Thursday, April 2, 2015

Finally, my first Theo (without buttonholes)

Two weeks ago, when I posted about my Cisse, I mentioned that I also own the Theo pattern from Zonen09. Every time I saw another Theo in blog land, I was excited but somehow never came around sewing one. Then, Jo Bee from Jurkjes and shirtjes challenged me and we made a deal to both sew a Theo. She has posted about her sewing process of the Theo yesterday. She wrote that without our deal, she might have given up on her project, but now she pushed trough (the shirt wasn't finished yet but she had good hopes to finish it on time, so check out her site a bit later). I had a similar experience. I had some other sewing project I wanted to do before I started the Theo and than somehow it was Sunday evening. I wanted to make pictures of a finished Theo on Wednesday to be able to post on Thursday morning. This left me just three sewing evenings so I really had to start! Without our deal I wouldn't have started for sure.


It took me one evening to cut the fabric and another (not too long) evening to make the contrasting corners and iron on all the stabilizer fabric. I washed the fabric a long time ago and put it in my closet without ironing. Taking out the wrinkles totally turned out to be impossible. On the pictures you can still see them a bit, this will be better after its next wash, but a good lesson for next time. If I wash my fabric I have to iron it well before I put it away. Then on Tuesday evening I started putting the shirt together. I sewed a small hour past my usual (23:00 h) bedtime  and managed to finish all steps except for the buttonholes. Those buttonholes were the thing that I dreaded most.The part that scares me is that you do it totally at the end of your project, the shirt is finished, and than you can easily ruin the whole thing by doing the holes wrong. What contributed to the closure problem was the fact that I didn't have nice matching buttons (I do not know what I was thinking, that they somehow magically would appear), and when I checked my snap collection for brown buttons I saw that their color didn't match the brown of the corners. I went to bed because I knew making a decision on the closing now would yield bad results.


In bed I thought about my transparent snaps. I planned to cut small brown circles from my contrasting fabric and just fake the right color brown snaps. So the next day, in the afternoon I cut small circles (I wanted no fabric peeking out from under the side of the button) and tried to put them on the shirt. The transparent buttons I have are size T3, those are the smaller type of snaps. I already experienced that they can not be put on a few layers of jersey, but I was surprised to find out that they also can not bear three layers of thin cotton and two layers of thin interfacing. I know it sounds like a lot now, but it really isn't that thick. After ruining five transparent snaps I let my perfect idea go. I took another look at my snap collection and decided to go for bronze stars. The fabric also has small stars, so that kind of matches. The bronze is far from the same color at the brown, but it just has to do. The T5 snaps easily went trough the layers and would have easily gone through a double amount, but I think they are stable enough.


The Theo has great instructions and, if followed the shirt has a very high quality finish. Many seams are hidden. I was intrigued and decided to actually follow instructions for a change. I even drew an exact 1 cm seam allowance everywhere! I surprised myself. I used a seam allowance measurement tool and relatively easily drew seam allowances next to the pattern lines. I always use the color markers from my kids to draw both on pattern paper and on fabric (they wash out easily). I held a marker next to the measurement tool and moved the tool around the pattern piece while keeping an exact 1 cm distance (I used both hands for this). In about one minute I drew around a whole pattern piece like this. I have seen tricks with two pencils glued together, but in that case you might not have one cm exact and I fear that the markers might move from each other a bit. If the angle you are holding them in is of, you also get less than 1 cm. What are your favorite ways to draw seam allowances, usually I just eye ball it?



I bought the main fabric at modes4u more than a year ago. It is from an old collection of Birch and I bought one meter (1.12 m wide) with the goal to make my son a shirt. When I ordered one meter I didn't have any idea about how much fabric such a project requires and just guested it would be enough. Now, I feared that the one meter rockets wouldn't have been enough for long sleeves.  So, when Jo proposed to make short sleeves I jumped on that. With hindsight it probably would have been possible fabric wise, but time wise it wouldn't have fit for sure (long sleeves require a different more time consuming finish). The contrasting brown is also from Birch and although I bought them at the same time I wasn't planing on using them together, but I think they look great together.


To spice up the shirt I did all visible stitching in a matching brown thread. I really like the result. These stitches finally made me accept that my machine has a problem with thread tension. I was in denial for a few months, pretending that it is normal if your bobbin thread shows on the right side (using matching bobbin thread makes denial easy). But well it isn't. Now I can clearly see that the inside of the shirt,(which I did with white thread to match the fabric back) has a nice clean finish, the front shows white bobbin. For this particular project it isn't a big deal, it kind of matches nicely with the white from the print, but I do have to look into it. I fear it isn't just the manual tension, because I tried playing with those already. I really have to get my machine checked out professionally. The repair shop is 20 minutes from my home (in a direction I usually never go) and I can not park close to it. The machine will be in at least a few days... Really bad prospects.


