What do you do when you haven’t been able to sew in SIX months? When an international move has sucked up half a year of your thirties, which, let’s face it, is equal to ten teenage years in terms of how much you’ve aged, what’s the first thing you decide to sew up when you actually get down to it? Drumroll, please – A POLO NECK TEE SHIRT FOR YOUR MAN! What, was that not the most obvious choice?
As the self-confessed Queen of Deadlines, I feel no shame in admitting that if I don’t commit to it publicly, it’s not going to get put in my sewing queue. With the craziest winter I’ve ever seen (yes, Toronto, this much snow IS crazy), and a snow day practically every week since we’ve moved to Canada (SURPRISE! I’ll tell you more about the move in my next post), I realized there had to be a day when I sat down and dedicated myself to my sewing. Getting out of the unpacking mindset and into the Let’s Sew This mindset has been the hardest. So when Kelly of Love Notions Patterns put out the tester call for the Men’s Dockside Pattern, I knew I had to sew it up. I have been promising my husband a new tee for a while, and this seemed like my one chance to escape the madness that is Sunday at our place.
I’m not sure why I picked the Polo collar from all the choices in this pattern. There’s a Crew neck, a Henley collar and a Polo collar, and I think I just wanted to prove to myself that I could make the most complicated version, and make it well. I’ve often talked of the satisfaction I get from sewing, and there’s nothing more satisfying than a collar that looks professional. I also chose to sew up short sleeves, even though in this -30C weather layering is going to be a must. The pattern offers a long sleeved and cuffed option as well.
Constructing this wonderful garment was a breeze, I kid you not. Trimless assembly is one of my favorite things about Love Notions patterns, which I truly encourage you to try. I had the pieces cut and ready to go within fifteen minutes! I chose a stable cotton lycra from Wanderlust Custom Fabrics in Steel Blue. The heft of the fabric helped immensely when it came to fiddly bits like hemming and buttonholes.
While sewing up the ingeniously designed placket, guaranteed to minimize the annoying puckering you often see in handmade versions, I couldn’t believe how easily it all came together. I interfaced the collar with lightweight fusible interfacing since I like my collar to have structure, and made sure press my seams at each step. That’s the single biggest tip I can give you, press as you sew. Press with an up and down motion, and press your seams open and in the right direction (away from the body of the garment) and use plenty of steam. No more wrinkly, shabby seams!
The only time I needed to grab the seam ripper is when I went to sew the buttonholes. For some reason, my machine just refused to cooperate with me. That obviously means I need another sewing machine, right? A couple of tries and a LOT of hand turning the flywheel and I emerged victorious. Riding high on my wave of accomplishment, I took photos of the garment being worn right away. It’s pretty much the only way I can get nice photos without creases.
As I leave you, hopefully inspired, I do want to show you the kids’ version of this pattern that was released last year, the Driftwood. Perfect for girls and boys, this pattern has all the features of the men’s pattern! I’d love for you to take a look at it. This is my daughter and her classmate, hamming it up for the camera. Thanks for hanging out with us!
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