Sunday, September 18, 2011
What I did for love
I brought this one on myself.
Allow me to backtrack and explain. When I first saw this fabric a few months ago on Dressaday, someone had made it into a dress to wear to Comic Con in San Diego. Mario would love to go to Comic Con, and I wanted him to see the fabric because he's also a Dr. Who fan.
How did I know it would be love at first sight? I could practically hear the violins. "Can you even buy that fabric?" he asked. Silly me, I said, "Yes, they have it on Spoonflower. I could order it."
"And could you make a shirt out of it?"
If he wants a Dr. Who shirt, he gets a Dr. Who shirt. I pull out KwikSew 3422 and order the fabric.
The fabric arrives. It's even more orange and blue than it appeared in the photograph, and the grid seems even larger. I'm a little frightened; he's ecstatic. It is now decided that it's going to be a long-sleeved dress shirt. In vibrant orange and blue, with a cream grid, and the word "EXTERMINATE" printed in large blue letters.
Complications arise when I start cutting. I read Spoonflower's fabric care instructions, I just didn't pay attention to them. For their quilting cotton, it suggested there might be as much as 7% shrinkage, and it said not to put it in the dryer. So, after I put it in the dryer . . . it shrunk probably more than 7%, but only in one direction. I managed to completely warp the print, which made me want to get it right even more.
I got the front and back cut out of the most even portions of the fabric. The sleeves are cut slightly skewed, but don't look it. The small pieces, collar and cuffs, were steamed back into straightness and them glued into submission with some of Pam Erny's new Shirt Crisp interfacing. Love that stuff!
I went through all my scraps and I cut them up so I had a row of robots, and I pieced them together. Rather than an uneven, slanted grid across his shoulders, he now had a rank of Dalek robots marching in file, with one lone weapon across his left shoulder. Brilliance! (Or at least that's what the wine said).
Not to mention the intended wearer of the shirt, who has been following its progress with interest. Today he got to help out with the finish - because I warped the fabric, I changed the order of construction a bit. I sewed the sleeves on at the shoulders, and then did the sleeve seams but only to the first grid line past the underarm. Then I made all the front buttonholes and sewed on the buttons. Since I had to match text on the center front of the shirt, the most important thing was to get those letters lined up; a slight shift on the side seams - normally the end of the world - would be okay at this point. So he got to try on the shirt, buttoned and with the side seams basted, to make sure everything lined up.
Best part? HE LOVES IT. He's wearing it to work tomorrow. I expect to hear shortly from the lawyers representing his blinded co-workers.
The other best part: this was such an unintentionally challenging project that I'm almost looking forward to making his Hendrix jacket. All notions and lining fabric were purchased in NY on Saturday, but first, there will be a little sewing for me.