Category Archives: 5047 Camp Shirt

Summer 6PAC Camp Shirt

I do think that a Camp Shirt should be easy wearing which to me means slightly over sized.  I’m not entirely sure about this one, mostly due to its length.  Current fashion is longer, tunic length and odd if not asymmetrical hems. My hem is level and falls somewhere between high hip and tunic length. I *might* be able to get used to this but right now it seems a little off.

I do love this rayon challis from Craftsy. It is like a fine silk which rayon was developed to imitate. Also was tickled when I discovered the perfect buttons in my stash:

The print is circles with circles within a zig zag color scheme.  My buttons are gold circles within white circles and the white matches the white of the fabric print.

I had fitting issues because I had forgotten all the things I’d done in the previous 4 versions of the same pattern. My tissue is rather cryptically marked with two shoulder lines. I fit the bare shoulder then added length for a 3/8″ shoulder pad.  I like shoulder pads. Not football protection, you understand, but a little filling-in of my maturing figure where needed. I think a properly chosen and worn shoulder pad is no worse than Spanx in anyone else’s closet. Shoulder pads help me achieve the appearance I want to project a-n-d want to see in my mirror.

I’m particularly pleased with the left side above, which does not display objectionable drag lines. Yeah sure, there are some lines due to my posture as well as the ease and drape of this wonderful fabric.

I should have pressed one more time.

I had fit this a little closer by using 3/4″ side seam allowances when I thought I had trimmed the pattern’s SA to 1/2″. To my surprise, I experienced tightness in the sleeve and between the shoulder blades along with some restricted arm movement. I ripped and then stitched between wrist and vent a 1/2″ SA.  ATM, I’m not sure how I’m going to adjust the pattern.  Adding that 1/4″ at the underarms and sleeves certainly made them more comfortable and mobile. However, I preferred the look of the slightly closer fit.

Construction was a breeze, outside of the initial confusion with the shoulder seam allowances.   A camp shirt is designed for ease; both ease of wear and ease of construction. The slightly dropped shoulder and flattened sleeve cap remove all the difficulty of a set in sleeve especially since I sew these in flat like a T-shirt. I cut and then fused bias tape to the neckline. I wish I had also taped the armscyes and hems.  My difficulty with the shoulder meant these areas were handled several times and, as can be expected, both stretched and raveled.  Many of the seams (collar, facing, sleeve/armscye) are serged at 1/4″. The others were basted with water-soluble thread until fitting was satisfactory. Then were straight stitched and  serge finished. I under stitched collar and front facing but top stitched the hem.  At the last second I added 1/4″ shoulder pads and tacked them into place; used the blind stitch to secure the bottom 5″ of the front facing.  I’m using Loes Hinse cuff procedure (from the Tunic Blouse 5203).  Had intended to do a little differently with the cuff but by that time I decided the garment needed no further handling.

I anticipate using this pattern in the near future.  There is a point at which you should leave the pattern alone and tweak for fit. But I think a little more can be done to assure me of an easy sew/easy fit pattern. I want to reach that point. More importantly, I want to be so confident of the fit, that I feel free to  copy design details from RTW and other patterns. As I noted with the Golden Apricot Blouse,  I prefer to buy pattern.s Usually, most of the decisions have already been made and tested. There are a surprising number of options, small changes, that make a difference in how the finished garment looks, feels even coordinates with other garments in the wardrobe. But given my figure and many needed alterations, sigh, I’ve admitted to myself that working with an untried pattern is difficult and frustrating. More frustrating then starting with a similar, basic style and incorporating the desired styling. I anticipate buying fewer patterns and the ones I do buy will be because I need templates; I need to know the conclusion someone else reached after testing numerous details.

But for now, I can happily say, had I see this blouse in a store, I would have bought it.  It has the  perfect colors for me; a classic shape I love and this particular blouse, since I sewed it, fits pretty well.  So, that finishes Garment #2 of my Summer 6PAC

Blouse/Shirt Jacket for 6PAC

I’ve decided to use Connie Crawford’s 5047  Camp Shirt for the corner-stone of my Summer 6PAC.  I like how the extra ease of a camp shirt enables it to function as a shirt jacket.  I’ll wear the camp shirt by itself whenever the temperatures are cooler i.e. late spring, autumn, cool evenings, visits to the mountains etc.  There are other times when I’ll ne expecting a warm day and will start the day in either the Golden Showers Blouse from yesterday or the coral tank (yet to be sewn or shared).  The day turns cold.  Maybe it’s  a sudden summer shower. More likely I’m sitting in the doctor’s office, just run into the grocery store, or other highly air-conditioned setting.  For those circumstances, I carry my camp shirt with me and slip it over whatever top I’m wearing. Instant comfort and control of my environment.

Most of the time, I don’t notice I’m aging.  Every once in a while it becomes apparent to me.Like now when I’m daily choosing to wear one of 5047’s previous versions while having completely forgotten the fitting effort. Seriously, I’m looking out there in pattern land for my perfect camp shirt pattern, while already wearing it. Duh. The good news is that I didn’t need to do a lot of prep.  I compared it with my basic block and confirmed it had sufficient ease (an extra 1/2″ on each side seam).  Even the sleeve had  extra ease.  Can see that I  already added 1/2″ to the collar CB because I previously thought I wanted the collar to sit closer to CF.  My biggest concern was overall length.  I like the existing length, but the current trend is longer.  I’ve found I don’t like ‘real’ tunic length.  To me, I look unbalanced, deformed even.  Its like I’ve lost leg length while my torso has grown. It’s not a matter of getting accustomed to the extra 6″.  Tried that twice.  Wore the garments several times before whacking off a few inches. So, I dithered for a few minutes before adding 3″ length at the hem.   Less than what’s needed for tunic length but more than what makes it high-hip on me. Last changes, not really a changes but a style decisions.  I folded the sleeve up 1.75″ to offset the 2″ planned cuff and replaced cut-on vents with separately cut 2″ wide by 9″ long strips.

I laid out my rayon Challis fabric; aligned the pattern pieces and cut my fabric. I think I’ve mentioned this before, I love creating a coordinated set by choosing a print fabric and then from the colors of the base fabric, selecting matching/coordinating fabrics for the other garment pieces.  This charming rayon Challis print is my first Craftsy fabric purchase

I predict there will be more. More fabric purchases. I thought Craftsy provided plenty of information to make a decision i.e width, fiber, weave, professional pic etc.

I was concerned about color accuracy and the lengths available.   Most fabrics are offered in 2 or 3 yard lengths.   That works for me with blouses/tops. I would be more reluctant when making a selection for pants.  I can squeeze a pair of pants out of 2 yards but I prefer a little wiggle room. I may want to check for shrinkage or match patterns. A contour waistband definitely needs more yardage than a straight; cut on WB can completely eliminates itself as a choice because the extra length just wont fit. I can run afoul when  I’m limited to 2 yards, yet I hate buying an extra yard of fabric and being left with this big ol’ piece that’s missing an 8″ square.  So purchase length will be a concern for me but not necessarily a deal killer. Thankfully,  colors were accurate and the hand what I expected.  Rayon Challis is pretty standard in that way.  But I have had the experience of purchasing a med-weight ponte for pants only to realize upon it’ arrival that it was not pant worthy.  Even when fabrics have a standard hand, I always have this niggling fear that the description wont fully prepare me for the actual fabric.


Well 1  had hoped to get this all in one post, but as usual I have more to say then should be said in one post.  Please come back tomorrow for construction and fit details.