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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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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Part two of the Liesl and Co. All day shirt pattern

Next here is a shot of the flannel shirts on the boys.

Note everyone in my family is tall. My middle son, pictured on the left here, is about 6'1" and he looks shorter than the other two, my son-in-law in the middle (6'5"), and my youngest, on the right (6'4"). At 5'9" I am their "little mommy."

A note on fit. I was able with both the guys in the blue shirts to borrow, in a sneaky way, shirts they already have to verify the right size. The middle shirt was an XL and the one on the right a L - both with 2" added to length. I am less happy with the fit for the one on my middle guy on the left - he is in San Francisco and the logistics for invading his home on the QT were more limited. The L is too big on him even though that worked for his chest measurement. As you can see he has a well developed chest (works out) and is trim due to riding his bike to and from work up those San Francisco hills. (He even calls me from the bike and is not out of breath). I am going to sew him up a medium shortly with room across his chest (it will be interesting to see how that turns out). That said this shirt is made of really heavy flannel and I made it for camping - something he and my DIL do to take advantage of California's outstanding park system. As an outdoor type shirt he says it is fine and he loves it, but then again he was always nice to me.

Now onto my favourite stand collar application, nicely detailed in this pattern instructions.

There are about 53 different methods for doing this particular high risk sewing job out there and I have tried them all.

The hand method is nice and easy to do but can get a little messy around that visible front join. The burrito method has many variations but I personally find wrestling all that fabric into a tiny area, squishing a collar in the process, more work than I want to do - also I like to breathe and the burrito method requires the breath holding stamina of a synchronized swimmer.

Additionally I have several principles of construction that I like to stick to in the interest of quality control and nerve saving.

These are:

  • Keep it hand sized as long as possible. This is because you are sewing with your hands. Hauling large pieces around under a needle is not for me. I can only focus on what I can see. This is why I don't quilt or do home dec sewing.
  • Do as much as possible to each unit before moving on. It's nice to sign off on something, preferably a hand sized something, before you do the next thing.
  • Try to keep what you have to sew something you can see rather than the presto chango method where you sew blind and hope when you turn it right side out it will be brilliant.
  • Break up big ambitious seams into shorter achievable seams.
The easiest method IMO, and shared by Liesl apparently, is this one:

1. Sew the collar up, top stitch and press. Put it aside for now. Hand sized and signed off on.

2. Sew on collar band to the neckline.

3. Sew the other collar band to the neckline over the first stitching. You can see what you are doing.

4. Fold the shirt body out of the way at a 45 degree angle and pin it to the front of the shirt, isolating the ends of the bands so the shirt won't get caught in them. Less fabric to work with than the collar attached method of the traditional burrito.

5. Stitch the ends of the band only on each side and pivot and sew a bit to join the top of the bands together to about where the collar would fit in. No need to get too stressed about this, the space you leave for the collar can be a little big, just not too small - eventual top-stitching will close this off anyway. Do a little trimming after you have had a quality control look at your stitching and redone it or fixed it up as necessary.

6. Turn and press the band, tucking under the seam allowances of the opening and pressing them under.

7. Slip the collar into the opening and sew it to the band that will be against the neck. If you find this tricky to do right to the ends don't stress, again you can catch this later. Just do what you can do.

8. Working from the outside back of the shirt, pin, baste, glue baste or adhesive sewing tape (my choice) the remaining seam allowance to the underside of the collar and stitch down catching it in topstitching all around the band. If this scares you the other option is to hand sew the band seam allowance down and then top stitch.

Here is what the band on the underside of the collar looks like before it is sewn down on two of the shirts:

And here are pictures of one finished shirt collar all neatly attached done by a breathing sewist:

So great pattern, great construction methods, happy shirt wearers.


Anonymous said...

I posted too soon. I hit send and then your next post came up.
Thank you, thank you!! I usually end up in tears overs collars and stands. It won't be right away but I will let you know how I get on with shirt making.


My lads are also good to mom so I know they won't be too critical of my attempts.

Barkcloth said...

I'm sorry, but this is too fast for me. I need more pictures, I think.

garnet128 said...

I make all hubby's dress shirts and have used this method for collar/collar band for quite some time now. Totally agree it is the best. Like you, I have tried them all.

All the shirts look fantastic and the boys certainly look happy. I love the idea of tracing out the cuff placket. I usually go through the task of thread marking then using a ruler and chalk, draw the lines on the fabric. I'm gonna try your method.

Margaret Delong said...

Thanks, I'll be interested to try this collar method!
Did you need to add arm length to the pattern? My husband is 6'3", and even after checking that the shirt i made him hit me at the fingertips, sleeves were still too short... whoops. Next time i'll have less surprise but better body measurements.