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Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Henry Shirt

The Henry Shirt

I'm posting today about The Henry Shirt, but be advised, he's not quite wearable.  He's done.  He just needs a bit more tweaking, but since I've been messing around with this pattern all month, I thought I'd be best to give him a rest before I try to tackle the issues.  I cringe to even post this, but as the Sew Along coordinator, it is important for me to "keep it real", right?


Let's start with the positive.  I love the fabrics.  I love the little details of the shirt.  The collar and paneling are darling.  I went the extra step and added double top-stitching along the pockets and collar.  Since I was making this for my 6 year old, I'm not worried about the shallow pockets.  I'm confident he can understand they are a decorative element of the shirt and not meant to hold large objects.  

The Henry Shirt

I love the pearl snaps.  I did not plan on alternating the colors but one must improvise when she cracks a few along the way.  Note to self:  buy pearl snaps in bulk so you always have enough of the color you want to use.  


And I love the box pleat.  To me, it makes it truly feel like a real, big boy shirt.


Okay, honesty time.  This is an advanced pattern.  And while I don't consider myself an advanced sewer, I was confident I could take it slow and get it right.  And the problem was not the pattern.  I clearly needed a bit more in the visual department.  I thought the sew along with Bilingual Baby and Thar She Sews would cover the missing links but even their pictures could not help me.  I might need a sewing tutor.  And I know that I really should be proud of myself considering the facts.  1.  I've never in my life sewn a yoke.  Certainly not a raglan yoke.  2.  I've never sewn a collar.

That darn yoke, which you can see from the picture above, is STILL.  NOT.  CORRECT.  The problem is mainly the outer yoke, so maybe, just maybe, I traced the pattern incorrectly?

And some of you may be thinking, Stacey, it's not that big of a deal.  Just retrace the pattern piece and do that part over again.  A little seam ripping never hurt anyone!  But what you don't yet realize, is that I've actually sewn this shirt TWICE.  Because, yes, I'm that stupid.  The first time I sewed the front and side panels in the wrong order.  And not realizing this, I continued sewing and didn't realize what I'd done until the yoke was not lining up correctly.  And still it took me looking through Flickr pictures to see what is was that I'd done.  Enter the seam ripper.  For.  The.  Entire.  Shirt.  Hence my frustration.

So.  He's done.  But not done because if I want the kid to actually wear this shirt made of beautiful fabrics, I've got to figure out what I've done.  And that will have to wait, because I just can't stand the thought of ripping out those seams.  Again.

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16 comments:

  1. Confession - I haven't looked at the pattern yet. However, looking at what's going on in the front, I wonder if letting out the seam allowance on the yoke but not the shirt front would help?

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  2. Oh dude, I so totally understand this. I have a shirt I've been trying to make for my mom - I've now made it three times and it's *still* not right GAH.

    I LOVE your fabrics and colours here - they are just perfect.

    I also spent some quality time with my seam ripper the other day...sigh. You know when you are looking at your project and thinking "Well...it's late....and I'm tired....and I should probably stop so I don't make any silly mistakes HAHAHA....but I'll just sew ONE more seam." Yes. Bad planning.

    good luck in finishing this - it's really an adorable shirt!

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  3. Thanks for keeping it real! I am so in love with your fabrics. they are so vibrant and fun!! it really sucks that it isn't working out. i think taking a step back is a good thing. i do that with projects that are frustrating too. it really does look soo cute and if i knew anyway to help you, i would. i can only imagine how annoyed you are at this shirt. I really hope you go back to it and finish it soon, it is just too cute to not get worn! good luck!!!

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  4. I love your fabric choices! So bright and boyish and your double stitching detail looks great!

    Don't feel too bad. This pattern was hard! I've never sewn a yoke or collar either and had to read the instructions 20x at least and the book was sitting next to my machine as I sewed for reference.

    I have a quilt that I started over 2 years ago and just could not get it to go together right even after repeatedly picking the pieces apart, so there everything has sat and my nieces and nephews didn't get quilts from me like they were supposed to because I got so annoyed I couldn't figure out how to make the quilt I was determined to make. I think maybe I *just* figured out what is wrong and I'm planning to give the design another try in the next week with some other fabrics. So I'll eventually get back to it! Sometimes we just need to set things aside and look at them with new information and fresh eyes. Hopefully your project doesn't take you two years to get back to like mine!

    As for the shirt one thing I'm noticing is that it looks like maybe your inside lining yoke is pulling more than the outside. Did you use the same seam allowance on your inside and outside yoke when hemming and forming the sleeve? If you're not sure they are exactly the same, I would start with taking those sleeve hemming seams out and see if that smooths things out. Then you can also see if the sleeve seams are the same. It especially looks like the right hand sleeve is pulling more so I would look there first. You may not need to pick the entire shirt apart. :)

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    1. I'll have to give it ago that way first, Rebecca. Thanks for the advice. I think the issue on the sleeve though is due to the gathering issue toward the snaps. The outer yoke seemed to be bigger than it should (which should have clued me in to stop and re-work it).

