Sunday, August 7, 2011

My First Ever Colette ... Negroni Men's Shirt

Well, I have actually made the Colette Mini Bloomers previously, but that was a free download pattern. So this is my first proper Colette pattern. I was very impressed by the presentation of the pattern in it's cute little booklet format with a linen finish on the card - the diagrams and instructions are excellent.

Sewing Notes:

I haven't made a men's shirt for many many years, so for the sizing I just decided to go the XXL - the actual measurements were chest (XL), waist (XXL) and neck (L) - so it was a bit all over the shop - I had a look at one of Shaun's (hubby) ready to wear shirts and it seamed to compare well with the XXL of this pattern.
Now, I haven't actually seen this shirt on - I left instructions for my son to take photos  - and Shaun said he was happy with the fit. The sleeves look pretty big to me - hmmm - maybe I'll make them short next time - not 100% sure if I'd change anything else for another shirt - he does have very broad shoulders so the fit may be fine - from the photos anyway!

FABRIC: Poly Cotton Blend for Spotlight - Vintage look - it said that on the label!! About $4 per metre.

As I sew my projects now, I have started to take notes along the way since I've started writing the Pattern Reviews..... so here are my jottings from along the journey....

- I was surprised that the pattern required 3 metres of fabric.
 - The booklet format of this pattern is lovely.
- I block fused the interfacing - I used a lightweight woven interfacing.
- They have the option of downloading pocket options.
- I used the pocket template hint for pressing the pocket.
- The pattern pieces are very well marked - "first fold" and "second fold" .
- The variable seam allowances are clearly noted and make sense.
- They have an interesting and neat way of sewing on the yoke - no hand stitching - all beautifully explained.
- Great diagrams - overall excellent instructions.
- Stitching the sleeve - I put the sleeve against the feed dogs to ease in the fullness - a little tricky - they have you stitching from the centre to each side - mine had too much ease to work that way.
- The curved flat fell seam of the sleeve was very very very fiddly - I'm not sure I would do that again. It's lovely that all the edges in this shirt are stitched down, but if I made it again, I would probably just overlock the sleeve - unless anyone can enlighten me on a better way to flat fell the seam.
- Hemming the shirt - they didn't fold back the front facing to machine stitch in place, but I did.

Summary -  Totally impressed with this pattern. The design is nice, the fit is good and the instructions were fantastic. It was an enjoyable project to complete. Highly recommend!


  1. Great result, I've been impressed with Colette patterns too.

  2. I've never used Colette patterns, but they seem very popular. The shirt looks great, but I agree that the sleeves look largish. A little too long and wide at the base perhaps?

  3. I am very impressed that you are making men's shirts. I am stuck on boxers and tees for my guys! It looks great but the sleeve would be worth modifying next time (or perhaps one size smaller??)

  4. Your husband's shirt looks great! I've never used Colette patterns either.

  5. Lucky hubby. I like the Collette patterns that I have used - although the Lady Grey fitting gave me considerable trouble.
    I have a lot of trouble flat felling the shoulder seam too. The David Page Coffin shirtmaking book has you pin at the shoulder point only, and flat fell in two sections - starting from the shoulder each time. This did not help me much, but it possibly does for a more accomplished seamstress (or a flatter curve). Next time I will overlock and topstitch.

  6. 3m of fabric...that does seem excessive! I think the shirt looks great but agree the sleeves are a bit big. Nice looking fabric.

  7. How fun to see something for your husband! The shirt looks great. And, while the sleeves do look a bit large, if he likes it, that's all that matters.


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