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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

First shirt pre-game notes : McCalls 6035

1. Why did you choose this pattern? 

The sleeves of course and because there is a banded collar and I want to start trying different methods of doing this - eventually to see which one works for me best.

2. Where will you wear this? 

I am realizing that white shirts really can be worn everywhere. Why did it take me so long to figure this out? 

I can wear this to family dinners with pants and cooking-comfortable shoes when I want to remind the family that, yes Mom still has style. I can wear this out shopping and not feel raggedy when I take off my coat and sit down to have a cappuccino because I don't really like shopping, rather be home sewing. I can wear this to work with a straight skirt and heels when I want them to think I am hip. I can wear this out to low key holiday events like my knitting group at the coffee shop, or when someone former colleague says "meet me downtown for a drink before Christmas" and I want to look sort of dressed up but also like I didn't give one thought to what I put on but I still want them to say "Nice blouse," and more particularly "did you make that?"

3. Why did you choose this fabric for this pattern?

I have some white 100% cotton broadcloth that should be fine enough to gather but heavy enough for a collar. I am also using a nice firmish sewn-in interfacing for the collar and band because fusibles are still a mystery to me sometimes. I can make a 100 things and my fusible is great and then all of a sudden I use the same stuff and it bubbles.

I am building these babies to last and at the moment I trust a sew in interfacing more. Also I find they do crisp better by stopping short of stiff. Does that make sense?

4. What aspects of construction are you looking forward to as you sew this?   

I am looking forward to those sleeves. I haven't made a big gathered sleeve since Grade 11 and that wasn't yesterday. I also am paying more attention to my gathering lately and using three lines of gathering and I want to show that off a bit. I am pretty pleased with myself.

5. What aspects of construction worry you? What do you think you might mess up?

Well I am pretty stressed out about my seams. This is a multi-cup pattern, the first one I have ever used, and that's nice because I am doing a D cup and it has a good curve. However I have committed myself, because this is broadcloth, to do a seam finish that will look nice and neat with no show through. That, over the bust, has to be a flat-felled seam. How exactly am I going to accomplish that over a curve? Can anyone tell me that? I can see the seam ripper in my hand already. Is it even possible to do a decent flat-felled seam over a curve? Will I track down the felling foot that I used to use and see if that helps?

6. Are there any instructions in this pattern that you have already decided to disregard? Are you substituting another method and if so what will it be?

Both the collar and the cuffs involve slipstitching and I won't do that. It is really hard to slip stitch down the inside of a collar band and have it look professional. This I know from experience. I think I am going to use Gigi's method , the one I have seen on her blog, for this time out.

I am also thinking about the spot where the front bands (which are not interfaced thanks for that pattern designer) meet the narrow hem. I am thinking of using my narrow hem foot and am considering a detail I saw in a son's shirt. In that shirt a narrow hem was sewn up to the point of the bottom of the band but instead of folding it under again at the bottom of the band - which think often makes a bump, particularly when the two bands are laid over each other, a small piece of twill tape was, raw edges folded under, (as the end of the band was folded up once, not twice - the raw edge was exposed),  top stitched down on the wrong side to cover the raw edge of the band. Does this make any sense at all? If I decide to do this I will show you - it made a nice flat hem on the bands of my son's shirt.

7. How long do you think it will take you to complete this shirt or blouse? 

That depends. The way this work week is shaping up I won't get to this until the weekend. So let's say 10 days and hopefully both you and I can be impressed if I get this done sooner.


sdBev said...

For a smooth seam over the bust, I like to serge the seams at a 1/4" finished width. Press carefully, to one side and top stitch.

Thanks for asking this question. I'm sure there are other methods and am looking forward to seeing the suggestions.

Sigrid said...

Consider Pam's (off the cuff style) method for the collar as well. Though I've used the method described by Gigi too, Pam's method is my favorite and personally I find it a little easier.

knitmachinequeen (KMQ) said...

I've made this blouse before with less than stellar results! I didn't use cotton but wished I had interfaced down the center front. On me the princess seam is to much toward the center front and although I used the D cup front, it still hiked up. I had to do some major creative re-doing to get it to work. Hope you have more success than I did.

a little sewing on the side said...

Looks like you are going to show this pattern who's boss! I liked Gigi's tutorial. But also glad that Sigrid mentioned Pam's method, I'll go and look at that, too.