You Should Be Dancing

My husband saw this shirt and told my son that he should be at the disco. So true! I don’t think he even knows what disco is, but Kid No 2 definitely looks like he has some dance moves in this shirt.

The Charlie shirt sewing pattern by Zonen 09, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
The Charlie shirt in retro stretch velvet (which is impossible to photograph).

This is the Charlie shirt, a 1970s-inspired knit shirt with lapel collar with short or long sleeves. The pattern is by Zonen 09, an independent Belgian pattern company that specializes in patterns for boys, with a retro feel. The patterns are available in Dutch, English and French, though not all patterns are available in all languages.

I made this in the same super-stretchy stretch velvet that I used to make dresses for my daughters. It’s perfect for this retro shirt, and super soft and cozy. I had nothing to coordinate with this fabric, so for the lining and collar I up-cycled a t-shirt that my husband had from a conference.  The velvet was leftover from a costume and the jersey was up cycled, which means that this stash-busting project was (almost) free.

The Charlie shirt sewing pattern by Zonen 09, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
My son loves that there are no buttons.

I did have to buy the pattern (of course!). The instructions are good. Unfortunately, I did have a couple of minor complaints though. First, the pattern is made to be printed on A4 paper, the standard in Europe, but it was really difficult to print this on 8.5″ x 11″ paper here in North America. Also, there are no grid lines on the printed pattern, only marks on the edges of the sheets, which means that it is hard to match up the pages when the edges were cut off by my printer. The pattern does come with one of those big, print-at-the printer versions though, so I might try that next time. But I was in a bit of a time crunch this time around. Maybe I’ll just buy some A4 paper…

Second, you don’t get the fabric requirements until you buy the pattern. Lots of smaller indie patterns do this, but, uggg, it’s so annoying. I needed a pattern that would work with this piece of fabric, so I had to take my chances. Luckily it worked out. Yay!

I wasn’t sure which size to make, so I went up one size. I’m really glad I did. The shirt fits quite narrow, even on my son who is a bit tall and lanky for his age. This was especially true of the waistband. If you sew this up, depending on the stretchiness of your fabric, and the size of the belly it goes around, you might want to test the waistband before attaching it.

In case you are curious, the shirt is lined in the bodice, both front and back, but not the sleeves.

The Charlie shirt sewing pattern by Zonen 09, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
The shirt is super soft and cozy.

My son loves the shirt and wore it the first chance he got. I like a collared shirt, and my son hates buttons, so this was a huge hit. It’s always nice to have something that looks a bit dressy, but feels super comfy.

So overall, a nice cute pattern, that has my son dancing like it’s 1976, or thereabouts. (And yes, that’s the year You Should be Dancing by the Bee Gees was released.)

This shirt is part of the Kids Clothes Week  Winter Challenge (a little late),  and the Stashbusting Sew-Along (The Love Challenge), and the Sewcialists’ Blue February Sew-Along.

Summary

Pattern Review: Charlie shirt by Zonen 09.

Fabric: Deep blue stretch velvet, and grey jersey.

Cost: €7.50 (about 11$ CDN).

Size: 122 (which is close to size 7).

Sewing Level: Average.

Modifications: None.

Results: Great. The shirt is quite narrow, so I’m glad I went up a size. I hope to make this again.

And Now for Something Completely Different…

I’ve been tackling the unfinished object (UFO) pile and I’m down to zero UFO quilt projects (woot! woot!), four kids projects (three for Halloween), and let’s just agree not to talk about my pile, shall we? So it was clearly time for a new category of sewing projects: men’s wear!

These are Vogue 8889 and Vogue 8890, which I am making for Mr Garment. I’ll be making the shirt and pants but not the jacket. Well, one day the jacket, but not anytime soon.

Vogue 8889 (men's shirt) and Vogue 8890 (men's pants and jacket)
Vogue 8889 (men’s shirt) and Vogue 8890 (men’s pants and jacket)

I had planned to make this a surprise and had bought some grey shirting, but when  I showed it to Mr Garment, he was not too impressed. Not his style it seems. So we all headed out to the fabric store and he chose some plain black shirting, another shirting fabric which is much nicer in a purple stripe and some grey wool for the pants in Vogue 9980 in a (slight) stretch wool.

The second one is the grey that Mr Garment did not care for. The other three are his choices.
The second one is the grey that Mr Garment did not care for. The other three are his choices.

Mr Garment has a corporate job and likes a nice suit. His style runs conservative, but he likes European-cut clothes, and isn’t afraid of a little colour.

A close up so you can see the fabrics a little better.
A close up so you can see the fabrics a little better.

I’m starting with Vogue 8889, which is described as a “loose-fitting shirt has collar, collar band, self-lined yoke with forward shoulder seams, side front/side back seams, flat-fell seams, shaped hemline and narrow hem.” I will be making version C.

I’ve already made one muslin. I made it out of some stash fabric I had bought years ago for a craft project. It is crazy and I did not insist on photos, because I am not that mean. I used this fabric because I really had no idea what size to start with – I’ve only made Mr Garment Halloween costumes before – and didn’t want to waste good fabric.

My muslin. Anyone in the mood to watch a musical about a coat?
My crazy muslin. Anyone in the mood to watch a musical about a coat?

I cut a 44,  and so far the fit is really nice. Despite being billed as “loose-fitting”, it is actually fairly fitted. The shirt is made with side panels, which resemble princess seams (ahem) manly seams which allow for a really nice shape. Mr Garment likes a fitted, European-style, tailored shirt, so this is good. The sleeves are the right length as well. The shirt length is also good (Mr Garment is 5’11”). But the shoulders are too wide, and Mr Garment is a fairly wide-shouldered guy.

Peter Lapin of Male Pattern Boldness has several blog posts on this particular pattern which are very helpful. He narrowed the yoke by an inch on each side, but I only need to do this by 1/2 an inch per side. He shows his pattern modifications on his blog, so if you are thinking of trying this pattern, it’s definitely worth taking a look. You can see two finished versions of the shirt in this post.

You can also see some nice versions of this shirt, on other blogs, here, here, and here.

Next I’ll have to check the collar, and then I’ll cut out the black shirt.