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    2. I agree, it looks like the outer yoke is larger so the inner yoke is pulling and causing the gathering at the snaps. I could be totally off, but it looks to me like it's all pulling from that sleeve hemming in the pics. I just know I wouldn't want to restitch that whole yoke edge- it was a bear to get on neatly and yours is laying so nice. Picking out the sleeve hems would be an easier place to start, and would need to be done anyway. Good luck!

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  5. You have a lot more patience than me--I'da just chucked it if I had to rip the entire thing. I'm glad you didn't because your fabrics are darling! I got completely stuck and had to email the authors for help--which Karen was so kind to do!

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    1. Karen and Shelly have been so kind on helping us through our issues. The problem here is I just don't know what is going on, so I don't know which questions to ask. Since the inner yoke seemed to be fine, I'm really leaning toward a pattern tracing issue rather than a mis-sew.

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  6. So sorry you're having trouble and I can fully sympathize. I wouldn't want to give up on such great fabric either. This was definitely a challenging pattern. I'm not an advanced sewer by any means and sewing that yoke is intense!

    If it makes you feel any better I was so excited about my fish-themed Henry shirt (I don't know if you look at all the links or not but pics here: http://annanicsblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/henry-shirt.html) and my 3 year old WILL. NOT. wear it. You can see him crying in the pictures: he does that every time I try and put the shirt on him and continues until it gets taken off. Even ripping all the seams out and starting over won't help with that =( At least when you get yours finished it'll actually get worn.

    Good luck! And remember you've still got a couple of days.

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    1. Oh, no. I did she your adorable fish shirt and that truly is the worst when you've worked so hard on something and they just refuse to wear it. S feels the same way about his Easy Linen shirt which I love. Luckily for me, the little one might wear it next year. Oh, I do hope he changes his mind.

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    2. Oh no :( It's such a nice shirt...
      I have started asking my almost 3-year old what kind of fabrics he would like (and when he sees new fabric coming in and likes one of them he claims it right away "Mum, this is mine, can you make trousers?").
      He usually wears whatever I make for him, just "Mum made it for you" is a sufficiently strong argument. Guess I'm lucky there. But he really loves the clothes where he picked the fabric!

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  7. Well, let's just look at the positive points: I love the fabric combination! Really love it! And when I saw your shirt in the Flickr group I didn't even noticed there was something wrong with it! Put it aside a give it another try next Spring ;)

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  8. Great fabric combination!
    I found out that faults usually are less visible when you put the clothes on... is it still noticable then?
    You got a lot further than me - I didn't even get started... too many other things going on :(

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  9. Those fabrics really are to die for! I am not familiar enough with this pattern to see exactly what's off here, but I would just put it aside for a week or so, and get some "distance" on it. Once the frustration wears off, you may find that you don't mind ripping some of the seams apart while watching television or whatever. I have DEFINITELY been there. In fact, to my shame, I tried to sew a ring sling for my baby on the way, and it is a HOT FREAKING MESS. It's basically a long rectangle! How could I screw that up??! Don't ask, it looks like utter crap. It's sitting in a corner right now waiting for me to get some "distance." Ahem.

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  10. I love the fabrics you chose. I bet your son thinks it's amazing. I have read through the pattern a few times now but haven't got the courage to try it yet. The snaps make me nervous too. I feel your pain with the seam ripping, I make a mistake on pretty much every item I sew. You will have learned so much by making this.

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  11. Question: when you pinned the yoke up, did the sides match up properly? It looks like your center is correct (seam matches the pleat), but depending on how you pinned it that could be misleading.

    If the pattern pieces matched up properly, it seems unlikely that you cut anything the wrong size. It might be that you just need more practice sewing curves? Sewing the "ease" on this yoke was something I could see being very frustrating for someone who's not used to curves. Not that I am especially advanced, but I guess I've done it enough times to be a little more comfortable.

    For the Henry shirt I did, I pinned the whole yoke, and it was a bit ago so I can't remember if I undid any of it while sewing, but frequently with opposing curves I manually match up the ease as I'm going along. I was being very fussy with my Henry shirt though so I pinned the bananas out of it.

    I mostly didn't have trouble with the pattern, but I am not especially happy with my collar. Part of that, I think, is actually the pattern itself - the shirt is incredibly wide (this is noted by the authors) (I actually wish I'd done a size down), and so the neckhole winds up being kind of enormous. But when my son is wearing it it looks fine - it's mostly when it's hanging up that I notice the yawning chasm of neckhole.

    Of course the larger part of my issue there is probably the fact that I'd never done a collar exactly like it before.

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