Friday, August 18, 2006

It's a shirt...

What I thought would be a straightforward project ended up being quite a learning experience. I was actually hoping to get Tom's shirt completed so he could wear it to dinner Monday (our 24th anniversary). Between working with a new pattern, with new (to me) techniques and 30" fabric, it just didn't happen. But it's done.

Some time ago on reruns of Sew Much More, Janet Pray demonstrated her techniques for making a man's dress shirt. Of course, it didn't occur to me to record it till later and it hasn't shown since then. So I bit the bullet and purchased her pattern. from The Sewing Place. I had to make some significant adjustments for size. To fit Tom's neck, I used the largest size (3XL), but to fit his chest I had to use 3 sizes smaller (L) and then I shortened the sleeves shorter than the smallest size). Fortunately, the pattern was drafted well enough that the changes were pretty straightforward.

The instructions were written well and the pictures were good in demonstrating the techniques. The seams vary in the pattern depending on which part you are sewing, so there is no trimming involved. The pattern employs the "burrito" technique for the yoke, collar stand and cuffs, which results in clean even facings and minimized the sewing, since the edge-stitching also completes the joining of the facings.

It took longer than I had hoped, but I learned a lot. The next two dress shirts for the cruise should go much faster. Then I think I'll go back to making fun dog shirts.