail.  I’m so pleased with the facing.  I love a stripy surprise!  I often find facings tedious to sew but this one I made myself and it came together so well and I actually enjoyed sewing this one.  It was tricky (as I mentioned above) working with the wrinkly gauze but I managed it.

So it’s back to the drafting table with this pattern.  I will do the next sample in a black with white pin dots and then I will buy some yardage for another couple of them.  I need about 3 of these guys for my wardrobe.

Also finished this week: 4 knit shirts with different hem stitches (I think I’ll post those too)

Still to make after the over-shirt project is done:

1 pair knit pyjama bottoms

1 knit pyjama top

2 pairs knit pants with no over-skirt

2 pairs knit pants WITH over-skirt

2 more knit tops (tunic length this time)

1 coat

That’s a big list.  But it’s necessary.  All my clothes are full of holes and looking embarrassingly shabby.  For me to concentrate on writing and gardening and exercising I need to not have to be depressed about my clothes.  It’s been a long time since Stitch and Boots had any stitches posted on it!

10 thoughts on “The Sherbet Over-Shirt

  1. Laura

    that looks excellently breezy and comfortable and your detailing is lovely too!

    this makes me want to get with my sewing machine!!! i have two dresses, some shirts, some underwear and bras and some bathing suits to sew for this summer!

  2. angelina Post author

    Laura – you have inspired me to sew clothes on so many occasions! Thank you for the compliments. I can’t wait to be done with work today so I can clear my space up and get working on fixing the problems and make a new sample. I’ll wear this one for gardening and cleaning but will avoid wearing it out.

    I hope when you get back to your sewing machine you will show and tell!

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  4. pam

    Wow I love it, even if it’s not the most flattering. And OMG those beautiful straight stitches. This is a huge pet peeve of mine, crappy topstitching. I’m a horrible topstitcher, and also just can’t press stuff well to get that nice finish. And I have a nice iron. OH well. don’t make many garments anymore but it does give me the garment itch. Nicely done!

  5. Kathy

    Angelina, you have done a lovely job with this piece. I’m so impressed with your ability to edit a pattern and actually have it become a garment you can feel good about wearing. My sewing skills are good but I often fail when I need to make adjustments for my disproportionate body. I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts on garment design.

  6. angelina Post author

    Thanks Kathy! I have a disproportionate body too. It means I can never just sew a pattern – it always needs substantial work.

  7. angelina Post author

    Thanks Pam! Crappy top-stitching can ruin a garment. It is often the difference between homemade and professional looking. And ironing is the other! I don’t believe you aren’t a good presser though – you have to be to make quilts as well as you do.

  8. Niko

    I love the color, the comfy, ethereal feel The cuffs are super cute, too.

    I’m surfing through your posts, so watch out! Commentsaurus! ROAR.

  9. angelina Post author

    I’m so happy you’re enjoying Stitch! It’s been a work of love for years. I don’t put so much on here these days but it’s still a happy place for me.

  10. angelina Post author

    Thanks! It was so much fun working on this one. The pockets ended up being annoying and catch on door knobs so I don’t wear this one much.

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