Sunday, June 30, 2013

Completed Shirt!

Well, my first shirt is completed.  It was a great learning experience.  Some things I am happy with and others are on the list to be done either differently or better next time around.  I did the seams with a flat fell foot and am mostly happy with them.  One thing I did want to share was David Page Coffin's method for putting on a cuff.  (He uses this same process for the collar band and I wish I had known it at the time because I think my band would have been better had I used it).  He puts the outer cuff onto the shirt first, right sides together.  He then adds the interfacing and the inner cuff and stitches the top only, ending before the curves.  He then folds the shirt sleeve so as not to catch is while the cuff is sewn along the around the curve and a couple of inches into the pleated area where it attaches to the shirt.  The end result is a perfect fit, with no fudging fabric that doesn't quite fit.  For a really, really good explanation, his book is a great reference.

Monogrammed, of course....
And, finished.....

The sleeves are a little too full and I will take an inch or so out next time.  I found the process a lot of work, but rewarding, and DH is happy!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Men's Shirts

DH has been patiently waiting for over a year for me to begin to work on a sport shirt for him.  The impetus for it is that he doesn't like a standard shirt that he can buy in just any color.  What he loves is the shirts he sees in more cutting edge shops that have vibrantly patterned collar bands, cuffs, plackets (you get the picture).  But, they cost considerably more than he will allow himself to spend on a non work shirt.  He's always looked at me with those sad eyes and said you can do it, can't you? 

And, for good reason, I've dragged my heels.  A well made shirt is not something that you can pull off quickly and the shirt I'm working on for him now is making me feel like a beginner sewer again.  I've had David Page Coffin's book on Shirtmaking for a while now and have read through it.  Carolyn has also made some beautiful shirts for her boys. 

So, with trepidation I have begun.  I'm using an older Vogue pattern because I had trouble finding a more classic shirt with the back pleat and fuller cut.  And, my fabric combinations are below.  The brown paisley will be for the inside of the collar band, the placket and the inside of the cuff. 

I have mostly followed the instructions that came with the pattern since it is my first time out, but in some instances, I have deferred to Coffin.  For instance, Coffin has you attach the shirt to the inside of the yoke, fold  the outside of the yoke over the seam allowance and stitch it down in the same size edgestitching as the yoke back.  I have to admit I did like that finish better.  (The pattern instructions called for attaching shirt front to yoke front and stitching the back over the seam allowance by hand). 

I've just done one of the sleeve plackets and I used the Vogue pattern piece and instructions.  I will definitely defer to Coffin for my next shirt.  When you look at the two pattern pieces you will see why.  On Coffin's placket piece you will see that the tall narrow piece has a square shape so that when you form the triangle, you have a little 'roof' over it that keeps everything neat and professional looking.  On the Vogue piece you folded over a 1/4 hem on both sides of the triangle -- a little messy and more room for error.  I am thinking I don't like my placket very well, but since I'm treating this first shirt as a test, I will leave it.

That's all for now -- more will follow.