Made by Me!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Papercut Patterns Meissa Shirt - Finished!

This pattern is the Meissa shirt from Papercut Patterns. It is a lovely shirt to make but it took me forever to get round to it! This is the first time that the lurgy has well and truly kicked my ability to sew right out from underneath me. For the last few weeks the most I have done is trace and cut out the pattern pieces and that was on a day off from work when I was meant to be resting. It really did me in and I felt knackered afterwards…so much for taking time to get better! For the next week I looked at the lovely fabric with a sneer as it sat there staring at me…a constant reminder that I hadn’t touched it. Well that’s a lie, I did lay the fabric out and attempted to pin the pattern pieces on to it but I gave up at the effort of it all. I am firm believer of starting a project the way you mean to go on, in a positive and optimistic way, not in a tired, half-arsed fashion.  It is only now over three weeks later that I have cut out and sewed this shirt together. I feel like it has been a bit of an uphill struggle to get it done but it’s a struggle I am glad I went through as I really rather like this pattern.....but...well I am just not sure it works on me!! What do you think? I am sure this is partly due to fabric choice but I am mightily disappointed to have made something I can't work out how to wear without looking like a complete frump!!

The shirt is like a little burst of Spring, or perhaps more appropriately I am channelling a little bit of the seventies here too!! How very on trend....erm hum....But I do I love the flower power pattern of this Bari J fabric and the colour is divine but I am not sure that the combination of the style and the fabric has done me any justice on this occasion!

On the plus side the shirt was really straightforward to put together, I especially liked that you didn’t have to set in the sleeves but that you just sewed them in flat. So much less stress!! I have to say Papercut patterns are built for ease of sewing. Their instructions are so simple to understand and their patterns look much more complicated construction wise than they actually are. Well I say this and whilst I do generally mean it, in this case it was true apart from one thing - the shirt in the pattern instructions show the shirt with the buttons on the wrong side - so doing up a shirt the male way with the buttonholes on the right side rather than the left - unless of course I am reading it totally wrongly. I realised this as far as the front opening is concerned but got the cuffs the wrong way round so it feels like re-learning how to do up a button when I try to put it on!! This means it takes half as long as it should to get it on in a stumbly fashion.  Hopefully you cant notice they are wrong. All in all the shirt was a pleasure to make regardless of the instructional error – and even better for the fact that my sewing machine had been recently serviced and was working LIKE A DREAM! Well apart from the oil I kept finding dripping off of it. I thought I had wiped that machine all squeaky clean but alas no and I may have got some on the shirt itself, and whilst I washed it I am not sure it’s all come out to be honest. I am just hoping it’s not really obvious!

I had thought making a shirt like this would be much more daunting but it really didn’t feel it. Admittedly I don’t think this is exactly a properly tailored shirt. If you want something like that the Granville from Sewaholic is your baby. And looking at some of the online tutorials from Tasia at Sewaholic it is a more intense sewing experience, a bit of a learning curve. It’s the kind of thing I would like to try but am not really into having a proper tailored shirt in my wardrobe so it would be more for technique than for wearing. At this point, when I don’t feel as though I have as much time to sew as I used to, then I really don’t want to risk wasting my precious sewing hours on something I am not going to wear (which is why making something you hope to wear but realise is awful on you is a little bit devastating!). I know it’s not a real waste as sewing to learn techniques is really the only way to push on your skill level but I would rather do it with something that will take treasured pride of place in my wardrobe.

So the only thing that annoys me about the way I have put together this shirt is the pattern placement at the front. I was still a bit off colour when I cut this out and it shows. I would also use a smaller seam allowance on the cuff next time as it is a little bit snug.

There are a few features on this pattern that I love. I like the button placement, two at a time along the placket, and I really like the brass buttons I used. The buttons were a free gift when I bought the Meissa pattern from Sewbox and it felt like destiny that they should become part of the shirt. The only issue was they only gave me five of them and the shirt needed 14 buttons in total, Sewbox had sold out and I couldn't find them on any other site. I have never been great at searching for things on the Internet but it took a good long time (insert days of searching) to find them somewhere that did stock them...and ridiculously it was when I finally just searched under the simple term 'buttons' and clicked on the first available link. I think they are really pretty and work well with the shirt fabric. What do you think?

I also really like the little gathered sections on the top front of the blouse. It is a lovely little touch and makes the shirt just a little different and a bit more feminine than more tailored shirts. The rounded soft collars and wrist bands also feel less formal and rigid. Altogether much more my style. I have to say that the way the shirt is constructed also means there are few exposed seams so the shirt actually looks pretty good from the both inside and the outside. Bonus!

So whilst I ponder whether to wear this shirt or not - style advice gratefully received! - I do think its a really nice pattern and maybe in a block colour will look better on me? Who knows.... I was thinking of maybe taking off the arms to have something a little more casual but I am still not sure how this will work or whether I should just relegate it to the back of the cupboard!! So what do you think? How would you make this disaster better?!


  1. No way is this a disaster! It looks lovely on you. The style is really nice and the fabric is lovely too it's really nice. Not frumpy one tiny bit. Just a really nice shirt nicely made. Love the detailing like the rounded collar and the gathers. V nice. Well done!

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you like it. It is growing on me and the more I look at these pics the more I like it. I guess it just wasn't what I was expecting when I was making it. Someone showed me a picture of a similar style shirt tucked into bell bottoms and it was a really cute look so I am going to give that a go! Thanks for the confidence boost, its always lovely to hear what other people think about your makes.

  2. I think it looks great. With such a large pattern repeat, it isn't obvious that you didn't match the pattern on the front. I didn't notice it until you pointed it out - I was thinking "That's a pretty floral"!

    1. Thank you! Good to know you don't notice the pattern placement so much. And the fabric is so pretty isn't it? The rest of the collection in that range is gorgeous too.


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