I showed my husband the Seamwork Eugene Henley-style top some time ago and he was all “ooh no, I don’t wear that style…” Fast forward a year or so and he suggested I make this style with some fabric I purchased! Men are just as fickle as women when it comes to fashion it seems. This is also a bit of a follow-up on my little quest to find the ideal fabric for a man’s tee. You may remember that I have basically discounted cotton lycra blends, for my husband at least, as he finds them too clingy, and that I had success with some organic cotton I used to make the Sinclair Tao pattern in January. I used a few more of my test fabrics in this Eugene tee, as well as a repeat of the Tao and also another Liesl + Co. Metro Tee.
First though, the Eugene. I cut out the XL for Tom and there are a few small extra pieces because of the little button placket that gives the Henley its distinctive style. I noted that the sleeve head was very high and exaggerated compared to that of the Metro tee and was interested to see how that translated into the final garment. The fabric I used this time was a thicker interlock jersey that I purchased from Organic Cotton Plus at the same time as the Tao fabric. Both myself and the hubby decided that the thickness was more suitable for a long-sleeved tee, so I lengthened the Eugene sleeve by using another full-length sleeve as a template and adjusting.
Well folks, unfortunately this is somewhat of a disappointment and, as you will have seen in the photos, I didn’t even bother finishing the Eugene after the first big fitting. The XL is too broad for Tom at the shoulders and this is rather surprising, as he is a pretty broad-shouldered chap. I just looked back at my review of the Colette Negroni shirt and have actually mentioned the same issue there, although the style of the camp collar shirt meant it still looked ok. Here it does not, sadly, so my advice to you is: go down a size at the shoulder or at least check it out first. I’m kind of kicking myself that I only just remembered the Negroni review I did – arrgghh. I did do my usual internet sweep for the Eugene and came up with nothing very much, which is never a terribly good sign… that very high sleevehead has also resulted in a bit of extra fabric I think and I definitely prefer the flatter shape of the Metro tee.
The lack of Eugene reviews may also be partly because of the instructions for the placket and collar. Man, I just could not understand what they were going on about. The construction up to that point is all pretty standard t-shirt fare, but then it gets messy. I just can’t see how you get a neat finish using the Seamwork instructions, and I started looking up other Henley shirt instructions. I found a couple of good ones: Norris Danta Ford has a nice video for a Simplicity sewalong, as does Melly Sews, although it’s only for the placket rather than the placket and collar. The finish looks particularly bad because there is still washaway tape and pen on the placket – but it’ll look rubbish once those have vanished too.
Unfortunately, I was too far along at this point to use either of the methods I found, so tried my best to fiddle around with it, unpicking and resewing a few times, and it just looks, well… shite, actually. I would have kept trying except then we realised it was also oversized, and so I was like, screw it. It’s a really nice thick, but soft, interlock and so Tom says he’ll use it as a pajama top, but even if not, I can definitely get something else out of it for my son. Oh well… you win some, you lose some…
This tee was the new one out of a batch of three I was making for him and as it was the “new” pattern I was trying, was the main focus of this post. However, I just quickly wanted to mention the other two tees in terms of their fabric, as I’m still looking for suitable men’s tee fabric and these were two new additions to my substrate search.
The first was another Tao raglan, which is a good shape for Tom and I made this one in a hemp and organic cotton jersey fabric from Blackbird Fabrics (now sold out). It was pretty expensive for a tee fabric (for me at least) and it has a slightly slubby texture. It’s still quite lightweight and soft, but definitely not as silky as a bamboo knit or something, which is a good quality for a male tee, it would seem. I really like the result with this fabric and think it’s a good bet actually – that extra bit of texture seems to appeal to my husband and skims rather than clings.
The other tee I made was a short-sleeved Metro tee, which I’ve made several times. This time I made it in this glorious jersey, described as “faded geometric striped jacquard stretch jersey” in the L’Etoffe Fabrics store, but now sadly sold out. I actually spotted it being cut for someone else at the owner’s Sew Expo stall in February and immediately nabbed some of it for myself.
It’s one of those “you have to see it in real life” fabrics, but believe me when I say the quality is exquisite. It has a tinnyyyy bit too much cling for Tom’s liking, but he loves the design too and I told him unequivocally that this would be a very expensive tee in any RTW store. I know he’ll wear it a lot. 🙂
I had so many plans for March, but got completely flattened by a bout of the flu. It’s been many years since I experienced “proper” flu and it certainly hampered my sewing progress since I finished the Faron jumper. So I’ll be back on Sunday with my finished #sewmystyle cardigans, but most of my recent work will be written about in April now. I’m going to both San Francisco and New York next month (SO EXCITED), so it’s going to be a crazy four weeks. Can’t wait!