Copied a Shirt – Now I have three more


I copied a shirt and now I have three more just like it. Well, almost like the original. My husband bought be a shirt from LL Bean. I love it. It is a lovely henley type shirt. It is made from a light cotton. Kinda like India cotton. It is long sleeves which is nice for when it is still chilly outside. Then you can roll up the sleeves for a 3/4 sleeve. I really like it.

In making this shirt I learned how to make the button placket in the middle of the shirt. It looks harder than what it really is.  I watched this video, and this one and this one. I have learned the most things from Youtube.

And here is the video for the placket for the sleeve here.

Here are some in progress pictures of the shirts. I hadn’t added the sleeves yet nor hemmed the bottoms. I used some bias binding I had made some time ago and thankfully it mostly matched. These fabric were purchased at Joann’s Fabric store. Quilting section. I wanted to practise on something before making it in an apparel fabric.

I loved this fabric. So pretty. Unfortunately the fabric is pretty stiff. I hope it softens up as I wash and wear it.

I loved this fabric. So pretty. Unfortunately the fabric is pretty stiff. I hope it softens up as I wash and wear it.

I wanted to make a shirt out of this one but didn't get enough fabric for the skirt that I wanted.

I wanted to make a skirt out of this one but didn’t get enough fabric for the skirt that I wanted.

This is a softer fabric. I love this print. I wanted to make a skirt out of this one too, but didn't get enough fabric.

This is a softer fabric. I love this print. I wanted to make a skirt out of this one too, but didn’t get enough fabric.

 

I love these shirts. They are long enough that they cover my butt which I like. I loved making the plackets as well. That was fun. But since these fabrics are woven there wasn’t really a need to interface them. It ended up adding extra bulk in the placket. Which in turn made the sewing of the placket down a bit difficult. Next time I would add one layer of interfacing on one side and without the seam allowances. Just to keep the bulk down.

Here is a close up of the button placket that I learned how to make. Thank you Youtube University.

Here is a close up of the button placket that I learned how to make. Thank you Youtube University.

I also changed up the sleeves. These are not long sleeves. I wanted a 3/4 sleeve since I am always rolling my sleeves up. I did copy the sleeve from the LL Bean shirt, but I cut it off at the right length but didn’t take into account the width of the sleeve. Next time I will make the sleeve a bit narrower so that I don’t have to worry about gathers or pleats by my elbow. I had an idea in my head that worked in my head but not in real life. Live and Learn.

The other side of my cuff is here. I didn't iron my shirt but you can see that I used a narrow bias tape to cover the slit for my arm.

This is my cuff. I didn’t iron my shirt but you can see that I used a narrow bias tape to cover the slit for my arm.

This is my cuff. It goes to just below my elbow. Because I didn't measure around my arm I can't have a button. It would be to tight.

This is the other side of my cuff. It goes to just below my elbow. Because I didn’t measure around my arm I can’t have a button. It would be to tight.

Once everything was complete and it was time to hem I did something different again. On the original shirt they did a narrow hem all around the bottom. I decided to use bias tape and sew the tape onto the right side then iron and fold it up into the inside and hem that in place. The ends are then enclosed in between the fabric and bias tape. It looks nice and it worked on another shirt that I had. This time however it didn’t work as well. On this shirt there are very curved edges by the hips. The bias tape caused some wrinkling and makes the side seams poke out kinda funny. It doesn’t bother me but one my next shirt with nice fabric I will probably either do a narrow hem or might find something different.

Here you can see the wrinkles that I created here as well, but I am ok with these since they are inside.

Here you can see the wrinkles that I created here as well, but I am ok with these since they are inside.

Here is the side seam. You can see the wrinkles that I created without wanting to.

Here is the side seam. You can see the wrinkles that I created without wanting to.

 

Now I have another three shirts that I love and am going to make in nicer apparel fabrics. I have some lovely, drapey, silks that I think would look really nice once I have perfected the sleeve that I want.

