As some of you may know from reading my blog, I am a big fan of the Granville shirt from Sewaholic Patterns. I’ve made it twice before, here and here, but I knew that I wanted to make more so I chose it as my next Cali Fabrics make!
You may have seen that my first post on the Cali Fabrics blog talked about a complicated coat project, so this time around I wanted to make something a bit more simple but using a fabric I hadn’t used before. As I’m trying to make pieces that work better with other parts of my wardrobe I wanted something in a neutral colour-way that would work with lots of my other clothes. I was browsing the cottons section online and found this fab black and white micro gingham seersucker. I love gingham, there’s something so classic and slightly kitsch about it. Here in the UK coloured gingham is typically used for school summer dresses for primary school uniforms (ages 4 to 11 for those in the United States, not sure what grades though!) so I have been put off in the past using gingham as an adult, but as school summer dresses here are normally red, green, yellow or sky blue gingham, I figured I was fine choosing black!
I’ve never used seersucker before – for some reason I thought it would be difficult to work with because of the slightly crinkled texture, but actually it was totally fine and has sewn up really nicely! It didn’t fray any more than normal flat woven cotton would. It has a slight stretch to it and does slightly flatten when ironed out but it snaps back into shape with no warping which is useful. This cotton gingham is between light and medium weight but crisp without looking too starched and stiff, so it’s really comfortable to wear, plus that extra bit of stretch is quite forgiving!
I pre-washed on a normal setting at 40 degrees and there was very little shrinkage. I don’t think the colour ran too much either – I always advise to pre-wash with a colour catcher before cutting out and also use one in the first 2 or 3 washes once something is made up, just in case. I made this shirt up exactly as before, with no adjustments to the pattern from when I’d made it previously. When I was halfway through I realised I’d forgotten to move the bust dart down like I’d stated in previous posts, but I’d gone too far to correct it and actually it looks fine! I wanted to add a few twists to the classic styling of the Granville, so I omitted the collar on this one to create a mandarin collar. Adding the collar stand section on this version was so much easier than I’d found it previously because of the stretch of the seersucker. I didn’t use any interfacing on the collar and button stands – I must confess this was accidental but actually this worked in my favour as the seersucker has enough thickness on it’s own to be stable enough to support the fastenings. I also didn’t worry too much about pattern matching – the micro gingham squares are only 2mm across so it’d take a long time to match the plaid all over. As the pattern is so tiny I just cut as close as possible. You can see across the back yoke how the print is only a teeny bit off – nobody but another seamstress who knew to look for it would see it!
Because I was using a pattern I was familiar withand a surprisingly easy fabric to stitch up, I wanted to do something a little unconventional with the fastenings. My mum and I had been to Paris in November for sightseeing and fabric shopping, and we had visited Anna Ka Bazaar. I’d fallen in love with some of the new collection knits, but as it was a little out of my price range on that day I bought some pretty jade green coloured snaps. I’ve never used plastic snaps before, so I decided to try them on my shirt to update a classic button down shirt. The black and white gingham is a great base to add colour to, and although these are a lovely green-blue, the colour actually works well with a lot of other things in my wardrobe.
I bought some cheap snap pliers from Ebay to have go. They are super easy to apply. Yes they are a little bulkier than a traditional shirt button but they are very lightweight and I think the whole thing looks fresh and modern without being too ‘out there’. I know it’s winter here in the Northern Hemisphere but gingham is so timeless and the colour of the poppers works in all seasons, so I’m hoping this shirt will get a lot of wear over the year.
I really enjoyed working with the seersucker, and am eyeing up some of the other colour-ways for some summer projects. My favourite is this incredibly cute orange striped version by Robert Kaufman – look at those adorable little bow ties! This would sew up so nicely as a sundress. May have to treat myself in the New Year!
Please note: the Cali Fabrics blog team and I have been provided different fabrics in exchange for our participation and our honest reviews. All opinions expressed in my posts will be my own. Where supplies were purchased elsewhere, this will clearly noted with alternatives available at Cali Fabrics given where possible.