A flanno fest

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!D8DFECB1-4239-4E02-829D-18D7E132B09F

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.


14 thoughts on “A flanno fest

  1. Love ’em!!! All three tops are fantastic Sue!! And maybe you are a wee bit too hard on yourself about the matching on your top as all I saw were symmetrical patterns both front and back. And the hem tucks show that they are ‘there’ and not disappearing into your fabric. But I have to admit the first thing I noticed were your son’s awesome pajama pants!! German Shepherds?!!! Tucked into boots?! Oh he must have a marvelous sense of humor! 🙂

    1. Tom owns a GSD, the famous Heidi, so was thrilled with his pyjamas, but other son was actually shocked that he walked the streets in them. Thank you for the kind comments Lisa!

  2. You all look so warm and cosy in your flannos. They don’t look at all RTW because on RTW, there is no pattern/check matching. If my son Matt was given the same shorts and Flanno shirt, he too would wear them together. Tom isn’t an engineer by chance? Matt is as was his Dad and wearing co-ordinated clothing doesn’t seem to be a priority.

  3. Haha, love the pjs and uggs! Maybe you should make him some trackies to walk the streets in. It may be a little more socially acceptable. Flannel shirts are so cozy for the winter. Your pattern matching is on point.

  4. What a great trio. All are well made. You three all look so relax (hands in the pockets, at ease and smart. Tom in his ‘PJ’ looks so comfortable and pleased with himself. Enjoy how you three look although you’re not completely satisfied. Working with patterns like plaids are a challenge and often a nightmare to get them just the way you want them. Letting them run through is sometimes not possible. Working with yokes or other pattern pieces can be a solution but isn’t always possible. When I want to find the best solution I draw the pattern of the plaids on the pattern pieces to find the best match. It’s time consuming but sometimes you find a way you’ve not thought about.

  5. A fest indeed! 🙂 Those shirts look great and your top turned out fine, you’re just mad at it, but really it looks great 🙂 Well, no, you really can’t call them secret pyjamas 😀 they look fun though 🙂

  6. Good work x3! I can understand why you have enough of tartan for now! How nice to spot Mark’s iconic baseball cap and your red walking shoes still looking good after crossing Canada!

  7. Well done Sue! they all look fantastic although I have to say Tom’s german shepherd pyjamas really do steal the show 😉

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