Saturday, May 2, 2009

Done and Done! And a Weekend Sewing Kai Shirt pattern review

It took me all week, but I finally finished these 2 toddler boy shirts! Someone at my church asked if I would make these for her 2 one year old nephews to wear to her wedding. So to make them I used the Kai shirt pattern in Weekend Sewing. Beautiful book by the way and I can't wait to do several projects for me!

One thing that put me off first is the patterns in the book cannot be cut out at all. They overlap one another on a big sheet of paper. So you are forced to trace from a big bulky awkward piece of paper. I did read on Heather Ross' site on a comment that they used freezer paper to trace them and that couldn't have been more genius! It's not there now as the errata section is a download with comments disabled and all previous comments have been deleted that I can tell. The cool thing about the freezer paper is it is big enough and once traced I ironed it to the fabric and cut it out from there without pins! And as I made some mistakes (to be spoken of further down) and I need to cut another piece it still sticks to the fabric if ironed over and over. ;)

So about the pattern itself. I did the 12 month size and had only a few issues. I've never made a button down shirt before and the instructions in the book were awesome and very clear. I had read one other review before hand and I, like this reviewer found the collar too big. Not by as much as her I don't think, but I did have to cut some off. I made it by the original size then I adjusted when it was time to pin it to the shirt. I also had issues with the sleeves fitting just right. It calls for you to baste them and then you can pull the thread to make it fit, but it just gathered it too much under the arm and I wanted a smoother fit. So I just adjusted my seams to match and fit just right. Also as the reviewer mentioned I found it ran big. I think though this particular shirt is meant to be blousy like a Hawaiian style shirt. I did take in the sides about 3/4" as well.

About my problems.....ugh! I just assumed that all sewing transfer paper washed out. Well I was wrong. I used black transfer paper to mark the button holes for these white shirts. Guess what it didn't come out! So I had to rip apart half of both shirts and replace the right front panel. Here's my ugly black X's (on this one they didn't even line up right from the original pattern). I was so mad! I tried figuring out a way to cut and sew just that part, but it just didn't look as nice. Plus the other shirt I realized that I put the piece on backwards. The fabric has a definite back and front with the white printed on white, but was very hard to see the difference especially in my dining room that has no natural light. I had no idea I did that til I was ironing it in my sewing room in front of a glass door. So the seam ripper and I bonded a lot this week and if I ever make another button down shirt again it will be too soon! lol Don't get me wrong, if you do this pattern right from the get go and don't make [big] any mistakes, it's actually not bad.


Amievoltaire said...

I feel your pain! Thank you for the sewing tips. :<)

glenna said...

My seam ripper has been my best friend this weekend too! thanks for sharing the tip about the transfer paper. I will stick with my marking pens.

Heather said...

your shirts are so adorable as are all the photos of your kiddos at their inside fun. we're in the northwest, so we're stuck inside, alot--or we just put on our gear and go puddle jumping;)


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