I bought some fabric to make Dallas a shirt around 3 years ago, and it has been sitting at the bottom of my stash ever since …haunting me. Haha. I figured that I had put it off long enough, and I really wanted to try the Strathcona Henley ever since I discovered Thread Theory towards the end of last year.
I really liked that it had two variations, the t-shirt and henley, because I could muslin the t-shirt easily and then when I got the fit right, I could make the henley. I used the fabric that I had saved as the first muslin since I think I had gotten it on sale at JoAnn’s, and I was very hopeful that it would be okay. Sadly, that wasn’t the case because even though Dallas’ measurements lined up with the XL, it still ended up being to tight around his stomach/hip area. So that fabric will just end up becoming something for Braden instead.
For the second muslin I used a rayon/spandex, also from JoAnn’s, that I didn’t have any plans for, and I took one of Dallas’ favorite shirts to compare it to the pattern. It turned out that I needed to add an inch of width (=4″ total when added to all sides), and it fit much better! Dallas was also introduced to what it’s like to wear rayon/spandex, and he’s a fan. When he put it on he said, “It’s so soft! How do girls wear this without going to sleep?!” Haha!
For some reason the pattern pieces are full pieces instead of ‘cut on the fold’ like most patterns, so when I traced them I drew a line down the middle and only traced half. I added 1″ to the side seams, and then I brought out the armscye to match up with it. Then, I moved the notches down 1″ on the bodice pieces to account for the armscye adjustment, but I didn’t do anything to the sleeve pattern pieces. The pattern also calls for 5/8″ SA, which was too much for me to serge off, so I did a 3/8″ SA. The only pattern piece I adjusted for the SA was the neckband by taking 1/2″ off of all sides. Hopefully all of that makes sense. 🙂 (Dallas is 6’6 for reference.)
Since I got it all figured out on the second muslin, I felt pretty good, and made the final long sleeved henley! The shirt is already really long, so I actually didn’t add any length, even though I didn’t use the hem band. I did lengthen the sleeves by 3″ since I didn’t use the sleeve cuffs though. I will probably add an extra inch to the hem in the future, but Dallas still really likes the length and is happy with how it turned out!
The instructions where good, although the part where you fold up the bottom of the placket, where the X is, didn’t have a whole lot of explanation, so I had to sit and stare and think for a few minutes before just going for it. I don’t think I folded under quite enough because my X is more like a tall rectangle instead of a square, but that doesn’t really matter. I used Wonder Tape to keep everything in place while I was sewing it because I just used my regular sewing foot (my walking foot and I hate each other).
The fabric I used for this shirt is a dana knit from Imagine Gnats in the color charcoal (with a slight green tint), and it is awesome! I have noticed that most t-shirt fabrics are cotton/poly blends, but for some reason that type of fabric is so hard to find! Does anyone know why that is?? This fabric is a cotton/modal and is very similar to t-shirt fabric. It is so soft and isn’t super stretchy or clingy. It’s also a REALLY wide fabric, so when I finished cutting out Dallas’ shirt, I still had enough left over to cut out a Santa Fe Top for me (Score!). The fabric comes in a bunch of colors, and I really want the color huckleberry, too.
I was able to get this finished a few days before Father’s Day, and Dallas loves it! I am also going to thank myself later for doing all of the hard work now, so that t-shirt making for him in the future will be much easier, now I have the fit right. I highly recommend trying a good-fitting shirt up to the pattern for the person you are sewing for comparison, especially if you don’t plan on muslining.
Happy sewing, and Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there!