Wonka Shirt Done

General Ramblings comments edit

Well, for all intents and purposes it’s done. I only have to make five more buttonholes (using the automatic buttonhole attachment on the sewing machine) and put on the buttons, so we’ll just call it done.

I spent probably eight hours on it Sunday, fighting with the various pieces to make them line up, adjusting things as needed to make them straight and compensate for my amateur sewing abilities. In the end, it turned out pretty well, and it fits, which is really what I was hoping for. I was gonna be pissed if it was too small or something.

I used McCall’s pattern M2447, a combination of views A and C so I could get the collar without the collar stays in it (so I can flip the collar up like Wonka without the stays falling out) and the French cuffs.

Let’s see if I can remember how much all this cost me…

Pattern: $6.50 Fabric: $16.00 Interfacing: $4.50 Buttons: $3.75 Collar stays I’m not going to use: $2.00 TOTAL: $32.75

And, of course, about 16 hours of my time. Suddenly that $50 shirt at the store isn’t looking so expensive.

I’m pretty pleased with it, though. Mom always said that when you’re done sewing something it should look just as good inside as it does outside, and I’d say I’m there with it - everything inside is nicely put together, the outside looks crisp and clean. Granted, the lines aren’t perfectly straight (pretty close, but if you look you’ll see flaws), the buttonholes aren’t perfectly spaced (making buttonholes is a pain in the ass), and there’s a spot on the front band toward the bottom where it sort of takes a slight… turn… so the bottom of the front isn’t perfectly straight. But that part gets tucked in anyway, so I’m not too bummed about that. All in all, not shabby.

Things I discovered during the making of the shirt:

The chair we have for sewing sucks. It’s one of those foldable “director” chairs with the canvas seat and back. Far from ergonomic. By the end of the day, my back and neck were killing me.

Shirts are a bitch. I made a Neo costume last year - a long black trenchcoat thing. It was a piece of cake compared to this shirt. There was a lot of hand-stitching and crap on this shirt, and a hell of a lot more pieces. Of course, the costume I had last year was a costume, not, like, an official piece of clothing, where this shirt is from a pattern where they actually intend you to wear it regularly, so it’s a much higher quality garment. Still, with the plackets and collar pieces and such… shirts are a bitch.

The worst part of the thing is cutting out and marking the pattern. It’s way, way, way too boring. I like it when you get to sewing the pieces together and it starts to take shape, but there’s a lot of prep work in there that I could just do without. (That’s not a new realization, but I thought I’d get it out there anyway.)

Next step is to get the Wonka walking stick going and start in on the vest. I’ll save the coat for last because I think it’s going to cost me a frickin’ arm and a leg with the velvety fabric I’m going to have to buy. It’s also going to be a total pain in the ass, I’m sure, because I actually bought a real trenchcoat pattern (lined and all) and it’s about an inch thick still in the envelope so I can only imagine how much work that’s going to be. Good thing I got started early.

UPDATE 10/02/05: The costume came out well. Here are the details.

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