Cornell shirt made in Hokkoh fabric from Japan
I've been excited to make this Cornell Shirt by Elbe Textiles, I'd printed it out and stuck it altogether a while ago and then, Christmas happened. I struggle with putting projects to one side in fear that I won't get back to it. Then I had to convince myself to make a toile first, which I am not a fan of BUT this Japanese Brushed Plaid is a really unique fabric and shirts can be tricky. I purchased some 'fashion designer's' voile for my first toile (yes I made more than one) bad decision and horrid to sew! It was enough to determine the hem and sleeve length, I was quite sure I'd need to shorten things, I am 5'3". The shirt is described as oversized, so I knew I needed to be careful that it wouldn't drown me.
So looking at my toile that now looked like some kind of medieval costume I started to consider down sizing, it just looked so shapeless and big, I really had to imagine it in the finished fabric, which is exactly why I don't like making a toile! I could have made a wearable toile but that meant picking other similar fabric meaning more expense. Plus the time it takes I knew, my lack of enthusiasm, would mean I'd cut corners not achieve anything in the long run.
Finally, I did decide to stick with the size I'd cut, as I was concerned that sizing down would make the neck band a little tight, (so glad I did as it fits so nice!) Decision made I then started to think about a forward shoulder adjustment, this is something that keeps cropping up on instagram so I've been questioning if I should be doing this. It's not really been something I've considered before as I generally make simple loose fitting patterns but the more I looked at it the more it made sense, especially with a shirt. The seam lines are just stunning on this and the back can hang quite heavy, so I moved onto toile number 2, I suppose I was coming around to the idea of these little practice sessions.
After researching many Youtube tutorials on forward should adjustments, there are many (and all with differing advice). I the end I just went for it. This time I used some cheap poly cotton from my stash, moving shoulder seams and arm band notches. I think I did it right and I'm very happy with the result.
To conclude, this sewing pattern is so beautifully designed and the instructions are amazing. Each stage is broken down perfectly, so I understood it all and enjoyed the process a lot (once I'd got past the toiles!)
The modifications I made:
Shortened the front placket, body and sleeves by around 2 cm. Yoke cuffs and plackets cut on the bias. Plus the forward shoulder adjustment.
This is quite a sophisticated make for me and I've really enjoyed learning some new techniques. Already lining up some more patterns from Elbe Textiles, love the designs!