Saturday, February 15, 2014

An Overcompensatory Muslin

Hello again :) You might recall that in my last (garment-based) post I confessed how I can often be slack or lazy when it comes to muslin/toile making. That thought must have been floating around in my consciousness ever since, because this time I've pretty much swung around to the opposite direction...

As part of my Make Goals this year I wanted to sew a collared shirt or blouse - particularly one that would challenge my finishing skills. I tend to be a little disappointed with my efforts on this front, but never really make the time to practise. Now I'd planned on making Style Arc's Safari Sam Overshirt for ages (bought the pattern just before I came across the Archer shirt...) So I thought - and I'm still not entirely sure I thought this through properly - I'd make up the pattern from start to finish without making any modifications as a practical exercise in shirt-making. An Overcompensatory Muslin, if you will! I used the chambray I'd bought with this in mind, and tried to focus on the "journey" rather than the "destination". And actually, it came out alright!






I'm going to go back and make a few adjustments - nip in the side seams a touch, reset the sleeves in (they're a bit long when unfolded) and make the shoulders just a little narrower - because it's almost exactly what I wanted. Although I'd wear it as is, for sure. Aren't Wearable Muslins such a bonus! But....can you pick the big mistake I made though in the photos above?? I'll get to it in a sec... ;)

As an exercise in finishing skills, I'm really proud of myself! It feels a bit funny or immodest to say that - but all you sewists know what I mean! Besides, we all spend plenty of energy pointing out every little flaw and failing - I'm going to take this moment to celebrate a little :)

CONFESSION: Generally I would rather eat my own hair than sink-stitch / stitch in the ditch. I loathe doing it - and it never, ever looks "good enough" to me. Mind you, I'm not very conscientious when it comes to basting, so I'm probably setting myself up for failure on that score. This time though I was scrupulous - see?



Apparently meticulous basting is a good thing - who knew?!


So, so happy with the finishing :)


I did run into a bit of a roadblock when I got to the sleeve placket however. I've never sewn one of these before, and didn't quite know how to do it. Here's the thing about Style Arc patterns: the designs are amazing, and the drafting is fantastic, but the instructions take a, er, "minimalist" approach. From memory, this step was "sew sleeves". This included pleat, placket, cuff, everything. And the placket was in two pieces.

I tried to look up tutorials on two-piece sleeve plackets, and found no joy there. ("Make a 'house' with the triangular upper piece..." - what??) Then I remembered there had been an Archer Sewalong. Ten minutes later I'd ditched the two pieces, cut a new single length, and thanks to the wonderful Jen, had me a pretty fine placket!


Wish I'd read her section on getting perfect collar points beforehand.... They're not too bad, but are a little bit rounded.


The only thing I'd do differently if I could go back in time would be to use a lighter weight of interfacing on the collar and pocket flaps. I used tailor's interfacing, which I love, but I accidentally used my medium weight one, and so they feel just a little stiffer than I'd like. They may soften up a bit with washing though. Hope so.

Did you pick my big mistake? I honestly didn't notice I'd done this until I started photographing the details:


 Look at that lovely back pleat....on the inside! Grrrr.... Mind you, the sink-stitching is pretty nice ;)

But, niggles aside, I have sewn a button down shirt!

So of the Make Goals, just a Ziggi jacket, blazer, trousers/jeans and underwear to go for this year! Piece of cake... ;)

How are your sewing goals coming along?




18 comments:

  1. It looks great! I know what you mean about pride in the the finishing details (I've got a similar project coming up). I think it's achieving a garment that looks less 'homemade'! Oh I don't like stitching in the ditch much either, especially waistbands - so often I find they shift around! So you basted first then stitched? So often I hand sew in front of the tv instead. If you wanted to try an alternative sleeve placket there is a great version on the Threads website - the link is on my Tyler shirt post, it looks so profesh! Ps we were out your way in sunny last week - went thru Skipton en route to Hamilton and saw your turn off!

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    1. Really? You're really clocking up the miles in Sunny - so glad s/he's all you dreamed s/he'd be! Hopefully next time you're down this way we'll have had some rain - it's glorious when it's Green rather than Summer Beige... I had a look at that tutorial -it's great, thanks! I'll have to try that one next time :)

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  2. Why shouldn't you be proud?? The shirt looks very good :)
    Well done ;)

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  3. BRILLIANT shirt Danielle!!!! Looks so comfy, stylish and very wearable!!

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    1. Thanks, Nessa! Hopefully it'll cool down soon enough to get some wear out of it - I was MELTING in these photos!

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  4. Great shirt, and the pleat... call it a design feature!

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  5. It looks fantastic, your hard work really paid off :)

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  6. Well done on your shirt! The details look really fantastic!

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  7. yowza. that looks to be perfection. even with the pleat on the inside.... it's a perfect pleat, just say you chose to do it!

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    1. Good idea! Why be like everyone else, hey?? ;)

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  8. Wow, I think that looks pretty damn perfect and no one would notice that the pleat was on the inside, if you hadn't pointed it out! This is a fantastic effort! Well done. I'm glad its wearable after all that work.

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    1. Thanks! I did kind of wonder whether anyone else would notice...I'll just make sure I use fabric that has a definite right side next time!

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  9. Congratulations on your first tailored shirt!! I agree with Louise - simply a design feature (& I didn't notice til you mentioned it!) I haven't tackled Archer yet, but it's wonderfully reassuring to know Jen's on op of all the instructions & tips we'll need.

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  10. Online tutorials are the best, aren't they!

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