Oscar started preschool last week! He’s so ready for it. We were all pretty excited, especially Lila. She begged to take him to school on his first day, so I let her play hooky and come with us. He walked in like he owned the place and barely noticed we were there.
I already have a mental list of hopes and dreams about what I will do with my 6 free hours every week. Probably more like 5.5 hours if you factor in dropping off and travel time, but still, it seems too good to be true. The last time I had any sort of regular time alone was when Lila started preschool in 2012, and it ended pretty quickly when Oscar arrived two months later. It’s an exciting development.
Anyway, I decided Oscar needed a new “handsome” shirt (which is what he calls button-downs) for his very first first day of school. I’ve made him the Oliver + S Sketchbook shirt a few times, but the fit was pretty boxy, so I started looking at other patterns.
The Theo by Zonen 09 has been on my radar for awhile – it’s a Dutch pattern with a great fit and a two-piece collar, and there are a lot of cool customization options included. I made the easiest, most basic version this time, just to try it out, but you can also choose long sleeves, a big 70’s collar, piping at the yoke and pocket, a welt pocket, slim or standard width in each size, and the option to add contrast fabric to the corners of the shirt in several different places.
Based on his measurements I made a 104 small, which is a 4 slim. As you can see, it’s….slim. A tad slimmer than I had in mind. I should’ve known – he’s still 3, but he’s built more like a 5 year old. I’ve since gone back and traced the pattern in a size 110 (5) standard – I love the look of the slim fit but I think he could use a little more room to grow for the next one.
I was really happy with the way the shirt was constructed and with the directions, too, for the most part. I did consult my Sketchbook pattern when it came time to attach the yokes to the back of the shirt, though. The technique can be hard to visualize, and since I already knew Liesl’s diagram and instructions made sense to me, I just went straight to hers. Also, I was surprised the directions for setting in the sleeves didn’t include adding basting stitches at the cap to ease them in. Is it even possible to attach sleeves without doing that? I didn’t attempt it.
I feel like you can get away with just about any fabric for a shirt like this, but gingham is always a safe bet. Using the bias for the yoke and pocket is an easy way to add a little interest to a plain fabric like this and avoid matching those checks. This fabric is from Cotton + Steel’s Checkers collection, which is full of great gingham colors. I couldn’t choose between the Story Blue and the Coral, so Chio at Llama Fabrics kindly sent me both. But this blue/green won out in the end. Not sure what this dramatic pose is all about, but he does match the cushion nicely.
Preparing this pattern took a little extra work – it’s in English, but it’s formatted for A4 paper (slightly longer than US letter size) and doesn’t include seam allowances. Legal sized paper worked well for the printing, as did connecting the dots with my trusty ninja star measuring gauge for the seam allowance. But good news! Sharon from Zonen 09 is working on formatting her patterns for easier printing in the U.S. and adding seam allowances. These upgrades will only make me love this pattern more.
One of these days I’ll sort through the pictures of Lila’s first day of school Jump Rope Dress, maybe while Oscar’s at preschool? I’ll add it to my list.