You may or may not know that every year I make my eldest son, Tom, a flanno (flannel shirt) for his birthday. This year was no exception, except I also made one for Mark, one for me (coming soon), and also another Waffle Patterns Malaga from flannel for me.
Tom’s and Mark’s are made with the usual Kwik Sew 3422 with individual modifications to suit their preferences. I am pretty pleased with my pattern matching, but had read an article in a magazine which outlined the ten ways that determine whether a shirt is well made. I can’t remember all ten, but I’ve got the important ones down pat. One was the use of pearl buttons – er, not on a flanno unless you want to get laughed off the farm! Others were pattern matching – tick, fit – tick, and interestingly, the use of single needle sewing for all seams and the use of French seams. I decided that single needle sewing meant no overlocker, so that was ok, but I’ve always flat felled my seams, so this time I used French seams and it was fine, except when I forgot and did right sides together and had to unpick!
It’s almost a case of spot the seam above!
I prevailed upon Mark to let me take his photograph
and he is like the rest of us – constantly got his hands in his pockets!
Please note that with all the shirts I put all the small elements on the bias to avoid pattern matching. It still caused me angst though because each piece needs to be balanced.
My Malaga caused me the most problems – raglan sleeves and an unbalanced tartan are not a marriage made in heaven. I did a goodish job on the front, although those hem tucks caused me problems. Because they are on a slant there is no way to make the checks line up. I let the issue go and embraced my staggered lines!
The back, however, is where I had the most trouble. My centre seam is fine, but those shoulders! I am making like a child; it’s behind me, I can’t see it, and therefore I have forgotten the problem!!
I am still not happy with the hem tucks at the back. I used the facing again, and once again had to unpick it and use self-made bias binding, but the back still kicks out a little bit. I am not sure if I’m tucking in the wrong direction (that’s just occurred to me), but I will be making this pattern again and I am going to conquer that back section!
Mark is wearing some 100% wool trousers in a couple of these shots. I used Kwik Sew 4045 and fully lined the trousers with gorgeous black silk. They are especially warm and he wears them a lot in the cold weather. Luckily they launder really well, but I press in a crease and it just seems to fall out again.
Tom is, er, wearing birthday pyjamas featuring German Shepherd dogs and he actually wore them in the street when he walked over to our house! The boy is different; they can’t even be classified as secret pyjamas, although the fabric is also flannel and therefore kinda matches his shirt. Hmmm.