Men’s Sewing Fail: Colette Negroni


My boyfriend lives in plaid button-down shirts, so, after all of my success making Archers for myself, I decided to make him a button-down.  I opted to try Colette’s Negroni pattern. Just to be clear, that’s not my boyfriend in the pictures; it’s my little brother Eric.  I’ll explain.

I started by making a wearable muslin.  For the test version, I made up a IMG_6318straight size medium using some plaid shirting fabric that I picked out from Hancock Fabrics. To no one’s surprise, the shirt was too long, as were the sleeves.  My brother and boyfriend are pretty opposite in shape, so you’ll just have to trust me on this. The sleeves were also extremely baggy under the armpits.  I saw some other bloggers complain about this online too, so it’s not just me. I searched and searched on how to fix this problem, but couldn’t find any definitive solutions.  For this muslin version, I simply sewed in closer along the armpits and top of the sleeves.  This was a fail.  The shirt went from having baggy armpits to giving an armpit wedgie. Thanks to my flat felled seams, there’s no going back either. I didn’t bother adding buttons or hemming the shirt.

My little brother’s arms are smaller than my boyfriend’s, so when he was here visiting I got him to try on the shirt hoping it would fit him.  Though the wedgies are not as dramatic, the same issue is there.  You can only imagine how bad they were on more muscular arms.

IMG_6316Even though I knew the fit wasn’t going to be perfect, I took advantage of the opportunity to test a couple new-to-me techniques.  This is the first time that I’ve used flat felled seams. These seams are traditional for men’s dress shirts, judging by Brandon’s other shirts.  They take some time, as they involve stitching, two passes of ironing, and stitching again.  But, they create a nice finish if I do say so myself.  The seams definitely improved as I made my way through the shirt, which is exactly why I wanted to practice.

Needless to say, I’ll be trying a different pattern once I build up the courage to make another men’s shirt.  In the meantime, here’s a picture illustrating how enthusiastic my brother was about this shirt. The sad part is, this is more enthusiasm than my boyfriend showed.  He refused to even have his picture taken in it.


Fabric: Plaid shirting from Hancock Fabrics
Cost: ????
Time: 10 hours

4 thoughts on “Men’s Sewing Fail: Colette Negroni

  1. Megan

    I am working on this pattern, too, and have the same armpit wedgie problem. I’m going to try to alter the pattern and give it another go. I do love the flat felled seams.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s