At the ASG Conference in July, I had the great pleasure to meet and chat with Janet Pray, owner of Islander Sewing Systems and sewing instructor extraordinaire. She is a lovely lady, and we had lots of fun. I only wish we had more time together but business gets in the way. She had to teach classes, and I had to tend the booth. But she was so sweet, and she gave me a copy of her Islander Shirt Pattern. It's a relaxed button down shirt. I made View A, with the convertible collar (View B has a stand collar).
Several of Janet's students had bought some of the Tori Richard fabrics I brought to the show, and she came over and bought some for herself. These fabrics are so soft. The substrate is the same that one of the most prestigious fabric companies in the world uses (hint, "London"). It's so lovely, with a hand and drape that must be felt to be appreciated. And they are a dream to sew!
For my version, I used Tori Richard Paisley Cotton Lawn - Orange/White. I made it in a size large, straight from the envelope, so I could see how the fit and construction are. And here are my observations:
Fit wise, this is a relaxed style, so I expect it to run large. It has slightly dropped shoulders. I used the chest measurements to pick out his sizing. He has narrow shoulders, so if you are making it for someone with narrow shoulders, check the shoulder width and start with that, tapering out to a larger size if you need to. Next time I'll cut a medium at the shoulders.
Janet's patterns use clothing manufacturing industry standard seam allowances, which makes life SO much better! ¼ inch SAs for facings and collars, 3/8" and ½" where appropriate. Make sure you note the seam allowances, and she repeats them at every stage of the instructions. No needless grading and trimming of seams after sewing.
I cut my fabric on the straight grain for the front and back, and on the cross grain for the yoke, collar and sleeves.
The pattern uses a pocket construction method that is pretty cool, but I opted for my own, double-layer pocket (IMO, it's more robust to wear and tear). I was pretty pleased with my pocket placement, too!
(Look for the stitching lines to find the pocket)
The instruction booklet is great. It has lots of tips and explanations that you can use with other patterns as well.
This is an excellent pattern that is really well drafted. As always, check the sizing, especially at the shoulders. That's not a ding against the pattern; it's true of just about any pattern you make for the first time. DH loves it, and wants to wear it to his next big band gig.
New Fabrics Coming Soon, and Summer Sale in Progress!
I spent Thursday and Friday on a buying trip, and boy, did I get some great stuff! I'll be posting it over next week, so check back often. Also, the End of Summer Sale is going on right now. Save 15% off a wide array of fabrics that you can sew now and wear now! You don't need a coupon, the discount will be applied at checkout.
Enjoy, and happy sewing!