Our second ShirtFest guest blogger is Cass, better known on Instagram as @CraftyProfessor. She chose to make a summery shirt for her husband using two of our blue cottons. Clearly her heart is in her craft — after finishing the shirt, she made a little something for herself with the leftover fabric!
Over to Cass...
When Loom and Stars reached out to me to see if I would be interested in participating in Shirt Fest this summer, I was so excited. I wasn’t familiar with their fabric offerings prior to that first conversation, but I quickly realized they had something really special. They provide sustainable and really thoughtfully made and sourced products. Many of their shirting fabrics are hand made — either woven or printed by folks in India. Since I was asked to make a shirt for my husband, Kevin, I thought that this detail was really serendipitous because many years ago Kevin spent several months in India, exploring and learning meditation. It still holds a very special place in his heart, so making him a special shirt with ties to India was something I was really excited about.
I chose the Disappearing Check handloom cotton for the main fabric and Tiniest Basketweave as a contrast. I wanted to make a shirt that had some opportunity to play with the two different fabrics, and something that was a little different than the typical collared button down. I decided on the Twig and Tale Breeze Shirt, which is also available for women and children.
I have previously made this pattern for Kevin in a winter weight flannel, but it’s also perfect for a really light weight summer shirt. It includes a just a collar stand and a unique V slit, as well as sleeve tabs, all of which were perfect opportunities for my contrast fabric.
I made a size 40 for him, shortening the length about an inch, but with no other modifications. This pattern and fabric are a really good pairing because both companies pay special attention to details with the goal of a sustainable and lovely garment. The pattern includes a lovely facing around the neck that is stitched down, as well as French seams, so the inside is as pretty as the outside!
I was very excited that I had just enough fabric left over to make something for myself. Sorry there are no photos of us together, but Kevin despises matching outfits, so we’ll probably have to wear them on different days!
I opted for a button-down tank using a pattern that also provides lovely details and the option for French seams. I chose the Pattern Scout Hana Tank with the option that includes waist ties. I used the all-in-one facing method that I actually wrote the blog post for on the Pattern Scout blog and used the contrast fabric to face the ties (not part of the pattern) as well as for fabric-covered buttons.
I had never made my own covered buttons before, but looked up a tutorial on youtube. The method I used was to start with a regular plastic button, add a bit of stuffing on top of it, and then cinch a small circle of fabric around it. I had a bit of trouble getting the back of the button to look nice (full disclosure – they do not look nice) but decided that the back doesn’t need to look nice because this is a top that will always be worn buttoned, and the part that shoes through the button hole looks great!
It was really nice to approach these projects with a bit of extra thoughtfulness and care, and fun to try something new like making my own buttons! I love both finished pieces and we have both worn them a lot already. I hope this inspires you too!
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions. You can find me and my other projects on Instagram @CraftyProfessor.
Check out Cass's sewing on Instagram @CraftyProfessor.