Friday, July 12, 2013

Western Africa Shirt?! Finished!! Simplicity 6693

I doubt I'm the first person to think of this, but I am so pleased anyway...a Western shirt for the Roommate, made with West African fabric!  *smirk* 

So you saw some previews in the last post, but here's the whole chimichanga!  With the supermodel showing how it's done...

I took lots of pictures for 2 reasons: 1) I'm extremely proud of it and 2) because I wasn't the one having my picture taken!  I do not love being on the other side of the camera.  

This first picture shows the Roommate wearing a BIG smile (it may not look like it to you, but believe me, after 30+ years, I can tell when he's happy--even if you can't!).  I think he likes it.

It was actually fairly easy.  I have really always thought that making men's clothing would be the hardest thing possible, but after 4 pairs of underpants and 2 shirts, I'm feeling less intimidated.  So much so that I'm going to repair some of his Mohammed-made suits which are mostly in good shape, but the lining needs some repair and the buttons need replacing.  I won't be making any ties or suits anytime soon, though.  

I'm starting to realize that perhaps it's the fabric & fitting that makes things difficult, and if you work with cotton and sew for men (who don't need so much fitting), it's not that difficult after all!  

The second photo, on the left, shows the medallion, which appeared by accident in the fabric we bought in Cote d'Ivoire.  I think it looks great & is a super substitute for the embroidery recommended on the original 1974 pattern.  

I was thinking about a Western (African) shirt after seeing Cracker & Camper van Beethoven a few months ago at the State Theatre...then I figured out where to get the pattern from Zoe's post about the shirt she made for her husband.  

I really love how the big print & the little print work together, too.  

Some of the stuff I learned while making this pattern...

First, the collar band.  I was so confused at first I tried to just sew the collar on, the way I do with my clothes.  But then I went and looked at some of the Mohammed-made shirts the Roommate has & figured it out quickly. So I took it off & did it again.  (I was glad to see even Tasia has do-overs!)

You can see the collar band up close in the 2 photos below:

And second, how to put on pearlized snaps.  Which you don't need a special tool for; the instructions on the back of the Dritz snaps are very good. And very good for working out your frustrations! 

The photo above shows the button placket detail, with the snaps, and also with my extra attention to detail.  I have mentioned before how often in West Africa we noticed they use the fabric right up to the selvage.  Why not? It saves hemming & you get a bit more additional fabric.  

The fabric I used had great selvages on both the large & the small prints. You can see how I incorporated it into the placket, which I think looks pretty darn cool! That same selvage also worked to line the edge of the slash for the cuffs.  You can see that in the detail to the right.
Pocket with snap!

The pocket was another area where I used the selvage.  Here's the London Wax Prints & the RB mark which show on the pocket upside down.  But that way the Roommate can read it!  I did not put the snaps on the pockets...couldn't quite decide if it needed them; I may still do that.  

A few more pics below and I'll stop.  I hope this inspires you to try something (somethings) new, too!

And I think the appropriate music for this particular episode?  Euro-Trash Girl by Cracker!

Someone is on summer vacation & hasn't been
near the razor much!

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