Tuesday, March 20, 2012

TSW Icon Shirt

Buttoned so wrong side is hidden

My first version of TSW (The Sewing Workshop) Icon shirt is finished. And, as expected I learned a lot. It is far more interesting than I gathered looking at their gallery pictures and perusing the instructions. I think part of it is that I learn best in an experiential mode.

My choice of fabric made me wince more than once while I was pressing and stitching. But now that it is complete, I think I'm good with it. True, the horizontal red stripes on the back are not the best. But otherwise I think I rather like the juxtaposition of the two striped fabrics. My original thought for these was a navy striped shell with bias red stripe on the neck and armhole edges. That would have been more *me* but maybe not as interesting.
What I learned:
  • The wrong side of the fabric really does show. Note the buttons on the side panel. That is where the wrong side shows the most.
  • The most interesting aspects of this pattern are the way the pieces are partially finished and then top-stitched together. This creates a flap on the right side (where the wrong side shows) and a flap plus a pleat down the back. 
  • The least interesting aspect of this pattern would have to be the sleeve finish. Just a straight hem. Boring. I have noticed that Linda Lee wears most of her shirts with sleeves rolled up, as seen in her gallery pix of this pattern. I like a little something at the wrist so I created a facing and then a little slit. It is a cuff, sort of.
  • When you make a mistake, wait before you *fix* it. I reacted too quickly when I realized that the right side panel (under the sleeve) would be showing off its backside. I added buttonholes and buttons to hold it down. The easy solution would have been to simply top stitch it down. :(
  • Stripes are fun for little details like when a collar band peeks out, or on a bias trip. These stripes are really too much for me.
  • I was most intrigued by the *hanging* pocket described on the pattern envelope. The instructions produce an interesting pocket, but not a hanging pocket. Theirs includes a little piece than hangs off the bottom of the pocket, detached from the shirt, but it is purely decorative, not really part of the pocket. Realizing this, I chose to follow the Ericson instructions for a hanging pocket found in their ReVisions pattern *Just Pockets.* My first attempt was a lined version. This was too heavy for this light weight shirting, so I created a second unlined version. There is a mistake in their instructions where they have you sew the front pocket piece to the back pocket piece right sides together. I slaveishly followed this direction only to realized that this results in the wrong side of the back piece on the surface of the finished pocket. Oh well, certainly not the only time I used a seam ripper on this piece!
  • dreaded back view
  • I'm now pondering the back length of this shirt. I'm concerned it may *catch* on my hip fluff. 
For now, it's done and it was a fun sewing experience.


  1. Martha, this turned out fabulous! You may not be comfortable with the stripes, but I think they work wonderfully for this pattern. I like the little twists you added, such as the sleeve "cuffs." How is the collar to wear? Does it lay nicely? I've really been wanting to pull my copy of this pattern out to work on, but I'm in the middle of a couple of projects that are on a deadline, so I must finish those first. But then I'll play with this one!

  2. Oh, Martha, I am LOVING this top!!! I adore the slouchy neckline and how the stripes chevron at the front and back neck. Your use of color blocking is wonderful. How can this not be "you" when it looks so great on you!!

  3. Thanks to MarcyF and shams, I like this shirt more and more. Thanks so much for the encouragement. Martha

  4. Martha the shirt it truly fabulous and I love the colour blocking.

  5. I love every detail of this pattern I was not going to buy and now can't live without. It took your genius version with the stripes to make me succumb. It is perfection!

  6. Wow - what a statement shirt! I love the look. I can understand your hesitance to love the stripes. I'm working on that challenge right now myself. But this looks really good, even the horizontal stripes, because it is blocked. It's truly an inspiring piece. Another pattern to add to my collection...

  7. Wow Martha, what a statement shirt! I like your "experiments" better than any of the samples. But then I always like your interpretations. In a perfect world, I would have sewn one of these up by now but I haven't had the energy.

  8. Being brave has created a wonderful shirt. I love it! The stripes and colour change make this look really striking. I hope you enjoy wearing it.

  9. Martha, this is striking! Absolutely wonderful interpretation! Bravo!