When we heard there was going to be a seaside airshow coinciding with our son’s very important birthday, DH and I decided we all go! We didn’t dare tell… Airshows are weather-reliant and prone to cancellation so we led our new teenager to believe the excitement was in seeing the sea, fish ‘n’ chips on the beach and a new shirt with a cool print of planes for him to wear.
Made out of Liberty Tana Lawn. Like he’d care about Liberty Tana Lawn. But you might! This was bought last year from Fabric World (49c Goldhawk Road) and though it’s not the latest release, the print is still available online and in other colours too.
I used a man’s shirt pattern McCall’s 6044 which, as it stands, is way too big for a young teen. This is where a photocopier with a “reduce function” proves valuable. I shrunk Size Small to 80%, which is easy enough and much quicker than enlarging a pattern (as I did to make Two Peas in a Pod).
If you want to try it, take an actual garment measurement and your desired garment measurement then use a calculator to divide the latter by the former: this works out the percentage by which you have to reduce your copy.
Actual finished shirt length: 30in
Desired shirt length: 25in
Reduction percentage: 25 / 30 = 83%
Beware that your Seam Allowances will shrink too so reduce them from 1.5cm to 1cm or similar.
M6044 is an easy pattern to make and my View A was especially quick. The only difficulty was stitching the thick parts of the undercollar: the corners where the collar has been inserted and the interfaced, folded seam allowances are very thick. Does this part of shirt-making drive you mad? Do you have any tips for success? After five failed attempts at making the top buttonhole, my machine was in danger of being taken out and beaten in the style of Basil Fawlty thrashing his car. Which is when I knew it made sense to just leave the top button off. I don’t think it matters:
As for the airshow on the birthday, the sun did come out! As did the Red Arrows, a fearsome F-16 MLU, some Wingwalkers on Boeing Stearmans and many others. And I marvelled at the planes’ design perfection and at the skill and bravery of the pilots while feeling very grateful for it all. Especially for the son!