a birthday present & the biggest project yet

So, I've been avoiding posting this on the off-chance Ben might read my blog. I'm working on his birthday present, and let's face it, he's probably not going to read my blog before then. So honey, if for some crazy reason you're reading this, stop.

OK, here goes. I'm working on a plaid button-down cowboy-style shirt for him, like the ones he always wears. This is quite ambitious for my level of amateur sewing. I swiped one of his shirts to use as an example, which has served me well; however, it is short-sleeved, the shirt I am making is long-sleeved, and now that I'm AT the sleeves, I've reached a sort of crossroads. It just got a lot harder.

Here's what I've got so far:

I love this fabric! Very crisp.
There were a lot of pattern pieces to cut! Oh boy. Not to mention the additional ones I had to cut after deciding I didn't want to use the interfacing I had already fused on some of them. And the new sleeve I had to cut. And I'm sure there will be more.

I was very happy at this point - This was the easy part. I've tried to be very meticulous and I've been pressing everything like crazy which really helps.

Now, the pattern is huge and I'm making a bunch of adjustments. I'll have to post a picture of the stud wearing the example shirt on the pattern. Very mid-90's. Even in this picture, I've made the yoke different and smaller, the pockets are smaller, and although I don't have pictures with the sleeves yet because they're only partially done, I've done a lot of finagling to make the shoulders and sleeves more narrow. I scared myself yesterday because I thought I might have screwed up the sleeves so I put it down and ran away and I might try again later today.
I hope this works...
And because no project is complete without me starting a new one halfway through, here's what I was working on last week during So You Can Think You Can Dance during the non-dancing parts. What is it?

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