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laura and carl – part 2

McCall’s Men’s T-shirt 

Following on from Part 1 of our blog spot for July we are continuing with Part 2. 

During some discussions about our make, Caroline and Fliss were delighted when we were happy to make a men’s garment in addition to our Katy Pinafore. We were excited to get started and look for a pattern for Carl. In case you missed Part 1 let us introduce ourselves. We are Carl & Laura, from Sew Got This, a husband and wife sewing team from Aberdeen. 

We firstly decided to make something that Carl wears a lot of which is a t-shirt. Usually teamed up with jeans or shorts for summer months, so an all-round winner. We were limited to locate a paper pattern for men’s t-shirts, however found the McCall’s M6973 pattern, which includes options for making a vest, shorts and a t-shirt with a pocket, making it handy for future makes. The pattern is labelled as easy and goes up to an XXXL with a finished garment measurement for the chest line of 59.5”.

There were a few firsts for us using this pattern such as the fitted neck band (collar), iron on interfacing and front button placket. We have completed button holes before in practice, making this the first garment we have officially used buttons and made button holes. 

The instructions provided are labelled step by step as per the garment you are making. It’s not the most detailed instructions we have come across and some stages needed a quick Google to double check correct construction method.  

Fabric wise we wanted to use a cotton jersey which will have that stretch when wearing making it comfortable. Caroline and Fliss messaged us when a stock of their cotton jersey fabric was received and they had the most fabulous array of colours to choose from. We picked the khaki version, which is 96% cotton and 4% spandex. Once received in person the fabric was a perfect shade of khaki and the matching thread was a great addition and worth checking out this option on their website. 

The pattern was cut using tracing paper for the XL size to fit a 51.5” chest line. We decided to make version C – which was minus the pocket. After the fabric was laundered we used the pattern to cut out the fabric and the interfacing. The interfacing was something we had in our stash from a previous order from Felicity Fabrics. It’s so good to have!   

Firstly the instructions listed to iron on the interfacing onto both placket fabric pieces and on one piece of the neck band fabric. Next we were onto the placket. This part was something we had to watch on You Tube as we have never inserted a placket before. This part was pretty straightforward making sure the placket lined up at the front correctly. 

The only part of this make we found quite tricky was the insertion of the neck band/collar. We placed the collar on twice and both times had to be unpicked and completed again. Some of our sewing community friends helped with recommendations – such as steaming the collar to lay completely flat and to sew on by not pulling the material. After this advice was applied the third time was lucky and the collar was sewn on. However, this didn’t come without some ‘pinch’ points which we tried to fix as much as we could. We did learn a lot about collars and will use the experience for our next make. 

Moving on to the next steps of the instructions was attaching of the sleeves, after we hemmed the raw edges, and pinned into place. At this point Carl tried on the t-shirt for fit and sleeve fit. The sleeves were sewn on and we decided to carry on sewing down the side of the t-shirt, therefore attaching the whole t-shirt together in one sew – this is something we learned while making the Tilly and the Buttons Coco top. The t-shirt was really taking shape and looking pretty good. 

Carl tried on again – it fit really well. We took this time to look at the length and found the t-shirt was quite long in the torso and we needed to take 3 inches off. So this part was measured and pinned, followed by hemming and the seams were tidied up. 

The final step was button holes and buttons! Always a slightly apprehensive part of a make. We did a few practices on some offcuts and felt ready to tackle the last step. We measured three buttonhole placements using some chalk and got started. This part went well – although it was handy to have Carl besides me to change the settings in-between! 

We had three beautifully matching buttons in our button drawer which were hand sewn onto the t-shirt. The buttonholes were opened using a seam ripper and some pins located at the top to prevent us from going too far and ripping the t-shirt.

Carl tried on this t-shirt and it was completed! He loved his t-shirt so much he wore it to a family picnic. It was a warm day and the fabric was just wonderful for comfort and movement. We are looking forward to making another make for Carl using the same fabric, but with a different pattern this time. We have seen quite a few we would love to try, the Turlough Shirt from @sewmarkfrancis 

We gave Victoria @little.rosy.cheeks a message to see if she had any labels suitable for this make and to our surprise, she had a batch at the printers called ‘Men Sew Too’.

We were delighted to receive a selection of her new labels free in the post to use for our blog and quickly added the Manmade label to Carl’s t-shirt.

Can we just say the label matched perfectly, while the quality is wonderful. Looking forward to using the other labels soon.  

Thank you so much Caroline and Fliss for allowing us to blog about our hobby and the making of our his and hers makes. It’s been so much fun and you both are a dream to work with.

Laura and Carl Sew_Got_This