It’s been pretty hot here in Perth and I noticed that Mark was wearing cotton and linen shirts instead of his usual t-shirts and I wondered if it was because the knit fabric was hotter. I began to look for a woven t-shirt pattern and found the Merchant and Mills t-shirt pattern which looked quite nice, particularly the knit neck.
I had a thrifted, brand new, Sheridan cotton king size doona cover (with pillowcases) that I thought would be great to test the pattern with, so cut it out and made it up whilst he was out. I really love the stripes.
I sewed away busily and then began to wonder about the size of the head hole. In a triumph of hope over optimism I sewed on the knit neckband and then tested it with my own head. Now you have to keep in mind that our head sizes are polar opposites – I have a pin head and he has a massive head. It went over my head but without much of a margin. I thought I’d better stop sewing and wait for him to get home. His first try on looked like this:
Ok, we have a little problem. I unpicked the band, shaved off fabric and cut out another band. With pretty much the same result! Third time really was a charm, but probably because I hacked off fabric and now the neck is slightly too big. Sigh!
However, he loves this shirt! I struggled to get it away from him to launder.
In spite of my best efforts I didn’t get the sleeves to pattern match and I think it was because I didn’t realise how big the seam allowance is. The fit seems good though.
I also made him a pair of navy blue linen trousers to replace the ones he ruined with chlorine. I used Kwik Sew 4045, which is a pattern I love and have made many, many times for him.
The whole time I was making this shirt I was thinking about the USA. Don’t ask me why – these colours are as much on the Australian flag or the Union Jack as they are on the Stars and Stripes. Maybe my American friends were on my mind.
I thought about this when Mark joined me after our swim and said that a man in the change rooms asked him where he had got his American t-shirt! Apparently he was quite shocked when Mark proudly informed him that his wife had made it. I was a bit sad he didn’t mention the doona cover though!
I reworked the neck on the pattern and cut out a version in stretch linen which I bought at Knitwit. This is beautiful fabric – a bit heavier but a dream to sew.
I have to grab photos of him when I can, so here is one of him with an unattractive black bucket!
And without the bucket! I love the knit fabric I had in my stash for the neck band. I think I bought it in London a couple of trips ago. Doesn’t it go so well with the shirt and shorts? The shorts are from the same Kwik Sew pattern by the way and are also made from a stretch linen remnant, also from Knitwit.
I sewed a little label inside. It’s the same fabric stamped with a stamp I bought in the 1980s. I embroidered the initials of the nickname Mark gave me when we very first met, but were just friends (that phase lasted quite a long time). I haven’t finished sewing the neckband down in these photos as I wanted to be really sure it fitted, and then I couldn’t get the t-shirt off him to do that! I now have it safely ensconced in my sewing room ready to do it.
I also added a KTSM label. I was going to put it on the pocket, but Mark wanted it on the sleeve, which I duly did. Next time I’ll hand sew it I think, it was hard to keep it lined up with the coverstitching. The placement also means he can’t roll up the sleeves, but I’m not sure this is an issue for him.
A quick word about the pattern. I learned the hard way that M&M give you the finished measurements not the physical measurements, so I measured a few things of his and took a punt, which luckily is spot on. The pattern has proper armscyes, but the sleeves are sewn in flat. They do fit very nicely. I was thinking that I could make a long sleeve version for winter, but I’m not sure he needs that. Mark has found them both very comfortable. I thought he might like the little bit of give with the linen one, but he hasn’t actually commented. I shall definitely be making him another one of these when the need arises though!