Almost perfect flanno

It seems that I now make Tom a flannel shirt for his birthday every year and this year is no exception. I wouldn’t normally blog yet another birthday flanno, except that I’ve been asked for photos of Tom’s dog Heidi (thanks Heather!), and these photos showcase the boy, his dog and the flanno pretty perfectly (look at those back legs, they’re hysterical!).


He celebrated his birthday with a visit to our bush block, and had been doing some serious digging so his trousers left a bit to be desired with the shirt, but this is the look he tends to go for, so that’s what you’re getting.


I went to a lot of trouble with the pattern matching. I had read a Threads Magazine article about straightening the grain. I can’t find the article, but found this video, which describes the same thing. So I pulled the fabric into submission and guess what? It worked!


I got pattern matching in every direction, including across the arms. See the pocket? Not too shabby.


I put the yoke on the bias so that I didn’t need to fuss with the pattern matching for that, but I’m off by 1/2cm on the collar. I couldn’t believe it! This is why I consider this make to be only “almost perfect” rather than “perfect”. Tom’s reaction? Care factor of zero apparently!


well matched across the front and Tom took the opportunity to do a bit of dog training whilst he put up with me taking photos. IMG_7714

Tom likes to roll his sleeves up and I usually make the sleeve plackets too short, so I extended them for this shirt and met with his approval. That tent in the background is my sewing tent by the way. IMG_7726

I used my TNT shirt pattern – Kwik Sew 3422. I do think about getting a more modern pattern but I’ve now got a copy of this one adjusted to fit each of my guys and they all seem to like it. The fabric is a beautiful cotton flannel and I may have bought it in Hong Kong. Or it simply materialised in the stash :). IMG_7718

Heidi clearly approves of the shirt – I love her smile!



26 thoughts on “Almost perfect flanno

  1. The shirt is terrific! That invisible pocket is a definite coup! Don’t you love that series of techniques for straightening grain? Learned that in first year highschool 1960 and yours is the first time I’ve ever seen it referenced. Comes in handy at times and you’ve made great use of your newly acquired skill.

    Loving Heidi’s sitting technique and it’s clear how much she loves her buddy.

    Thanks for the interesting story of the birthday shirt.

  2. Your pattern matching looks perfect to me. I love the look of the yoke on the bias in a plaid shirt too. You are a great mum sewing for your sons and it looks like they appreciate your efforts as well.

  3. You definitely need to change the title of this post, Sue. Delete the word *almost* right away! I mean the shirt, the guy and the dog, how could any of this get any better??

      1. No, it was quite amazing. This is the first shirt I’ve made where I haven’t had to work really hard on the pattern matching.

  4. Great work on the shirt – not almost at all. Aren’t we sewers hard on ourselves?
    Tom and Heidi look great together – and I had a pony who used to sit like that. He used to have passers by in fits of giggles once they got over the surprise😃

    1. Thanks Kim, I agree, I keep looking at RTW thinking that I would be ashamed if I’d produced that. And Tom and Heidi? yes, adorable.

  5. You are too hard on yourself, this shirt is more than any RTW version would look like, it is amazing and the pattern matching is perfect.

    It so good to see Tom and Heidi training together, she is a very pretty dog and looks very intelligent.

  6. The shirt looks just great! It’s fabulous that, unlike us women, you don’t need much more than one shirt pattern to keep a man happily stocked with you-made clothing. I’ve used my own mens’ shirt pattern literally dozens of times for my three guys 🙂

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