Sunday, January 29, 2012

Starting to Look Like a Shirt!

My goal was to finish this today. It still needs a hem, buttonholes and buttons.

The sleeves went in easily but the proof will be in the wearing. Sure, it fits when I try it on, but how comfortable will it be at the office?

Even though I'm considering this a muslin, I went ahead and tried a different cuff technique. Yes, I was supposed to be focused on the adjusted sleeve pattern for this shirt. I got sidetracked.

Sherry, over at pattern ~ scissors ~ cloth, has a wonderful tutorial (under her "Tricks of the Trade" tab). I tried it for this shirt and it really was a "Duh" moment for me. Why I hadn't tried this before, I do not know. Thank you Sherry! What a generous gift!

So, improvements to date:
  • Sleeve cap - smoother
  • Interfacing quality - lovely result
  • Cuff technique - easy and perfect - you really need to try this! 
This is encouraging. Makes me want to sew more shirts...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Little by Little

It is dark here. Rainy and dreary too. And, I’m embarrassed to show you these photos. I’ve tried, (really I have!) to come up with better looking ones.

The jeans were finished almost two weeks ago and the shirt is slowly coming together. No longer entertained by needles breaking and flying while zigzagging belt loops onto several thicknesses of denim, I’ve decided to sew fewer of them. This explains why you see two, not three belt loops on the back. I’m not liking the look, but hey, I don’t wear tucked-in shirts and no one (other than us) will ever know. This is my solution until I can figure something else out.

Oh, now don’t fret about the collar stand – it isn’t yet attached to the shirt; it's not even pinned. As you can see, I haven’t made it to the sleeves either even though I’m anxious to see if the cap/bicep adjustment is going to work.

Once I get a pattern I like, I plan to step up to the opportunities for tabs, pockets and maybe some pintucks or ruffles. This round is simply to let me know if the sleeve is better. Call it a muslin or toile. Take your pick...
Along with the new sleeve pattern, I am also trying out a new-to-me fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply. This one is Pro-Woven Shirt-Crisp interfacing. You can’t tell from the photo, but the collar looks great! However, I’ll hold off buying any more until I know it’s gonna survive the washer and dryer.

I am curious to see what happens to this stuff. I don’t hand wash any of my clothing (does anyone?) but I make considerable use of the delicate cycles. It needs to take a few trips to the laundry room and come back looking good. I think that is a fair test.

Side seam at hem of worn Lands' End Sleep-T
I’ve noticed my Lands’ End Sleep-T’s have seen better days. I’ve worn dozens of these over the years in various colors and prints. Usually, I order several at a time, all the same size, color and print (translation: whatever is on the overstock page in my size) and wear them until someone tells me I should be ashamed…Well, I am ashamed but they are now $39.50 each. I have to admit they are worth every penny, but I’m realizing I could buy a lot of fabric and/or other sewing goodies instead. Therefore, planning ahead, I am going to take the worst looking one and make it a pattern. The way I see it is there isn’t much to loose if it doesn’t work…

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bernina My Label Tailored Shirt Pattern

In looking at the sleeve cap of my BML shirt pattern, I decided that it really wasn’t too wonky looking. You know – having an obvious bump that is begging to be smoothed out. I could take some off the top of the cap to help it fit better into the armhole. However, it occurred to me that I had added to the bicep measurement in the style settings before printing the pattern and that likely added more fabric than necessary. What would happen if I reprinted the pattern using my actual bicep measurement? Would that correct the cap?

To find out, I’ve reprinted the pattern using my real bicep measurement. The clear pattern on the top is the original pattern printed in 2010 while the white paper is the new one.

For fabric, I’m using this black striped stretch cotton ordered from To me, it looks like it should be sewn into a manly country western shirt, complete with pointed yokes and pearl snaps. I had expected pant weight fabric. Thank goodness I paid less than $6.00 for it! Just know I won’t be crying too hard if my changes don’t work. Yet, I sure hope they do…

In other breaking sewing news (hold your breath), I started another pair of jeans. My favorite cropped jeans came from Ottobre Woman 05-2008-16.  For this pair, I've lengthened the leg, changed the back waist darts into a yoke, added a coin pocket and traced the back pocket from the only RTW jeans in my closet (Eddie Bauer). As always, I guessed to their placement.

OttobreWoman 05-2008-16

I’ll probably be able to get another project or two from the roll before it is used up and I need to be deciding what type and weight the next one should be.

Happy sewing and Happy New Year!