Sunday, November 30, 2014

Six Negronis!

Six Negronis and I'm done!

The Negroni pattern from Colette Patterns is a great pattern for learning techniques such as flat felled seams, button holes, collars, how to apply interfacing and the yoke burrito method. By my fourth shirt, I was finally confident enough to make the changes to the details that bothered me from the beginning (listed at the end of the post).

Negroni's from the beginning!

1) Negroni test shirt

Cut & size: Large unmodified, version 2 short sleeve.
Details: Single pocket, sleeves rolled out.
Fabric: AGF studio Minimalista darts in black and white ordered from the

My first shirt took over three weeks to make due to nerves!! Yet, even though I was nervous and overly cautious, I still managed to make some giant mistakes, ha ha. The button holes are too far from the shirt edge. This looks bad... I hesitated too long in making the holes and then I screwed up. This taught me that being slow is not helpful and if you are going to make a mistake, just go ahead and do it already. At the time, I could think of no way to fix it but now, 5 shirts later, I am pretty sure I could trim the edge and restitch it...
Anyways, the shirt ended up being too large around the waist, and definitely too long. Easy adjustments for the next one.

Also to note- the shirt sleeves are gigantic and flap around. The pattern appears to be made for some steroid addled brute with giant guns? Not so good for my husband. (Even my muscled rock climbing brother finds the sleeves to be floppy and huge).

2) Negroni #2

Cut & size: Large at the shoulders, grading between large and medium below the armpits to the waist. Shortened length and narrowed sleeves.
Fabric: Japanese print from
Details: Single pocket, sleeves narrowed, medium length.
This fits much better! And it only took two days to make. :) The sleeves are still ridiculously large, but better... and I managed to set the buttons correctly.

The main "new" problem with this shirt is the interfacing. I chose a high quality fusible cotton weave but I must have misapplied it; not enough heat or steam. After each wash, it needs a long pressing to get rid of the little bubbles. It is not unwearable, but it is annoying...

This is what misapplied interfacing looks like after a wash:

3) Crazy negroni- wearable muslin for my brother

Cut & size: Straight medium, no adjustments
Fabric: Quilting cotton Thistle from Anna Maria Horner
Notes: This was a the first shirt for my brother... he was not present during the construction, so I considered it a muslin to test the sizing. He requested the crazy print and loves it... He reported that the sleeves are way too big, even with his rock climbing arms, and the length is too long, but otherwise the fit is okay. He wears the shirt tucked in to hide the length... and wears it to go rock climbing... which is why he likes the thickness of the quilting cotton. Weirdo.
This shirt took one day to make.

Rock climbing in this shirt:

4) Adjusted Negroni for my brother

 Cut & size: Medium at the shoulders, graded to small at the waist. Sleeves narrowed. Button placket is sewn down to pocket to prevent flipping out (And it's crazy big enough to reach that far over!) Shirt shortened to 23" upon request.
Fabric:  Cloud 9 Southwest from Hart's Fabrics
Notes: My brother chose this fabric. It is quilting cotton, but a bit softer than the previous shirt I made him. I hesitated to chop it to 23 inches, but that is what my brother said he wanted. I left an extra 1.5 inches in the hem just in case. My brother reported that the length is good, but again, the sleeves are way to baggy. Again. I keep narrowing, and narrowing and it's never enough!

Rock climbing in this shirt:

5) Chambray Negroni

Cut & size: Large at the shoulders, grading between large and medium below the armpits to the waist.
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Chambray
Notes: This took only an afternoon to make!
I narrowed the sleeves severely this time, and I folded and stitched down the ugly interfaced placket that I've always hated. It is shaped at the collar to keep it flat, and edge stitched along the outer edge to look cool. 

The difference between an adjusted thin placket and an unmodified shirt can be seen here:

6. Aaron's Negroni

Cut & size: Medium to small at the waist. Narrowed sleeves, 26" length.
Fabric: Cloud Nine, Dem Bones Tombstone vine
Notes: This took only an afternoon to make!
I narrowed the sleeves enough for my other brother. He's a bit taller so I kept the length in the shirt. I cut the button plackets/facings to my taste and folded them under again, stitching down. I even modified the shape of the attachment point to the yoke so it could be stitched down too. This made me realize that I really wanted to be making a different pattern.

Things about the Negroni that were not to my taste:

*The button "placket" is a super wide piece with interfacing, not sewn down (unless you can reach a pocket!)... it flips out sometimes. The edge is finished, but still, icky.
*The button "placket" is cut with upper facings along the collar sides, stitched down by the edge of the yoke. Finished, but not stitched down. Ick.
*The short sleeves are clownishly wide.
*The collar is sort of bigger and floppier than desired. (Answer: Collar stand! )

With the alterations I made by shirt six, it seemed silly to keep making the Negroni pattern instead of just finding a pattern that pleased me more. So I did.

However, I do recommend the Negroni pattern for others! Just be aware that the design of the shirt is very casual and might require some adjustments.

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