Sunday, November 11, 2012

Colette Negroni in Liberty

The birthday boy at Palm Cove.

My blog posts are few and far between these days. I have been sewing a little, but have struggled to take the next step and write up the blog posts. In recent times, I've made a top & skirt for my sister, 2 pairs of gym shorts for Meg, 5 knit tees for myself, 10 aprons (for a friend) and a Negroni shirt for Paul. I'll try and get photos this week and do a few catch-up posts I think.

Anyhow, one of my most recent creations was to sew a Colette Negroni shirt for my husband for his birthday. I've never made a collared shirt before. I'm not really into the whole collared-buttoned-up look for myself and I've never ventured further than fishermen's pants for Paul. Somehow though I felt it was time. Time to add this style of garment to my sewing repertoire and time to sew Paul a lovely garment. He does, after all, most definitely deserve a handmade garment sewn with love.

I began by sewing a toile. I originally sewed up a large. The fit was perfect across the shoulders and yoke, however the body of the shirt was too baggy. No slim-fit to be seen anywhere, so I graded the width down to a medium. I did however leave a little extra room across his 40+ year old podge. That, I discovered, is the fabulous thing about sewing your man a shirt. The point where a slim-fit shirt may appear a little too snug, can be accommodated for - you end up with a slim-fit shirt, that appears slim-fit right the way through. No tight spots and no having to go up a size resulting in a garment too over-sized everywhere else. Fabulous, don't you think?

It was blowing a gale at Palm Cove today, so everything appears a little skewed. Trust me, it does all sit flat.

I made two major changes to the pattern. The first was to add a collar stand. I felt the collar on the original pattern sat a little flat for my liking. The second was to change the sleeve piece. The original sleeve piece was way too baggy and shapeless on Paul. I ended up using a sleeve pattern that my sewing teacher had cut from a high-end shirt that her son had purchased. The piece fit the pattern perfectly and was a much better fit. I also shortened the length of the sleeve.

My sleeve piece sitting on top of the Negroni sleeve piece.

I made the shirt with Liberty cotton lawn purchased from Shaukat in the U.K. As far as I know, this is the most affordable way to purchase Liberty fabric if you are living in Australia.

I thoroughly enjoyed sewing this shirt for Paul. I haven't been enjoying sewing much lately and I think it may have reignited my enthusiasm. I enjoyed the process and the ease of sewing with this type of fabric. As many of you would know, cotton lawn is a dream to sew with and provided welcome respite from some of the poorly behaved silks that have been haunting me lately.

Happy birthday Paul!


  1. What a gorgeous shirt and the fit looks spot on. Interesting about the sleeves. I nearly made Andy a Negroni in Liberty but he never wore the 'good muslin' version I made so I didn't bother! Hmm there seems to be a small someone hiding in that last pic :)

  2. Great shirt! And Happy Birthday! I like the wild print in muted greens. Super for casual, everyday life with a bit of style.

  3. Ohh, how nice! Not only did you sew him a shirt but you also used Liberty! Very interesting sleeve comparison. J needed a little bit of extra width through the midsection when I made him his shirt, too. It is nice to make a shirt that fits just right and you don't have to compromise the fit somewhere else.

  4. Its a wonderful shirt. My husband would definitely appreciate custom shirts once I feel up to the task.

  5. Not sure which looks better Palm Cove or your man's birthday shirt. I'd like to be in Palm Cove pretending I made the shirt for my darling husband.

  6. Ooh - lovely! And thanks a million for the Liberty link... I do so love me a liberty print! The Negroni shirt is a total win - looks really great, even more so for a first time at sewing shirts!! :)

  7. I love that fabric. Really love it. I can be a bit ambivalent about Liberty prints (*gasps*) because they can seem quite busy, but this shirt is persuading me.
    Also interesting notes on the fitting for guys.

    Happy Birthday to your husband!