Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Completed: The Henry Shirt Wearable Muslin

One of the main pieces I'm planning for the boys' fall wardrobe is The Henry Shirt from Sewing for Boys. I've got three planned for each of them.

There are a dozen of Ryan's old dress shirts in my upcycle pile, but it takes two large men's dress shirts to create one shirt for the boys.

Enter The Henry Shirt. It calls for two fabrics -- perfect. Two of Ryan's shirts that coordinate will make one Henry. It's a button-up style (the pattern has snaps, but I'll go with buttons) that can be layered. It will be perfect for church or dressy casual occasions.

Because I'm planning so many of them, I wanted to do a test version. The reviews of the pattern indicated that it's boxy and runs wide and short. Lee is an average sized almost-6-year-old boy, so I sewed up the size 6/7 knowing it would likely be too big.

It was. But he'll be able to wear it eventually, so no big deal. I didn't add the buttons because they'll never be used anyway.

Here are the things I love about this design:
the pockets
the box pleat
the curved yoke
the raglan sleeves
the enclosed seams and neat finish
the opportunity for embellishment (piping, anyone? embroidery on the pockets?)

Here are the things I don't love about this design:
the collar
the collar (It's worth mentioning twice. This collar and I had words, y'all.)
the boxiness

It's awesome enough that I will still sew up my planned versions.
Here are the changes I'll make:
raise the pockets higher and make them taller
use the smaller size (4/5) everywhere but length (6/7)
consider narrowing the box pleat
add 1" to the size (6/7) length
rethink that collar and maybe reduce its size. it just seems off scale.
use buttons instead of snaps
add a size tag. for the love, WHY can't I ever remember to do that?

Pattern: The Henry Shirt from Sewing for Boys
Fabric: Ryan's old dress shirts
Size: 6/7
Modifications: None
Thoughts: This pattern is rated Advanced, and I get that. While I don't consider myself advanced, there are some curved seams and such that could offer challenges.

I didn't have a bit of trouble until that stinkin' collar. I could NOT figure out how to get the edge of the collar to conceal the top of the button placket. Ugh. It was bad. It turned out okay, but still. Too much effort there. So much so that Ryan offered to help. And I considered letting him.

The reviews for this pattern were tough. The main problem is there aren't enough diagrams in the book to explain the steps in detail. And unfortunately there was a great sew-along, but the pictures there didn't provide enough detail to help me with the collar. (Although they did answer the tricky question of which side of the collar is the top and which is the bottom.) If you sew this pattern, I highly recommend checking out the sew-along at Thar She Sews and Bilingual Baby.

Overall it's got enough awesome details that I feel it's worth sewing again.

Now if I can't beat that collar into submission, I reserve the right to change my mind.

(Project Run & Play starts September 9th. I'll be using this pattern during the "Mad for Plaid" theme during week 3. So far that's the only week to which I'm totally committed, but I've found myself daydreaming about how to re-mix the free Oliver + S Popover Dress pattern for the week 1 challenge... ... ...)


  1. The mad for plaid is the only week I'm totally committed, too...

    1. Oh, you will ROCK the plaid week. You've got a knack for that kind of stuff.

  2. I've made two Henry's for my kiddo and LOVE them on him. One of them is in my Flickr pool (http://www.flickr.com/photos/13512383@N06/8642987635/in/pool-1617871@N20/)

    Let me know if you need to talk something through. Sometimes it helps if you can talk it through with someone who has made one. :)

    1. Oh, I will definitely contact you if I have trouble with the collar again. Your shirt and boy are adorable!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I'd love to send a response, so be sure to enable your email in your Blogger profile.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...