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Simplicity 9157, Men's casual shirt..How not to do a sew a long!

Oh my, where to begin! I'd seen so many people having difficulties with Simplicity 9157. It's a man's shirt with an open neck, think Hawaiian shirt or PJ's...

I had great intentions starting this project, chose a fabric from my stash, cut(matching the checks) & marked the pieces and began sewing following the instructions.....not my usual process!

Firstly I chose the wrong fabric. For a sew a long it didn't have an obvious right and wrong side making photos really confusing. So, why did I choose it? It was already in my shirt making stash and something I thought one of the men I sew for might wear. Now it's finished it's too crisp for a casual shirt. We all make mistakes.

I took loads of photos, made the collar, and added the facing. This is when I discovered a significant problem with the pattern pieces and instructions, which made me pause with my intentions for a sew a long. I contacted Simplicity and had a reply within an hour! I was sent a pdf of the updated instructions. I thought about buying the newest version of the pattern to discover if it had been altered it to match the instructions, but .....

This pattern has so many techniques I could write about so I hope to add tutorials for matching checks and stripes, patch pockets, what I call a combination collar, how to add an opening at the bottom of a french or felled seam, sewing a cuff and a continuous strip opening.

Keep reading for a few things I did before giving up with the sew a long.

If, like me, you have the older version of the pattern I'll try to explain how to do the collar...also click here to see how far I got before giving up on the sew a long, explaining cutting out, matching the checks, marking the fabric and cutting the interfacing.

Here's the finished shirt. Not the best photo, but did you notice there's a patch pocket?

All that pattern matching....everything matched up perfectly except for one side of the front hem!

I'm sure the matching stipes on the collar and revere will be much more obvious.

I have to say this isn't my favourite shirt. Partly the pattern and partly my choice of fabric, also not really the style my husband or son usually wear....I see a PJ top rather than a casual shirt.

If you have a problem with a pattern from the 6 brands owned by Simplicity email them at I thought they were a faceless company, I couldn't be so wrong. In the US they have numbers to call where someone will help you with the actual pattern in front of them.

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