 

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Simplicity 3688 – Retro Pants


I have been wanting to make the Simplicity 3688 Retro Pants for a while now. I haven’t ever made anything other than pajama pants before. So this was an interesting pattern.  When looking at the pattern on the front of the envelope it looked more complicated than what it really is. As I was putting it together it was really simple. The biggest issue I had was fitting the pants to me. I have a sway back and a belly. So that took a lot of fitting. I am glad that I had a muslin made from an old bed sheet to see what my issues were first.

The Front

The Front. Not the best pictures for certain. But you take what you can when your son is taking the pictures.

As I have worn the pants around town they have slipped further down my hips so my crotch is way lower than planned. So in my next pair I will have to alter the pattern to raise the crotch about an inch and a half.  Maybe two inches. I think that once that I have that alteration made they will fit so much better.

Simplicity 3688

Here is the back. Not to bad.

I just happened to find an awesome pair of brown oxfords to go with these brown pair of pants. Looks so good together. Now I need to alter these so that they fit correctly. But I am wearing them anyways. They are so comfortable. I don’t feel squeezed anywhere. And that works for me.

Now I just need a lovely blouse to go with it.

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A Beautiful Gathered Skirt


One day I was wanting to make something different and new and found a beautiful gathered skirt video from Gretchen Hirsch. The link can be found here. I will state right off that that I am not overly fond of gathered skirts.  Just because of my belly. Having three babies and not exercising does that to you. But I love how they look anyways, but not on me. I apparently forgot that when I found the video and started wanting to make myself one. I had the fabric for it and it was enough. And a zipper.  So I went for it. This was the first time that I had made a skirt with a lapped zipper on the left hip. It is a vintage touch. I thought that it was an interesting bit of information that the side zippers are always on the left.

Beautiful Gathered Skirt

Here is a quick view of the skirt. My husband took pictures for me out in the pasture.

The video was really easy to follow but long. I mean Ms. Hirsch actually made a skirt in real time in that video. So lots of details and good information.

Simplicity 3688

Here I am being goofy. He said to pose.

I had this wonderful fabric that my husband had bought be from overseas. It is a burnt out velvet of roses and leaves. I laid it on top of a lovely dark red satin. Looks beautiful together.

 

Beautiful Gathered Skirt

This is my favorite pose.

So I made the skirt. I should have made it a bit longer. I think that I wouldn’t have made it any shorter but I thought that maybe I should have made it tea length instead of knee length. There was all sorts of things I could have done with the length. (Always go with your first instinct. It is usually always right.)

Beautiful Gathered Skirt

I liked this one too.

In wearing the skirt I know that it makes me look larger on the bottom than I really am. Even with slimming under garments to smooth out the lumps. I told my man that I am going to wear it anyways just because I love the swoosh of the fabric. And so I am. I have decided that I have hit the age where I don’t care to look like the skinny runway models any longer. I have had kids, and surgeries, and being lazy. Life happens and it doesn’t always look good on the body, but as long as I feel good about how I look and my man likes how I look then it is all good. I am not worried about anyone else’s thoughts or feelings.

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Etsy Shop is Open!


My Etsy shop is open! Yay! Go check it out!!!

Look for EmilyGuerraDesigns on Etsy or Emily Guerra Designs on Facebook. You can also click on the Shop Now button on Facebook and that will take you to my Etsy shop as well.

Here are some things to look at at the shop.

Such a sweet purple bunny.

Such a sweet purple bunny.

Little Dribbler - 3

Do you have a Little Dribbler?

Love - 3

A bit late for Valentines Day but cute nonetheless.

So Sweet cupcake - 3

That is the best looking cupcake ever.

This isn’t all, got check it out.

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I love blue flannel shirts.


I love blue flannel shirts. They are my favorite. Flannel in general I love because it is so warm and cozy when you wear it. I found this particular flannel at Joann’s. It is really nice and thick. So cozy!

Blue Flannel Shirt

I love this flannel. So thick and warm.

