You are IN LUCK my readers, as this holiday season I am hosting a flannel shirt sew-a-long here at kelly.hogaboom.org! Here is our overview:
Briefly: in this sew-a-long, I will be showing the reader how to sew up a masculine-styled flannel long-sleeved shirt. Like, I am living IN THE LAND of OG flannel awesomeness and I love sewing menswear – so this seems appropriate. I will sew the shirt, step-by-step, in installments with photographs and verbal descriptions. The installments will begin November 17th and finish November 27th.
This sew-a-long is appropriate for beginners and intermediate stitchers. I will be offering many kinds of support – in the comments here, via email or twitter, and through Skype. Local stitchers can expect hand’s-on help, if they need it!
A few caveats.
1. I will be showing you how to sew a flannel shirt the best way I know how. Every single pattern out there comes with instructions; by participating in this sew-a-long I’m assuming you want something different than those instructions. If you follow this sew-a-long I suggest you follow it to the letter to get the results I get.
2. I will be making a simple alteration to the size, but in general, this post will not be covering pattern alterations for fit. Feel free to post any questions about size adjustments and fit in the comments.
3. For November and December 2013 only, I will be available to Skype with anyone who wants one-on-one help. Take advantage of this service! If this is something you want, please text me at 360.500.3287 and we can set something up.
4. I am putting together a shirt-sewing kit for the holiday season, and I will be briefly mentioning this kit in the posts. If you can’t take that kind of self-promotion, be warned!
And now – on to the prequel post! You will want to get your supplies fairly soon, and the pattern I am using is primarily available by mail.*
Clockwise from top: several yards 100% cotton plaid flannel, a shirt pattern (Jalie 2111), lightweight fusible interfacing, buttons, thread, a cotton remnant (for pocket lining), and a satin remnant (for cuff lining). Please read through some details about supplies, and feel free to post any questions in the comments.
100% cotton plaid flannel: I am sad to report that finding high-quality cotton flannel is a bit tricky. It’s easy to find a flannel that looks gorgeous on the bolt, but when washed, does not perform well. However, if you are careful during construction, meticulous in detail, and hand-wash or dry-clean your resultant garment, even a mid-quality flannel will perform and look beautiful for years. Find a cotton flannel that feels cozy and looks beautiful. There are so many beautiful flannels out there; it becomes hard to pick just one! Select the needed yardage as listed on the back of the pattern envelope (and comment here if you are confused as to how to do this). You need to add 1/2 yard to your yardage if you are an experienced sewist; add 1 yard to your yardage if you are a beginner. I know this “extra” sounds like a lot. But we are going to be cutting on the bias, matching plaids, and adding a pocket. If you’re learning something, don’t skimp on supplies. Treat yourself to enough slack you won’t get frustrated!
Shirt pattern: I opted for Jalie 2111 because I enjoy Jalie’s patterns and they come with an incredible size range per pattern – in this case, 22 sizes! (This means you can make matching shirts for members in your family, no matter how big or small). The Jalie pattern is likely not available at any brick and mortar shop near you. The fastest shipping and the cheapest options are available through Pattern Review; but you can also order directly from Jalie itself. By the way, this pattern will soon be out of print, so grab one while you still can!
Interfacing: I far prefer Pam Erny’s Fashion Sewing Supply interfacings to anything else I’ve used (although you can use a lower-quality interfacing if you like, from your local fabric store). You want a fusible, lightweight interfacing. One such product I adore is the Pro-WEFT Supreme Lightweight Fusible Interfacing. You can purchase it in a natural or charcoal colorway; the minimum-order yard cut will be adequate for this shirt. However, I love this interfacing and use it in many applications, so go ahead and order as much as you like as you will never regret it! (NAYY)
Buttons: The shirt uses buttons in two sizes. I have, shown here, bulk-purchase plastic buttons – 5/8″ and 3/8″ – obtained at JoAnn’s for dirt-cheap. However, higher-end or vintage buttons are a lovely touch. You need a lot of buttons for this shirt, and the back of the Jalie pattern will show you precisely how many, once you know what size you will be working with. Speaking of buttons – I notice Pam Erny’s online shop has several great button options, as well. If you end up liking shirt-making, you may want to buy shirt buttons in larger quantities. Buying them per-card in a fabric store is expensive, and sometimes the fabric store doesn’t have enough of the ones you like! #trueStory
Thread: Use an all-purpose thread. I generally like Mettlers. Polyester, or polyester-wrapped cotton, is strongest. 100% cotton will work in a pinch as well. One large spool should be adequate.