My son loved the shirt and immediately ordered a few more. My fears that he wouldn't want to wear it were ungrounded. Next time he wants a hood on it though. So, I have some challenges ahead. I am planning to combine the Theo with the Merry go Rounds shirt, I know the shirt itself has some sizing issues lets see if I can tackle those.



It is clearly a boy pattern, I bought it last year and I sewed it with an april deadline, so I will also link it up to sew your pattern stash.

I love to hear what you think of my creations. Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).

33 comments:

  1. So cute! Love the fabric! Orange and brown is an unexpected combination, but it works really well. I'm making a shirt for my older son and also dreading the button holes, but the snaps are genius! Thanks for the tip!

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    1. Thanks Diana, Finding the right contrasting fabric in my closet was a bit of a challenge, but I am very pleased with the result. I have seen many shirts with snaps already, so I do not deserve credit for that, but I am happy if seeing mine helps you pass a hurdle ;)

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  2. Heel mooi! Ik zie die kleurencombinatie ook heel graag. Mooie doorlopende print ook! Leuk dat die zo enthousiast is! En wat naadwaarde betreft, ik gebruik een geodriehoek bij katoen en van die magneetjes bij rekstoffen.

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    1. Dank je Marie Paule, gebruik je van de magneetjes op je schaar dan? Werkt dat echt lekker?

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  3. Perfect uitgevoerd project. Mooie contrasterende stukken en het patroon loopt perfect door bij de voorpanden

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    1. Dank je, ik dacht als ik zo netjes mijn naadwaardes meet en naai dan moet een doorlopende print zeker gaan lukken.

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  4. Mooi en chapeau voor de doorlopende print!

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    1. Dank je Sylvia, nu ik het een keer gedaan heb, en gezien heb dat het eigenlijk niet zo moeilijk is (ten minste niet met knopen) moet ik het nu altijd doen natuurlijk :)

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  5. oh, die kleine 3hoekjes zijn echt de max!
    Leuk!!!!!!

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    1. Ja ze zijn geweldig, toch denk ik dat als ik er nog drie van deze maak het misschien wat raar wordt, dus ik ben op zoek naar nog wat extra detail inspiratie

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  6. Schoon hemdje! Die raketjes zijn super cute!

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    1. Ik vreesde een beetje voor een pyjama look, zo maar met die contrastrerende stiksels is het prima.

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  7. Knap! De details nemen veel tijd in beslag, maar zijn het resultaat wel meer dan waard!

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    1. Ze zijn inderdaad super, volgende keer de mooie mouw details!

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  8. O, wat is 'ie leuk! En het is je gelukt, yes we did it!! Ha, ha!
    Het eerste wat ik dacht toen ik het shirt zag, was: Wat leuk met die sterren-knoopjes : )

    P.s.: Mijn blouse is ook af! En ik gebruikte de ' schattingsmethode' , maar volgende keer volg ik jou voorbeeld.

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    1. Zonder jouw uitdaging was het er niet van gekomen, dank je wel dus!

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  9. Mooi! En lopen die raketjes nou door? Ik moet echt eens uitvinden hoe je dat doet

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    1. Vergeleken met die super strak doorlopende paspel op de Cisse van jou van vorige week is doorlopende print kinderspel! Voor het zakje bepaalde ik de positie op het reeds geknipte voorpand. Vervolgens legde ik het patroon van de zak op die plek, tekende enkele figuurtjes over op het patroonpapier van de zak en zocht vervolgens een vergelijkbaar stukje op mijn nog niet geknipt stof.

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    1. Dank je Liezewiezewoes, smaakt naar mee :)

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  11. Heel mooi! En leuk die sterrenknopjes!

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  12. Haha, wat een verhaal :). Misschien moet ik ook maar eens zo'n uitdaging aangaan, er liggen hier wel meer patronen op een 'maak-mij-eerst' te wachten... Ik vind je Theo prachtig geworden, uw manneke staat er echt goed mee! En petje af voor de doorlopende print uit 1 metertje - ik zou al nerveus worden in jouw plaats ;)

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    1. Het patroon was maar klein dus herhaalde zich heel vaak en een voorkant van een hemdje is ook maar klein vergeleken bij het rokdeel van een zwierjurk, dus qua hoeveelheid stof was het doorlopen echt geen probleem. Mocht je masterplan zich in die richting ontwikkelen dat je patronen wil gaan aanpakken dan schrijf je daar een berichtje over en dan melden geheid veel zich aan!

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  13. What a gorgeous shirt! I have the Marco shirt pattern and love it. Sewing shirts like this makes you look like such a professional!

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  14. Heel mooi hemd! Mijn eerste Theo ligt ook geknipt klaar, nu nog tijd vinden om 'm in elkaar te zetten!

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  15. en hij is er :-) en mooi dat hij is :-)

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