I am very pleased with the progress of my first shirt blouse after a husband-going-away-sick-dog-70-papers -to-mark few weeks.
The fit is perfect. My square shoulder alteration combined with the D cup sizing built into the pattern seem to be a combination that works for me without much alteration intelligence on my part. This is a combination I will look for in future.
I was worried, and rightly so, about the collar on a stand. I have made these before with mixed results and this time I followed Pam's highly recommended method .
Check Pam's instructions out if you want to see a skilled professional doing a slick treatment that turns out perfectly.
If you want to see how imperfect me executed this take a look here:
This is actually my worst side of the collar but it makes my point.
This method has you sew the collar to the band, stitch the under side of the band to the shirt, and topstitch the band down.
It should work.
You can see however that I had the problems I expected which were about that pile up of fabric layers at the spot where the front of the shirt and the collar band meet. I figure there are about six layers happening here in about a 1/4" space.
This is the kind of sewing challenges that you can pull off if you have a lucky day, but you can't call on lucky days to happen just because you want them to,
What you see here all looked fine at the pressing, getting ready to sew stage, but once that needle and presser foot started happening things moved around. I also tried very hard to get a nice edge stitch going on around the curve and that too is pretty iffy.
Which brings me to a large and universal question. Why do some methods work for so well for some sewers and not for others?
I have run into this before. Approaches that some sewers swear by that I can't get to work for me. Serging on clear elastic would be in the category for me, for instance. When I try that the stuff gets sliced to nothing and then sprongs around the room.
So this approach to attaching the collar, where basically the collar/band is just supposed to slip on, makes sense but requires some careful work in small spaces.
I usually don't do to well in confined spaces.
So next shirt up I am going to try another approach. And after that probably another one. One of my goals with this is to get this whole collar thing to a point that I can rely on myself to do this so it turns out, without a lot of angst.
It is a question of finding a way to do this that is compatible with how I work as a sewer.
Right now I suspect the method that has you attach the band first and then slip in the collar has potential. This is the burrito system David Coffin uses and I have in my book Sewing Magic which he worked from too. Might do that next, we will see.
In the meantime I am going to finish this shirt and treat it as what it was, a learning experience. Chances are the general public is not going to see this collar glitch quite the way I do.
We all know this blog is not one of those that you go to for ohs and ahs. I love those blogs and you know which ones - they give me something to aim for, but it does record the struggles of someone who loves to sew and is just trying to get better.
I am reminded too about an older woman who inspected something I had made, with great effort, in one sewing class.
"Don't worry dear," she said, patting my arm. "Only God is perfect."
Well who can argue with that one?
- 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