Cotton remnant: I have a pocket-making method that lines the pockets, providing a lovely finish and a pocket that feels great from the inside. You need a piece of 100% high-quality cotton fabric, at least 12″ by 8″. Choose a color that blends in well with your plaid flannel.
Satin remnant: If you’ve worn a higher-end flannel shirt you may notice some of the inner details are made up in satin. This feels and looks luxurious! For the best results, you want a firm-bodied, woven satin (I love fabric.com’s slipper satin – it is inexpensive, especially when on sale, and works well as a firm lining for coats); choose a color that compliments your plaid flannel.
Now – beginners. In addition to the abovementioned supplies, you need general sewing supplies: good fabric scissors, a tracing medium, pen, and pencil; a working sewing machine, a machine needle (a sharp or universal in size 12 or so, depending on how thick your flannel is), a seam-ripper, a hand-sewing needle, a steam iron and ironing board. Some more goodies that will help, but are not essential: a pair of pinking shears, Steam-A-Seam Lite tape (or similar product), laundry spray starch, Fray Check (or similar product), and 100% beeswax (to strengthen thread).
You can also help other people find this sew-a-long in a timely fashion, by posting the badge to your own blog, or sharing via Tumblr/Twitter, Facebook (you can “Like” my page for updates), et cetera. The more people who participate, the better this sew-a-long will be, as I will be making corrections and additions as per feedback. Seamsters in the future will stumble on these posts and be glad for them!
You can also subscribe by RSS to either my sew-a-long feed (in which case you will see all future sew-a-longs when I post them) or just the feed for the flannel shirt sew-a-long! If you’d like another subscription option, email me and let me know. kelly AT hogaboom DOT org.
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Sew-A-Long ONLY rss feed | Flannel Shirt ONLY rss feed
* “Can I use a different pattern?” Yes, but please know you may run into trouble regarding some design details. If you haven’t sewn a man’s shirt a time or two, I highly recommend you just order this pattern and do as instructed. The pattern I’ve chosen, Jalie 2111, is a relaxed-fit flannel with a self-faced button placket, collar stand, and back yoke. We will be making a few changes to this Jalie pattern: cutting several pieces on the bias, adding one patch pocket to the shirt – so there are two breast pockets, lining the pockets, and making a slight change to the sleeve placket.
Sweet! Looking forward to this!
Yay! Glad to have you on board. If you’re going to make one for little guy and one for big guy, my thoughts are: buy supplies for both, then do the little one first. The practice will make the larger one all the more perfect.
I am excited for this sew along!
I really want to do this but there’s no way I’ll have time to do anything but online shopping before 11/17 – any recommendations on flannel brands that you’ve liked in the past? I’ve hated everything I’ve found at JoAnn’s, major pilling after one wash. I’m sharing on FB now to see if I can get some friends on board too!
@Carrie and others looking for flannel:
The Moda Wool & Needle line is likely to be quite nice; despite the name there is no wool fiber in the fabric. Fabric.com is not a quick-shipper (although Express Shipping is available), so you’d want to order soon. Hart’s Fabric has a good flannel selection, their shipping is quick, and they always have wonderful fabrics and are a delight to work with.
Any one else with suggestions – please post!
