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!
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?