When my husband bought be this fabulous green flannel shirt from L.L. Bean I wanted another one, but they get quite expensive. So I decided that I would make one. After putting together my blue polka dot shirt this blue flannel shirt shouldn’t be a problem. And it wasn’t.

Blue Flannel Shirt

Here is the back.

There were a few more pieces that went into this shirt than the polka dotted one. I learned how to make a sleeve vent or placket by watching a lot of Youtube videos. This is also the first time that I put a collar on with a stand. Usually my collars are just the collars attached to the shirt. I was very careful on making sure that I did a quality job. I think the only thing that isn’t great about this shirt is that the grain is off. I knew that beforehand too. I did my best to stretch the fabric so that the grain would straighten out.  As much as I pulled the grain the flannel straightened some but not as much as I would have liked. The grain wasn’t perfect but I was going to do it anyways. I knew that there might be a slight skew, but I wasn’t sure if it would affect my side seams. I was hoping that it wouldn’t. I figured even if the seams skew slightly or the plaid doesn’t quite match up that it would be ok. I am going to wear that shirt anyways. And if anyone asked I found it at the thrift store. But if it turned out nice then I will tell anyone and everyone that I made it.

Now that it is done I am really happy with how it all turned out. And the weather has turned perfect to wear it too.

1-30-17 – Well now that I have worn it, the seams line up almost perfectly. There is a slight skew to one side,  but it is hardly noticeable. Works for me!

 

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Halloween 2016


Halloween 2016 was crazy. I don’t know why my children want such strange costumes. Okay, just my son. My daughters had normal costumes. My youngest was a puppy and my eldest daughter wanted to be a mummy. But nothing on her head.

My son wanted to be a Pea Shooter from Plants vs Zombies. I have never heard of this character until he showed me in a book that he had. It is a graphic novel and it is just as the title suggests. It is about plants versus zombies. I don’t understand but he loves it. I guess that is all that matters and there doesn’t seem to be anything inappropriate in the novel that I could see.

Here they are looking about as happy as a Puppy, Mummy and Pea Shooter can look.

Here they are looking about as happy as a Puppy, Mummy and Pea Shooter can look.

I knew how I wanted to work the puppy  and mummy costume. I wanted something simple that that they girls could wear after Halloween 2016. In planning what they would wear I was thinking that it was going to be colder than what it really was. I had purchased sweat pants and sweat shirts for each of the girls. I would then tack on the patches and wrappings onto the sweats. Then I could easily go back and snip off the fabric so that the girls could wear the sweats as the weather turned. I ended up using t-shirts instead of sweat shirts when it got closer to Halloween since the weather was staying quite warm.

I am glad that everyone had a good time. And another year is down.

 

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Halloween Costumes 2015


A bit late but Halloween Costumes 2015!!

This year the kids weren’t to crazy in their costume choices.

There was the Black Ninja. He saw plastic swords at Wal-mart and that is what changed his mind. He originally wanted to be Rayman again. He was Rayman last year. See his costume from last year here.

Black Ninja

 

My Ghost. I had grand plans. She didn’t. She wanted to wear a sheet on her head like Charlie Brown. I nixed that idea because I knew that she would get hot under a sheet. I told her she would wear a sheet around and down her shoulders and then we would paint her face and hair. She was happy about that. But then she wouldn’t let me put more white paint on her face or let me spray paint her hair white that night. I tried but she wanted this.
Ghost

Then there was my Ballerina.  This picture was taken before she went to school and it was nice and warm. So she was able to wear the leotard as it was. That tutu was the most complicated piece this year. It took 10 yards which I then cut in half lengthwise and those two pieces where cut in half again lengthwise. It has an elastic waistband too which is nice. That means that she can wear this a play dress up for a bit longer.

Summer Ballerina

This was taken Halloween night and it had gotten colder so she had to wear sleeves and her new winter boots. Everyone had a good time. I hope that you and your family did as well.Group shot

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Wooden Peg People in Etsy shop


I have finally added the painted wooden peg people that I have been working on to my Etsy shop. You can check out all the items here.

