Friday, January 14, 2011

The Wheel Has Already Been Invented

Today's post features nothing but stolen borrowed photos from around the interwebs. But that conveniently ties in with my theme today: Don't Reinvent The Wheel, so I'm going with it.

First up, Michael's "muslin" arrived in NYC yesterday and he and Peter were kind enough to quickly take some pics so we could all evaluate the fit.

From the front, not 100% great but not too bad. Cute doggie tail though.

From the back, HUGE! (Yes, Michael, this shirt *does* make your butt look big. Gasp! I didn't say that out loud, did I?)

Compare with the Liberty shirt Peter made for him last year (and Michael's much cuter little tush):

Peter tells me he made NO alterations to this pattern. Quite a difference in fit right out of the envelope from one to the next, wouldn't you agree?

To refresh memories, the green muslin is KS 3244, here:

I used the size which corresponds to Michael's measurements. Unfortunately, it's the smallest size in the envelope but still too big on him. I was afraid of this while making it, because Kwik Sew does run big in the men's line. But since it was already here and on-hand, I opted to give it a try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? And I did have a fun weekend in the sewing room with the return of my mojo because of this project.

To go smaller with KS 3422, I'd have to bring out the rulers, cutters and tape. While technically I *could* alter/grade it down, the better option would be to begin with a pattern that fits better from the start and spend my time on perfect collars and sleeve plackets.

A quick Ebay search last night for a copy of vintage McCall's 6890 turned up nada. But Etsy came to the rescue, and in exactly the correct size and for only $2.50. I think my altering time is worth at least $2.50, plus $1.00 shipping. Without hesitation, I bought it. This is Peter's copy of the pattern. Mine should be the same and will hopefully arrive by Feb 1, in time to officially start the Sew-Along.

Meanwhile, my order finally arrived from the slow boat to China. Sheesh. I ordered — and paid — for these December 20.

First up will be knocking off this jacket, hopefully making substantial progress this long weekend. (And the gods laugh hysterically.)

Pattern, Kwik Sew 3764:

Somewhere in the immediate queue will be Kwik Sew 3823, to knock off Knip Mode 2008-08 and Lillian's lovely interpretation of it here:

This will take a little fudging because on the Knip Mode pattern and Lillian's version, the tie hangs freely. On the KS version, the tie is sewn into the center front seam. I prefer the former. It won't be too hard to alter the pattern for that, and much easier than me trying to source that issue of Knip Mode before our fleeting winter temps fleet back out. Because it's a KS, I probably will have to alter for fit too. Look at how low those armholes are in the pattern pic.

* * * * *

Thanks and photo acknowledgement to Peter, Michael, Lillian, and Kwik Sew.


  1. I had to go down a size for my DH Kwik sew shirt. Even though his measurements corresponded to exactly the first size I made it was way too large. The next size down seems to fit the neck, chest and down but the sleeves are too long and the shoulders too wide. So I think I've had the same experence with size that you did. However, the pattern is extremely well drafted and went together really well. I'm using KS 3506. However, I have the same problem with the Simplicity pattern that I was using. So I'm not really sure that KS is the only one to add too much ease.

  2. Easily your time is worth $3.50. Good for you for recognizing that. I most likely would have graded, muslined, sighed, fought with it, tried again, and finally bought the pattern for about $20 by that point!

    Enjoy your long weekend - we have to work Monday. g

  3. That is a well spent $3.50....Etsy comes through again! It's fun watching you get that mojo back, Debbie. I'm also eager to see the Knip Mode and Kwik Sew merger take place since I too am intrigued by that design. I ordered the Knip Mode issue for a ridiculous amount of money and then saw the Kwik Sew one appear what, a month later?

  4. What GMarie said! If you can save a lot of frustration for $3.50, it's well worth it.

  5. What a perfect solution. You are so right in this situation ~ $3.50 is well worth it.

  6. Hahahahahaha, I have that men's shirt pattern! Back in my sewing heyday I made lots of my DH's clothes, even suits,ties, and winter overcoats.
    I've not heard of Knip Mode, I thought you were slagging off KS!
    Today, threading for coverstitch!

  7. Kwik Sew patterns fit my husband *perfectly*! I've decided they're drafted for "corn-fed Midwesterners" like DH instead of slimmer men. My husband is all shoulders, chest, and arms (he really is built like a linebacker), and the KS XXL patterns fit him without a single alteration.

  8. Wow, that is big on him! I'm glad Doug fits well enough in the smallest size, since he seems to like that pattern so much. Well, it was only $3.50 to learn that!

    Good luck with your next one!

    I also am excited about seeing your next project for yourself.

  9. I really like the top you're about to make. I was stumped with what to do with some cotton jersey I have, and so I attempted to make up my own version of that top this morning., if you're curious. :-)

  10. It is so sweet of you to make a shirt for Michael. I'm excited to see the finished garment. :)


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