I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this pattern, the Alex Shirt from Sew Over It's e-book, My Capsule Wardrobe City Break.
That's why, when this rayon wanted to be a shirt, I reached for Alex once again. I got the fabric at Spotlight in Australia in April. It was on sale for just under $12 a metre, so I got 1.5m for a shirt. I also got 2.5m of a black with pink/green/silver florals.
Learning from my previous Alex Shirt, I sized down from a 10 to an 8, leaving the collar and neckline as a 10 (this because the 8 was cut away in places when I cut the 10). I also added interfacing to the under collar. Next time I would interface the tips of the sleeve tabs too. The final change I made was to skip the pockets. They would have spoiled the drape and the pattern of the fabric.
I found the instructions for enclosing the yoke seams very confusing. It says to twist the edges, but doesn't say in which direction, or how many times. I used the "burrito method", detailed beautifully in Grainline's Archer sewalong. I'll be using that for all yokes from now on. In such a thin fabric as this, I didn't even have to roll it up, it just sat nicely inside the yoke, and it was fun to have it spill out afterwards.
This pattern doesn't work so well in a fabric that has an obvious wrong side. The lapels aren't faced, and the one piece collar means that the wrong side shows where the neckline opens. I fortunately/accidentally managed to have a bird at each point of the lapel, so the lighter colour saved the look of the neckline, but if it had been the navy background, it would have showed the wrong side badly.
The rolled up sleeves also need a fabric that doesn't have an obvious wrong side. I added cuffs to the sleeves, so I can turn these up and then fasten with the sleeve tabs. I didn't gather the sleeves into the cuffs, nor did I make button plackets for them. They are just the same width as the sleeves and are 5 inches, folded over. I like wearing the shirt with the cuffs rolled up once and then gathered into the sleeve tabs.
I set the tabs much higher than the pattern calls for. I can't understand why the pattern has them so low. It would roll them to about bracelet length, which is a bit pointless since they could be rolled to this length and not need fastening. I noticed this before I did the buttons for my white shirt, so I sewed the buttons higher up the sleeve. They are not on the anchor point of the tab, just floating on the shirt. For this one, I placed them much higher up, and the buttons are sewn on the re-inforced part of the tab.
I had four small navy buttons in my stash so I spaced them through the front. Five would have been better, there is a bit of gape between them. I didn't make buttonholes, since I will never wear this shirt open. So much faster! I had two larger, non-matching buttons that were close enough to each other that I could use for the sleeves.
I shortened the hem by 7-8cm, so I can still tuck it in, but also wear it untucked if I want. I find the City Break hems much too long. This photo shows the shortened hem. Imagine if that was 8cm longer.
Will I make another Alex? My head says no, but if I get another drapey patterned fabric, it might be too much to resist.
Fabric: 1.5m £10
Pattern: used previously £0
lightweight interfacing, stash £1.13
navy thread, used previously £0
buttons, stash £0