Monday, July 10, 2017

Negroni Bula

My former neighbor in Georgia, who now lives in Fiji, passed through town a couple of months ago.  She very thoughtfully brought me some fabric and a pile of coconut shell buttons.  Orange happens to be my husband's favorite color, so it was clear that this cut had to become a Fijian bula shirt.


This is the Colette Negroni, which I've had in my stash for a couple of years, but which I'd never sewn before.  I sewed a size M according to J's measurements.  I actually added two inches of length for my 6'1" husband, but it turned out he didn't need them.  The size M fits his shoulders and chest well but it was a little snug in the belly area, so I ended up sewing the side seams up with a 1/4" allowance, blending to the prescribed 5/8" allowance when I got to the sleeves.

I'm quite proud of my pattern matching across the front.  I also really like the way the print looks on him.  The pattern is busy, but it's perfect for a breezy vacation shirt, and we both love the flame red and orange shades.


As far as construction, the sewing was fairly easy.  I did find the burrito-method yoke attachment and the attachment of the front facing at the shoulders to be a little fussy.  I haven't done that before, though, so that's probably why.   I do know that I really dislike having a floppy front facing in place of a regular button placket.  It feels bulky and messy to me, and is even more of a deal breaker because the darn facing curls in on itself after being laundered.  SO I'm going to have to press the darn thing every time I wash it.  Here is how it looks out of the wash:


No bueno.

I've never seen a shirt with a facing like this in RTW, but when I went looking for other patterns, I found that a lot of the Big Four options also had facings instead of plackets.   Is this a common finish for a home-sewn shirt?

In any case, now that I've got more crazy shirt sewing in my future (my brother has requested one for his birthday, and we ordered more fabric to make J one, as well), I'm shopping around for another pattern.  One with a regular button placket.  I think I'm going to try the Fairfield from Thread Theory, with the downloadable wider collar option.  I will also be using more of these awesome coconut shell buttons.



I'd write more, but I have to go iron this shirt ...


J is looking a bit perturbed at the additional housework his shirt will require.  But not perturbed enough to stop wearing it.

12 comments:

  1. Great pattern matching .. and the colours are great. I wonder if your husband perturbed enough to do the ironing? LOL.

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    1. Thanks! I really love those colors. And my husband actually ironed all the time before he lost the use of his left arm. Ironic, huh?

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  2. That is a great shirt! I really love the print and the fit looks great! I find facings to be of the devil, myself. I avoid them (and substitute bias finish where ever I can!). I used to use them on my Portrait blouses until I wised up to bias tape. I think you probably couldn't use it on the Negroni, though. Maybe just topstitching down the facing to mimic the look of ready-to-wear would help the facing to lie flat? Another option is to invisibly hem it down on the inside with prick stitches. Just a few thoughts to save some ironing!!

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    1. Thank you! I thought about topstitching the facings down, but I didn't because it is much wider than a button placket. Then again, the print is so busy that the topstitching probably won't be noticeable. I think I will do it!

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  3. Love the fabric!! Great shirt! To answer your specific question ... yes, RTW "convertible collar" (which this is) shirts use facings. You have to. But those facings sometimes reach to the armhole at the top of the facing and are reinforced in when attaching the sleeve, helping the rest of the facing to lay flat. See here for shapes - http://off-the-cuff-style.blogspot.com/2012/06/batik-maddnesscontinued.html
    Interfacing the facing with a fusible also helps a lot. Did the instructions tell you to interface?

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    1. Thanks, this is enlightening! The pattern did call for interfacing, and I did interface the yoke, but I'm still using up my crummy Pellon and perhaps I used interfacing that was too light?

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  4. The Fairfield is in my queue for my little men for a dress shirt but I had been looking at this. I am glad you mentioned that about the facings and ironing, I prefer to never iron if I am not constructing a garment lol.
    To be fair though he is rocking the shirt, nice job.

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    1. Glad I was helpful! I would not have bought the pattern, had I understood that "convertible collar" also means "has a facing." LOL.

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  5. It turned out great! All of R's Bula shirts require ironing....but that's something I leave for the housekeeper....time to move overseas again?!?!

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    1. LOL, yes, definitely a reason to head out again.

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  6. Great work, it looks fantastic even if if the facings are annoying...!

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  7. Wow! This is the most stunning shirt, and the fit and fabric are really great on him! My sympathies for the extra ironing...(that being the biggest reason I am no longer tempted by even the most darling quitting cottons for kids' clothes *shudder*)

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Hi! I am so happy you came by. Thanks for your comment!