Selfless Sewing: McCalls M6044 for my brother….but modelled by OH…

Hello everyone,

Here is a shirt I actually sewed in January 2016 for my little brother who lives in Switzerland. He spent Christmas with us and I offered to make him a shirt using McCalls M6044.

I took him fabric shopping – on a tangent -I honestly do not understand why he didn’t LOVE fabric shopping – we walked into B&M Fabrics and literally 2 seconds later he just pointed at a fabric and he was like “that one” (literally 2 seconds in the shop!!!!). “Have a look around and see what else is there – there are loads of lovely fabrics.” I said with a big enthusiastic smile across my face.


No, I like that one.

But you can’t know that you absolutely like that one because you haven’t looked at the others – plus we have 3 more shops to hit up

Needless to say, recognising the same pattern that was repeated in our childhood, I could see him digging in and being stubborn just cause I was telling him what to do. I retreated, puffed out my cheeks and exhaled.

Ok, sure”  I was really proud of myself – felt like I was the bigger person and congratulated myself. Really I was. But that didn’t stop me dragging him around to the rest of the shops in the off chance that he might see something else he liked. I may have also bought one of two fabrics as well.

So that’s how we ended up with this fabric – a pale muted cotton. I’d say it’s a medium weight cotton which was ok for the shirt. Its not the best fabric I have sewn with but its not the worst either.

I had to trace the small size for him, of which I made a toile. At the toile stage, I took it in at the waist as he likes his shirts figure hugging. I also lengthened it by an inch because that’s what he wanted. He also didn’t like the collar which he felt was too big fo his style and I redrew the upper collar angle to what you see in the pictures.

McCalls M6044 is so easy and fast to sew. I sewed flat felled seams everywhere to give it a professional look. My little brother is the founder and CEO of his own biomechatronic company and he has to look professional.

Unfortunately, he had returned to Switzerland by the time I finished the shirt but he gave permission for my OH to model it before I mailed it.

I had forgotten about this project until the other day when I was sorting out our 2016 digital files. So here is my OH in a shirt that is one size too small;  I think he did a wonderful job of posing in a shirt that really is not a colour or print he’d ever pick for himself.

McCalls M6044


McCalls M6044


Flat felled seams……LIKE A BOSS!
Even the sleeve seam is flat felled.
This pattern does not have a tower placket – I add one based on a template

If I had to be perfectly honest, I didn’t enjoy sewing this as much because I was riddled with anxiety throughout the process. I was worried about whether I’d make something good enough. Still, I did my best and that’s what matters at the end of the day.


Writing this post did make me confront one of the uncomfortable reasons I personally avoid sewing for others outside of my kids and OH – I still don’t feel like I can sew garments good enough for them (hypothetical recipient of my sewn projects) to forgo an RTW option. Like they would only wear it around me to please me rather than be truthful and I couldn’t stand that. It’s crazy – I am so insecure I haven’t even asked my brother if he liked the shirt because I am scared of the answer. (Although I don’t think this fear is unfounded given that, though we speak regularly, he hasn’t brought it up either). The reality is that I shouldn’t think like that. Readers, I have a huge flaw. Any ideas of how I can get past this? Tough love welcome.

On that note, thank you for stopping by. Happy sewing all!

Peace and love,





26 thoughts on “Selfless Sewing: McCalls M6044 for my brother….but modelled by OH…

  1. Hila, you sew beautifully, and anyone should be proud to wear a garment you’d made expressly for them.
    Unfortunately, we all know there are some amongst all the billions on this planet who might choose to have a different opinion. That’s their opinion. It is not a fact.
    The fact is, you sew beautifully!
    Am I right, or am I right, fellow sewists?!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What?! The shirt looks great, your brother should be thrilled and even if he wasn’t 100% happy with the shirt he should be 100% happy with the fact you put the time and love into making it and have acknowledged that at least Hila! That said, I totally get your fear as that is one that also lurks in the corners of my own brain. I suspect that’s what drives us to push ourselves to become better sewers though eh? Also your OH dud a great job modelling!!!! Peace and love x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sarah! The other problem was that once I mailed off the shirt I wasnt seeing the tangible visual of my efforts but focused on my insecurities and magnified them. Truly speaking looking at the pictures now, I am just super happy with those flat felled seams more than anything else. x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Brothers eh? :/
    It looks excellent from where I’m standing/sitting. If he were my brother it would be the one and only shirt I’d ever make for him though. I seem to remember your sister being very pleased with a dress you made for her so it’s probably just a man thing and you should certainly be very proud of your abilities and finished garments. So there!
    BTW I love OH’s Zoolander pout in the 4th photo 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is the only shirt I will be making for him. It felt good to accept that. My offer was from a good place but I cant handle the pressure. My little sister ‘gets it’ – she runs her own artisan jewellery making company where she makes the pieces – and the dress was already finished when she saw it. Hubs totallys love to pull out his ‘Blue Steel’ when posing for pics 🙂


  4. Oh Hila, what a shame your brother doesn’t seem to have loved his shirt!

    Well you know the style, size, and fit worked from the toile. The fabric was cotton, so no comfort issues, and it was beautifully sewn, we can see that.

