March and October, 2005
I made a couple of shirts (Starry Shirt and a Blue Oxford) using one pattern, but I really wasn't completely happy with the shirts, or the quality of the pattern. The shirts were wearable, but not the most comfortable, and the instructions for the pattern were poor. So, I decided to try out more patterns until I found one I liked, and then use that one for all subsequent shirts.
First, I made the gray shirt. This one came out unwearable, and I was quite disappointed. I'm not sure if it was the pattern, or if I sewed it wrong, or what, but it doesn't sit right across the shoulders, and after hours of sewing it just isn't a shirt I want to wear. I mean, I don't even look comfortable in the photo above.
Months later, I made the burgundy shirt. I really like this one. It's comfortable, and of a style I like. I'll probably put this shirt into my regulr wardrobe, while the gray shirt will probably have its buttons removed and wind up in the rag pile.
I really hate ironing.
I do all my own laundry, including folding my undershirts before they go in the dresser and putting my shirts on hangers before they go in the closet, but I'll sooner declare extremely wrinkled shirts to be in fashion than iron a cotton shirt. When I'm buying shirts, I only buy 100% cotton shirts by accident, and typically fill my wardrobe with permanent press cotton blends.
Have you tried to find a good 60/40 or 70/30 cotton/poly fabric in the fabric store, though? Even the better stores--especially the better stores--only stock pure cotton fabrics and completely artificial ones. The only place I was able to find a blend of any kind was over in the "linings" section.
The 50/50 blend I wound up with is a little plasticky and slick for my tastes, but it came in a wide variety of colors. I picked a good #808080 gray for its neutrality, and burgundy brown because Sharon and I really liked the color.
This stuff was kind of a pain to sew. It's very slippery under the machine, and tended to stretch in inconvenient directions, but it comes out of the dryer perfectly ready to wear.
The only thing I'd really change about this pattern is the topstitching on the front band. The instructions have you stitch a quarter inch from the edge, but I think that looks a little silly. Next time I use this pattern, I will probably stitch very close to the edge, like one eighth or one sixteenth inch away.
I used thinner margins for the topstitching on later project and I like it more. Of course, there's a lot more topstitching on that project, so it's difficult to say what had had the most affect.