14 February 11

Male Pattern Boldness: Negroni Sew-along

It is officially February 14th, and I just finished Day 3 of the Negroni Sew-Along. To say I’m behind is a bit of an understatement. And I feared I would a bit behind, but I didn’t realize we’d get hit with a blizzard, AND I’d get hit with another 2-week bout of illness. (Aside from a few weeks in January, I’ve either been getting sick, sick, or getting over a cold since the middle of November.)

But instead of making excuses, I’d thought I’d show my progress and document where I am right now in the sew-along to make a shirt for Andrew.*

Pockets for the shirt

The pattern, and Peter, start with the pockets for the shirt. These are not perfect, but I honestly wasn’t trying very hard to make them perfect either when I was cutting or sewing or pressing.

The pattern says that the pocket flap should be sewn on a 1/4” seam and the pocket should be sewn on a 3/8” seam. Well, if you look closely you’ll see that the flaps are larger than the pocket when they should be the exact same size. So, I think this means I need to pay more attention when I sew the pocket flap next time (hopefully out of the real fabric) to make it the same size as the pocket itself.

One great tip I read in the comments was how to make the two pockets so they were the same shape and size. Peter suggested creating a template to use for pressing. I have used this idea before, but it is a bit fiddly.

A commenter suggested sewing them right sides together, turning right-sides-out, and pressing the beeejeeezus out of it. Then turn them back inside-out and remove the stitching. This gives you two pockets with essentially the exact same size, shape, curve, etc.

I loved the idea so much that I tried it, and it was the perfect solution. I can see myself using this method when I place patch pockets on the insides of bags, as well.

Aside from needing to make sure that my pocket flap is the same size as my pocket, I’m pretty happy with my success on this so far. The only other change I’ll make on the real shirt is to change the top-stitching. Peter suggested top-stitiching 1/4” from the flap edge, which is what I’ve done here. I think it is too far from the edge and makes the pocket look more homemade. So before I go to bed, I’m going to look at Andrew’s existing pockets and see how they’re handled. But I suspect that a 1/8” top-stitching seam is what I’ll use in the future. I may do a double-row of stitching in thread coordinated to match the fabric. But that’s only if I’m feeling daring.

The real fabric I’ll be using for Andrew looks like this:
Men's wool shirting

It is 100% wool (I’m going to test-wash it soon, even though I’m nervous). It’s a bit retro, but the striped pattern will help with the grain-finding in the real shirt, but the pattern isn’t so crazy that I think I’ll have a hard time matching it up.


  1. I love that shirting…let me know how it washes!

    Lacey on Feb 14, 10:28 am

  2. Oh that fabric that you’re using is going to look fabulous on Andrew. Love it!

    lauren on Feb 14, 02:19 pm

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