Friday, October 28, 2011

Day one: Henry Shirt Sew Along!

Welcome to the Henry Shirt Sew Along! Through the next week, Leila from the blog Bilingual Baby and I will be slowly but surely sewing together the cute Henry Shirt from the new book Sewing for Boys. We've split the work up into very manageable segments, so you should be able to sew along with us if you have an hour to spare each night. (Or for advanced sewers, probably far less!)

Are you ready to get started?

Today we're just going to talk about the patten and our fabric choices. Tomorrow, we'll cut the fabric. So you want to get it ready today -- meaning, prewashed and ironed.

Leila and I are both making the size 2/3 shirt, which calls for about a yard of fabric in two contrasting colors or patterns. The book says it recommends a variety of fabric, including quilting cotton.

Here's what I've decided to work with:

What's that? Oh yes, you're right. These are actually three fabrics! Well, let me explain. The first fabric I decided to work with was this baby-blue robot print organic cotton from Robert Kaufman. (Full name is Caleb Gray Robot Factory Mini Robots Blue.) I ordered it from Pink Chalk Fabrics.

Aren't the little robots cute? It's a really nice soft cotton.

Finding a coordinating fabric became an issue though. I had nothing in my stash that worked, and a trip to the local quilt shop, usually overflowing with stuff I want to buy, was totally fruitless. The blue is a hard blue to match. But then, I remembered this Joel Dewberry plaid I used in Luke's sun hat! 

Same blue! I paired them together, and really loved it. The robot print reads almost like a solid from far away, so I don't think it will be "too much."

The only issue was that I had only maybe half a yard of the plaid left. Maybe less.

My hope is that I can find a way to make it work by using a plain white cotton in some places. I am thinking under the collar and inside the sleeve, and perhaps for the snap strip that goes up the front. I hope the plaid will be plentiful enough to be used for the man contrasting bits -- the side panels. We'll see. I'm also a bit nervous because if you look at the book photo, the Henry Shirt there has the louder pattern as the main and a solid one for the contrasting parts. I'll be working it opposite of that. But I think it could work and am willing to give it a try.

What else to do today? Gather the other materials -- five snaps or buttons, some light-weight interfacing and the usual thread, etc. You'll need to know what size you're planning to make. My 3-year-old is way on the small side, so I am going with the smallest size.

I've also read through the instructions once, but today I'll do so again. You know what word in this project scares me? The one right at the top of the first page -- "advanced." I hope I didn't bite off more than I can chew! The thing that worries me is that perhaps instructions that might seem obvious to the advanced sewist might not be so obvious to me, an intermediate one. It's different in a book, where there is limited room for words and photos, versus an online tutorial, that can go on forever. But that's why we're in this together, right? So when he hit those snags, we can work through it with a little help from our friends.

On that note, if you're planning to sew along with us, please drop a comment in here or on Leila's blog! We'll be sure to come and visit you, and at the end of this week, we'll have a Link Party to see everyone's creations. I'll be tweeting out links to various participants as well, and I'd love to feature a nice round-up of Henry Shirts at the end of the week!

If you're participating, tell me, have you ever sewn anything this advanced before? 

Linked at...

  Weekend Bloggy Reading


  1. This tells you what kind of a sewist I am. I only noticed the pattern is advanced because you mentioned it. Eep. :)

    I love your fabric choices! So light and fun!

  2. I love the robot fabric!! TOO cute!! I wish I had stumbled across this blog sooner! I would LOVE to participate in a sew along! LOL I'll just have to follow the blog and live vicariously! ;)