    Three possibilities: it was your brother being your brother 😉 or it somehow didn’t look as he expected (remember how hard it was to guess how fabric + pattern would work out when you started sewing?) or the fabric didn’t suit him – wouldn’t it be great if fabric shops had a mirror by a window to see how the colours work for you?

    Nothing you could have done about any of those. Or maybe he does like it – anyone over there who would know if he has worn it? Hope so, it’s a great make and you should be proud!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Su. You sound like you have a little brother too? I think there is the possibility that he is just being a little brother. I hadn’t thought to ask around – I will snoop around his Facebook and see what turns up 🙂


  5. I know what you mean about sewing for others. I feel like it’s hard because you have to sew to a different standard than when you are sewing for yourself. When you sew for yourself, you don’t have to be a perfectionist–you can let certain things go, but when you sew for others, it feels like you have to sew to a higher standard. I have very few people other than myself I’m willing to sew for. I also don’t sew for people who don’t understand the amount of work that goes into a garment. Sewing for others is tricky. I think you did a great job, though. Also, is your husband doing a “Blue Steel” look from the Zoolander movie in one of the pictures? That cracked me up! He did a good just modeling. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lols yes that his ‘Blue Steel’ look :-). I relate to the whole standard point you made. Its not that we dont have high standards for our own sewing but there is an invisible force that makes you feel the pressure to make something better than RTW for people who are used to RTW. I dont think most sewers sew their own clothes because we want a perfectly finished garment – its more to do with making clothes that fit, clothes that are unique, that are comfortable and in the colours we want. And I think others outside the sewing community dont get that.


  6. Lovey shirt! I agree with the others that unless the other really understands the amount of time and energy that goes into a project, I tend not to sew for them. It seems that unless a person sees a “label” in the collar, this person puts in their mind that it is “homemade.” I have gotten away from sewing RTW fashion for any out of my immediate family. I do sew professionally, making historic costumes and high fashion. This group seems to understand the amount of work that goes into the involved project. Just keep at it for those who appreciate your work. It is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your wise words. It was easier for me to give my sister a dress I had made since it had already been conceived and she saw exactly what it was like. My sister also started her own artisan jewellery making business, so she is a creative like me and I was secure in the knowledge that she ‘gets it’. I’d love to learn how to make historical costumes and have looked around at various courses – unfortunately they are all down in London. Did you do a course or training?


      1. I do teach a beginning sewing class here in the states. I meet with the librarian and the children and we sew basic make and take type projects such as scarves, pot holders and other simple items. I’ve been sewing since I was a child and went on to college as a Clothing, Textile and Design major. I have been sewing for the entertainment industry for over 40 year now. Wow that makes me feel old now, lol. But I love it and am still at it. I am currently working on a proposal for 1920’s costumes for a historical organization. I enjoy doing the research and learning the history as I learn about the clothing that was used during the different time periods. To me the challenge is to find fabric today to duplicate what was used but still be acceptable for today’s customer. Hmmm, you are making me think that I could do a you tube video series. I wonder…..

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I sewed for clients for over 20 years but I still avoid sewing for family beyond The Management and my daughter. You are more than capable of making wonderful garments. Give them to people who appreciate that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Hila, Tough love: Set the timer to 25 minutes and chuck it into a brick wall! I love the beautifully tailored shirt, although I prefer OH’s “less conservative” fabric choices. His pouty face is too cute! (He plays well with others!) I hope that you two have a portrait together – what a handsome couple. No wonder your children are so darn cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve had a lot of problems trying to comment hoprfully this time will be okay! I don’t usually have this issue.
    I totally understand what you are saying. I feel exactly the same about H’s wedding dress – everything in fact I’ve ever made. Family only. We are too critical of ourselves. You sew beautifully.
    See you next week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Anne. This cross platform commenting is such a problem – its almost as if they only want us to interact within the same platform!!


  10. Hah! Blue Steel! My 4 yo daughter and I have an ongoing conversation about making stuff for others, our conclusions so far are that we, as makers, need to be able to separate the two aspects of gift giving: we make something that we hope the recipient will like, we consider their preferences carefully, and then pour time and effort into making it as perfect as we can/care to; then we acknowledge that (as with any gift) they may like it, or they may not, but what’s important is that we thought about them, and lovingly tried hard to make them something. I’ve experienced that distressing lack of communication (let’s be frank here-any homemade gift requires gushing thanks, at the very least) from recipients of my makes several times, and I find, for me, it’s the lack of closure that haunts me-and makes me much more vigilant with my own thanking!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said Julie. I definitely need to acknowledge that they may like it or not before offering to make a garment for someone. I wanted him to love it and thats on me. I placed my own expectations on the situation.


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