My husband has a body made for hugging — broad shoulders, big arms, and just the right height for me to nestle my head under his chin.
And this long-sleeved, Western-style version of McCall's 6044 is just perfect for cuddling; made from an ultra-sort plaid flannel, it's the kind of fabric you want to wrap yourself in when it's as cold as it has been in NYC this week.
I had been meaning to get to Mood and find this fabric ever since I saw Peter of Male Pattern Boldness' shirt he made for his significant other Michael. Since Peter lives dangerously close to the Garment District it wasn't hard to convince him to meet me at Mood and direct me to this super soft blue plaid flannel. I love the gray and yellow striping. It's so soft. And such a flattering color. (And did I mention it's soft?).
I had forgotten, of course, that Peter described it as shifty. And boy, was he right.
I prepped, laid out and cut exactly as I had been taught at FIT. But try as I might, the plaid kept twisting. The crossgrain would not run perpendicular to the grainline. This fabric was $12/yard, and looked and felt amazing. But do grain line issues like this indicate it's not as great quality as it may seem?
In the end, I decided not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and just forged on. I think any grainline issues were minor and undetectable (except to certain perfectionists). My husband cares not that not everything runs exactly up and down. And apparently his colleagues loved it too; a creative director at his ad agency even asked if I would make him one:
|There's that pose: The Classic Headscratch|
I made one adjustment to the pattern (which I won't give a cutesy name because everything I think up would be offensive to my husband, who is happy to ham for blog pics but is quite sensitive to issues of weight gain and how it affects clothing fit). I graded out from a medium to a large, but only at the side seam (and the corresponding seam along the sleeve, of course, which has to match up). A large is too long in length and too big through the chest and shoulders, but tight across the tummy, which is where my husband stores any weight gain (because his Swedish ancestors needed the extra heft to get through long, cold winters and then plowing the fields on foot in Spring. His joke, not mine).
|Another favorite: The Cuff Adjustment Pose|
Lisa G of Notes From a Mad Housewife made the non-Western-style version of this same McCall's pattern for her husband. But she made a few changes because either her husband is more discerning than mine, or she's just such a crackerjack seamstress that she can't tolerate half-ass design details. I am lazy. And my husband is only picky when it comes to buying the Sunday Times (he chooses one from the middle of the stack ALWAYS, because the top ones may be sullied).
So even though I knew I should have followed her lead and cut a pattern for a sleeve placket (this pattern lacked it), I went the easy route, thinking to myself: "Like Ryan is going to care whether there's a sleeve placket!" And then I probably cackled for good measure.
But taking the easy route is not always so easy. I have sewn a few plackets, and they're not all that hard hard. But making the opening above the cuff look decent following the instructions given was actually really difficult. I even unpicked. And you know how I hate unpicking.
I'm guessing whoever designed the pattern and instructions just couldn't fit it all on two pages with the complication of adding a sleeve placket, so they omitted it, instructing you instead to top stitch down the seam allowances. I actually have several self-drafted patterns for sleeve plackets, which I could easily have dug up and made fit. Laziness reigned. I regret it. I feel especially ashamed when I look at Peter's shirt made from this same fabric.
Still, normal people wouldn't notice or care:
If you're interested in making this shirt, and you want to include a sleeve placket (which really looks better), keep an eye on Lisa's blog. She'll be apparently posting the pattern pieces she drafted for her husband's shirt, so you don't have to reinvent the wheel.
It's still cold out there, friends. Cuddle up for warmth!