Monday, January 28, 2013

Jalie 2111 – Shirts for the Boys

Early in December I got the idea to sew my boys flannel shirts, since they both LOVE the second-hand ones I found at the thrift store. It was funny to see them hug themselves once they got over the collar! And then they would wear them for several days in a row. That’s a good sign!

In order to eliminate minimize the “I don’t like it” response, I took Oliver – the elder – to Fabricland to help pick out the flannel (I’m not going to all  this work if they don’t like it.) Henry – the younger – didn’t get to choose as he fell asleep in the car right before I was going there! So big brother chose for him. Hunky dory, they were both happy? amenable with the fabrics.

And so, here they are, for your viewing pleasure! Two cheeky little munchkins in plaid…

2012-12-23 001

(And no, they would NOT deliver the requested smiles, despite *several* attempts.)

Being a Jalie pattern, I traced all 10 pieces for *two* sizes of the shirt, which took the better part of a day (read “many interruptions”.) Cutting out the fabric. Was. A. Bloody. Nightmare. I’d forgotten how much is involved in matching plaid. I won’t dare go into detail here, I’m sure you’ve done plaid/pattern before. Suffice it to say, not all plaids are alike. I had to recut some pieces (one back piece!) after realizing this horrible truth! And don’t get me started on how to get mirror images of pockets, plackets and cuffs on the bias – this is where my pedantic nature (OCD?) comes in very handy. I managed it on Henry’s shirt. Oliver’s not so much. Well. This phase took 2 whole days, on the kitchen counter (wonderful, wonderful space to cut and trace!!), so again more interruptions. This is the point where I began to wonder if I’d be able to sew anything for myself before Christmas (actually, the Friday before, as we would be travelling out of town and back late on the Eve.)

After all this I thought it would be smooth sailing. But no such luck. ---[much deleted text here, won’t bore you with more stumbling blocks, I’ll summarize!] --- After giving up and NOT stitching for a whole day due to an uncooperative collar band, I decided to just barge on “Keep Calm and Carry On” as they say, and finish the damn shirts. Just before supper on Friday, I finished the last buttonhole, and packed up the tools I’d need to sew the buttons in the car. Finally. Done.

So, just a bit about the pattern:

Jalie 2111 - Shirt for Men and Boys       Jalie 2111 - Shirt for Men and Boys - line drawing

Jalie 2111 appears to be a bit of an older style, boxy and very roomy – a bit more than I’d hoped, but I didn’t spend any time looking for other patterns (I’d already bought the fabric by this time, and luckily more than the pattern called for.) Since Jalie are multi-sized, I figured this should do for the future, but next time I make them I’ll trace according to each of their measurements (like I do my own) – I just did straight sizes with no alterations. Lazy mummy!

When I compared this pattern with the old RTW plaid shirts I noticed a few differences in the details. Primarily, the smaller pieces are cut on the bias in the RTW, and provide some interest. (This pattern doesn’t show plaid versions, except in a separate photo of a young boy on the pattern web page.) I decided to copy the bias details, including cutting the front buttonhole placket on the bias, which required a bit of pattern alteration; this, however, was done mainly because the plaid just didn’t line up right when it was folded according to the pattern’s construction method. Maybe I could have done it differently, but I wasn’t about to spend any more time than necessary. I matched up ALL the seams, even in a round about way for the sleeve tops. In hindsight I don’t even think I’ll notice that!!

I did manage to sew all the buttons on Henry’s shirt in the car, and most of Oliver’s. I finished up Saturday night at the kitchen table at my SIL’s house.

It was impossible to find any buttons that small in a shade of blue that matched Oliver’s shirt, so I went with a brown that picked up on the brown in the fabric. I’m quite pleased with how well it turned out.

2013-01-27 011

For the back yoke lining I used a fine cotton jersey, and sewed it so the seams are all hidden. And there’s my homemade label, yeah still working on that!

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A few more details here on PatternReview.

Next up, I’ve got two pieces to show you that I made for myself this month, one even from the January Burda (I have been busy!), as well as something I’ve been wanting to do for yeeeeeeears! Who’s that sitting in my chair?!…Winking smile

2013-01-27 001 WIP!!


  1. The shirts look fantastic! I love the bias orientation on some of the detail bits. The boys look pleased with their shirts too. They may be making silly faces, but they are clearly happy, silly faces.
    This was obviously a load of work, but I think it paid off. They look adorable!

    1. Thanks! I'm really happy with them, and they were quite happy wearing them.

  2. Great shirts and they do look rather pleased with them. So does your twin have a name?

    1. Thanks! Yes they were, despite their silly faces!

      My twin is currently nameless, but I'm looking for ideas!

  3. Great shirts. Your boys are so cute!

    I like your "twin", I have been meaning to make one as well.

    1. Thanks! I've been taking pics of the making of my twin, and will blog about very soon, mostly because I'm doing it a little differently from most the paper tape methods out there.