It has been awhile since I posted last. School started and vacation and then sickness with the change of the weather. But I hope to get back into the groove of things and have more posts coming up.

I finally have some peg people that I have painted up in the shop. I do have other things that I am working on but I thought that these would be a fun addition to my shop. There isn’t quite anything out there like these guys and gals.

Each set has its own little story that you can read for each listing in the shop.

 

I hope that you liked taking a peek. Go check out the shop and read the stories, as short as they are, and let me know what you think.

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How I put together the shirt from a copy


So in this post I will show you how I put together the shirt from a copy that I made.

I am going to assume that most of you know how to sew. I am also going to assume that you already know how to sew a shirt together. If you don’t let me know and I will put together another tutorial on that. I am planning to make another shirt soon.

I cut everything out.

These are all the pieces of the shirt that will go together.

These are all the pieces of the shirt that will go together.

There were:

  1. Front
  2. Back cut on the fold.
  3. Yoke cut two
  4. collar cut two
  5. Sleeves
  6. Facings cut two

I serged all my side seams and ironed on my interfacing onto my collar, and my facings.

I then put the shirt together starting with the back and the yoke. I have never sewed a shirt together with a yoke so this was a first for me. It seems really difficult but isn’t.

First thing I did was sew one yoke piece onto the back part. And then sewed the second yoke onto the back piece as you can see below.

The back and the yokes attached.

The back and the yokes attached.

The next step is attaching the front pieces so that the seams are all on the inside. For this step you will sew the front of the shirt to the shoulders of one of the yoke pieces. It doesn’t matter which one, whether is be the one showing on the outside or the one that will be on the inside of your shirt.

You can see from the picture below that I have attached my front pieces to the yoke that will be showing toward the  outside of the shirt. The yoke that will be on the inside has been folded down and out of the way.

Adding the front pieces of the shirt.

Adding the front pieces of the shirt.

Once the front has been sewn onto the yoke you will want to roll the back piece up to the seam line on the yoke.

Rolling up the back

Rolling up the back

Then you do the same for the front pieces to the shoulder seam line.

Rolling up the front

Rolling up the front

This is how it looks with the back and the front pieces rolled up. You want the shoulders exposed so that you can fold the yokes with right sides together at the shoulder line to sew.

 

All rolled up

All rolled up

Like this. It looks like a sandwich. but the yokes are exposed with the front and back of the shirt rolled up nice and neat on the inside.

Front and back sandwiched between the yoke.

Front and back sandwiched between the yoke.

Once the shoulder seams have been sewn then you can gently pull everything out and lay flat and iron. Remember to be gentle when pulling everything through especially if you didn’t stay stitch the neck line. You don’t want to stretch anything out that might. Thankfully, I forgot to do that step way back in the beginning but, my fabric was so stable that it didn’t make a difference. But next time I will. Better to be safe than sorry.

Flipping it through

Flipping it through

All flipped out and ironed flat. Look I see stay stitching. I guess I did it after all.

Sewed and ironed outside of shirt.

Sewed and ironed outside of shirt.

Sewed and ironed inside of shirt.

Sewed and ironed inside of shirt.

Once it was all out I then proceeded to put together the shirt with the same kind of detail that the original shirt had. Here is the final product.

Blue and white polka dot shirt

Blue and white polka dot shirt

I love this shirt. It fits like I want it to fit. It gives me the room I need in my arms. I can’t wait to make another one.

Tell me what you think. I would love to hear from you and if you found this helpful or interesting.

 

 

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How I copied a shirt – DIY


This is how I copied a shirt. There is this shirt that I really love. It fits well and it looks good on me. One of those rare few. I wanted more of this kind of shirt but I wasn’t able to locate any more.

So using the skills that I have and what I have learned recently I set about to copy this shirt so that I can have as many as I want in all the different fabrics that I want.

Here is the before.