Remember if you treat the fabric carefully, you can use a mid-quality flannel. I’m sewing with a JoAnn’s flannel and it’s going well.
Hi Kelly, This is my first sew-along and I’m excited. Instead of a shirt for a man, I’m going to make one for myself. I’ll be using Jalie 2111 but make the adjustment for a woman’s shirt. I’ll need to make the buttonhole and button changes. I want it to be loose fitting, so no darts, etc.
I ordered my flannel online from flannelworld.com. They ship from NE WA state (Okanogan, WA) and I have already received it; a black and fuchsia check.
I’m looking forward to this sew-along.
Wow – I’d never heard of that site. Thank you for sharing!
Jalie 2111 is a very loose-fitting shirt. I have another Jalie pattern for a woman’s shirt – Jalie 3130, but I’ve never made it up. I love Jalie’s large size ranges and I think they have some pretty nice drafting, too.
I’m happy to hear you’re joining us!
I saw the woman’s shirt pattern but I wanted to use the one you are using with the sew-along.
Hey sewists – here is another link for flannel, brought to you by wendyrb on Pattern Review – River City Quilts: Woolies flannel. Truly, I am guessing this is a heavier-weight flannel. I will recommend that unless you are an intermediate sewist and have made a meanswear button-down shirt, you should not buy this line. Beginners, it is going to take patience and time to make a shirt, so don’t make an ambitious selection in fabric! IMHO.
Yay, excited….have sewn casual short sleeved shirts before, both for my uncle and sons; however, still confused by classic collar stand and cuff placket method…would love to clear that up
Have been wanting to sew hubby a shirt for a while now! Am looking forward to getting started!! I did find this flannel on sale at fabric depot. I have not sewn with it so don’t know how it holds up….http://www.fabricdepot.com/index.php?page=CatalogPage&pageid=9763
I’m in! I recently purchased a pattern and fabric to make myself a flannel shirt, so your sew along is perfect timing 🙂
The collar stand the cuff placket will be covered in detail with close-up photos. You can do it!
Thank you for another fabric source. Hard to tell based on that link but the prices tell me that looks like a good fabric. I appreciate you sharing; maybe I will get a few yards for future shirts.
So glad to have you join us!
So funny that I came upon this today. I ordered flannel today thinking I will make myself and my husband some flannel shirts!
I’ve got the flannel! Waiting for the pattern to arrive, going to pick up other bits and bobs on Friday.
So glad you are joining us!
Hello Kelly, was wondering if the start date for sew a long could be adjusted? The pattern at Pattern Review is sold out. I called Jalie in Canada and they said they shipped them to Pattern Review yesterday but it will be a few days before they are in stock there and then they have to ship to everyone so it is unlikely that pattern will be to everyone by the start date. The Jalie rep was super nice and did some inventory checking for me at other places and basically verified that it was super hard to find in US. I did go ahead and order from Canada but still will be 7-10 days before pattern gets here. Just wondered if you would consider adjusting the dates? Thank you!
The Jalie rep “found” 3 patterns at The RainShed in Oregon. I called and they have them and will ship asap. Still probably won’t be to Indiana by the 17TH tho I have one on the way.
First of all, thank you so much for your detailed comment. I have been mulling it over in my mind, what to do about this scenario. Your suggestion to delay is a good one, but I also know some people have their supplies and wanted to be finished by Thanksgiving. Ultimately I am going to proceed with the sew-a-long as-scheduled, and then do a “Round Two” starting December 1st. I will be posting the schedule(s) soon.
Thank you again!
Hey stitchers! The schedule(s) are posted! As well as – anyone who comments here will get my email updates. You can ALWAYS opt out of them. I will do my best to keep everyone included / excluded as per their preference!
Thanks Kelly for the schedule. Looking forward to this.
I think I can do the Dec 1st round. I should have my pattern by then and my quilting projects well under way. I appreciate you sharing your time with us.