2021 has been looking suspiciously like 2020. The main similarity being the inability to plan anything! I do realize that there are yogis out there who spend their whole lives trying to be present in the moment, but the present moment does not inspire me right now! I need a heading, something to point my compass at....nothing monumental or earth shaking, just a little something out there in the wilderness to make my way toward. Since traveling is still a big unknown it can't be an anticipated vacation, or visits with friends and family. After considering a few options I landed on a sewing challenge. What and when I sew is pretty much in my control and that is what I need, something that doesn't depend on "acts of God" or the whims of politicians. I have been having a bit of trouble getting my 'sewjo' going and thought some kind of challenge for myself would get me moving and keep me going.
I thought about joining in on the "make nine" challenge that many people do, but it requires that you choose nine patterns and nine fabrics that you want to make over the year. This is just not possible for my brain. I never really know what I will be sewing until I'm doing it. The idea of choosing NOW what I want to be sewing in September?...I don't see it.
I have a sewing buddy who got herself a whole bolt of white linen. She wants to make a pile of white shirts. Ever since she mentioned this it has been rolling around in my head. I decide I would do a 'white shirt' challenge this year. I made a few last summer and it was fun and challenging to make each one it's own thing. I love playing with different textures and weights of fabric, the style possibilities go on and on, and choosing white fabric on line is much more doable than trying to match colors! I am targeting one shirt a month...doable but not strict...I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't get 12 in the year. In fact, since this is March already I only have 10 months left anyway!
This idea took shape during the last week of February. If I was going to start in February it was going to have to happen right away. C'mon sewjo don't fail me now. Not at the starting line! I masked up and made a quick trip to my corner (literally on the same street) fabric store and came up with a white canvas duck cloth. ...I said it was going to be a challenge! I also found some metal buttons and twill tape, here we go. Talk about staring at a blank canvas...😏
The weight of the fabric suggested a shirt-jacket of some kind. I pulled out my Tabula Rasa pattern as a starting point. I love the sleeve of this pattern and it would work well with my canvas. Topstitching also came into the plan...back to the corner for heavy duty thread.
One of the things I really like about the Tabula Rasa is the sewing order. I like getting the collar and front details finished before adding the bulk of sleeves to the mix.
The metal buttons had little slots that I threaded the twill tape through. I stitched the tape to the center front between the buttons. I got all six buttonholes perfect in the first go!!! Too bad they were all 1/2" to low for the buttons!!!! Argggggggg. The sound one makes when ripping out five perfect buttonholes!
Once the fronts, back and collar are ready, the sleeves and side panels are connected and the seam is done in one pass from the front hem over the shoulder to the back hem. No fussing around in little confined arm holes. This construction method is also great for adding topstitching details.
I added some extra topstitching to define the pocket....(hard to see it with all the white!)
So there you have it, the first of my white shirts (I'll have to come up with a catchy name for my challenge, maybe for March.) A white canvas shirt-jacket. I think it will be perfect for breezy evening walks to the beach.
I'm not sure if it will continue the rest of the year, but having this little challenge got me motivated and sewing in the last week of February. I'm already ruminating about the March shirt. We'll call it a good start!