The Front of the Shirt

The Front of the Shirt

 

Back of The Shirt

Back of The Shirt

This is what I did. I found in Home Depot these clear garbage bags. I use them to copy off the shirt. I just cut it open so that it was a large flat sheet of plastic.  I then laid out my shirt as flat as I could get it. There was some manipulation of the shirt to get it to lay as flat as possible. I found that if I tuck one half into the other half it lays a bit flatter.

Once you have the shirt laying as flat as possible, here for the pictures I am using the facing as a demonstration, you then lay your plastic over the part that you are copying. Smooth out all the wrinkles and pin it down.

Starting out

Starting out

Then trace around the piece marking where the seam lines are. You will go back in later and add seam allowances.

Copied facing

Copied facing

Here is a close up of what it should look like. Also remember to mark anything like button holes so that when the shirt comes together you have that information already and you don’t have to go digging for it.

Close up of facing

Close up of facing

Once you have everything marked you can then cut out the plastic. Don’t cut on the line. Cut around the piece leaving about two inches around.

I found a roll of this paper at Home Depot in the painting section. I was walking by and it caught my eye. It is the kind of paper that painters put down on the floor of a house to walk on so that the floor stays clean. It works wonderfully for pattern paper.

Lay your plastic pattern on the paper and trace around. I used my tracing wheel but I am sure you could use a pen to help you. You just need something that will make marks through the plastic onto the paper.

Tracing the pattern

Tracing the pattern

Like these marks. I know that they are a bit hard to see but if you look real close and near my pencil marks you can see little holes in the paper. That was my tracing wheel poking holes through the plastic and onto the paper. I then went and using a pencil marked the lines.

Once I had everything marked in pencil I went back and cleaned up the marks and straightened out my lines as best as I could.

Marks in the paper

Marks in the paper

Here are the parts of my shirt that I copied.  For the sleeve I had to fold the sleeve in half and copy, marking the middle and which side is what. Then I just flipped the sleeve over, lined up the marks and finished copying the rest of the sleeve.

Copying the sleeve

Copying the sleeve

For the front and the back where you have darts you will have to play with it a bit. I marked the straight lines first. So the top, center front or back to the dart. I also mark the dart itself. I then pinch the plastic on either side of the dart so that it lines up the dart and mark the pinches so I have an accurate measurement on either side of the dart line for the dart. Then I pinch and pin it shut. Matching up my lines and finish marking the seam lines.

Always compare to the shirt that you have. I would hate for you to do all this work and then find that the shirt doesn’t fit because you missed something.

Copying the front

Copying the front

Copying the collar

Copying the collar

Close up of facing

Copying the facing

Back of shirt

Back of shirt

Back Yoke

Back Yoke

Once you have all your pieces copied and transferred you can cut them out. This is where you will see if your marking are accurate. In the pictures below I have my patterns cut out without seam allowances. I will mark those on the fabric and cut them out that way. Keeping the allowances off my patterns allow me to align them to see how well I did and if there are any changes that need to be made before I cut the fabric. I want to make sure that all my seams line up and if there are any differences that I can make the adjustments in paper and not in fabric.

Make sure seams match

Make sure seams match

For these pictures I just used my flexible ruler to take accurate measurements around the shoulder first and then around the sleeve.

Measuring each seam

Measuring each seam

I want to make sure that they match as closely as possible to the shirt. I do this with the collar, side seams, around the shoulder and sleeve, and the facing. If anything is off even by a little bit it will mess up the entire shirt when you try to sew it together.

Making sure they match as close as possible.

Making sure they match as close as possible.

Once my pattern is perfected I then trace my patterns onto the fabric, add seam allowances on the fabric and cut the fabric out. Then you put the fabric together.

And here is the after.

Blue and white polka dot shirt

Blue and white polka dot shirt

It fits perfectly. I have a broad back and it fits across my back and the armholes which I have always had problems with fitting.

And now I have an awesome pattern to make more shirts with. Yay!!

Leave me comments below or ask any questions.

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