Negroni – Take One

March 11, 2012

Phew! I’m SO happy to be done with this project! Not because it was overly difficult, (it really wasn’t) but because I had an extreme case of the idiots at two different times while putting the Negroni together. The double sided yoke and collar were no problem at all. It took me a second to figure out the directions, but I got them in first try with no issues. The two parts that made me tweet some statements that I’m sure made some people question my sanity were the sleeves, and the button holes. The two easiest parts!!! That’s what happens when you stay up too late at night and try to rush to get the “easy” parts finished.

Instead of doing flat felled seams, I opted for normal ol’ seams with a serged edge and top stitching. No biggie. Until I did ALL of that and realized the seam was on the outside of the shirt. NNOOOOOOooooooo! Big sloppy mistake. Do you know how hard it is to rip out serging, two lines of top stitching, AND the original seam? I contemplated throwing the shirt into the fire place at this point. …I did this on both sleeves. BOTH of them! AH! Needless to say I had to cut two new sleeves and then do it all over again. Which is the point where I started losing my mind. I double and triple checked to make sure the right sides were together before sewing the new sleeve on, only to turn it right side out and realize I did it wrong AGAIN! I literally slapped myself in the face at that moment. I was so upset I started laughing. Because seriously, who does that?! At least it was only the one sleeve this time and I just had to rip out the one seam instead of like, 12. On the third and final attempt, I actually had Liam watch me pin it, and turn it to the right side so I KNEW it would be right before sewing.

Third time was in fact a charm, and I ended up with two great looking sleeves finished with decent, straight top stitching. Finally!

After that, the only thing left for me to do were the button holes. I have an auto button-holer setting on my machine so this should have been a piece of cake right? WRONG. I made the mistake of tracing my markings on the shirt piece AFTER it was stitched together. I didn’t take the seam allowance into account, and ended up with 5 button holes WAY too far off. I seriously almost cried. I was so close to being done and had a massive DUH moment on my hands that I couldn’t just rip out, or cut a new piece to fix. I was thinking I’d need to start all over again, which I had neither the time nor the money for. I don’t think I’ve ever been so crushed during a sewing project.

But! I refused to accept defeat. There was absolutely no way I was going to come this far and have to scrap the entire thing. No way. Especially since it was my own fault for rushing and letting my brain go into moron mode. So, I came up with a solution…
Liam says he really likes the stripe down the front, but I think he was just trying to make me feel better. But we stopped into work today to buy some fabric and my boss commented that she really loved the stripe too! Then I laughed and told her WHY it was there. Liam said if I didn’t tell people, no one would ever know it was a mistake.

So, yeah! I totally put that there on purpose! …not.
Seriously though, don’t let my idiot mistakes scare you away from making this shirt! This was my first ever attempt at any kind of menswear, and honestly if you take your time and read ahead in the pattern to make sure you’re on track, it’s not difficult. Sewing the yoke was a bit tricky, but I figured it out on the first attempt. I’ll be sewing another one of these for the shop, and will definitely take some step by step pics for those interested in giving this one a try. The pattern directions are good, but an actual photo would be way more helpful than the illustrations provided on some of the steps. If you do start this and get overwhelmed or confused, STEP AWAY FROM THE SHIRT and give it another go the next day. This will save you from making stupid mistakes like someone you know did 😉

So, with that said, Liam says this is his new favorite shirt and already has a color scheme in mind for his next one! This one is a little “loud” for his taste normally, but as I mentioned, we’ll be wearing bright green for my friend’s St. Patty’s day wedding!

He loves the fit, (this one is a medium) and says the construction and build of the shirt is very comfortable and easy to wear. I made no muslin or fit alterations with this shirt. It’s described as a slim fit, but I don’t find it to be too fitted. Just fitted enough to be flattering.

Highly recommended!

If you’re working on the Negroni and need help at any point, please let me know!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend 🙂