It’s done and possibly better than ever before! This is made with all french seams, bias binding on the bottom edge, and a few seams where everything is tucked in before sewn down. You could almost wear this inside out!
This was a wonderful weekend of tennis, brunch with friends, some chores, and sewing!
I got into the zone and so I kind of forgot to take more pictures. Opps.
Sometimes unexpected events come up and things take longer than expected. In these times, it can be hard to make time for sewing while balancing everything else. This is when it’s important to focus on little things. Last night I tackled this placket! These are tough and include a few tricky details. I had about 30 min before bedtime and it was really nice to do just a little bit. I forgot to play music this time. Sometimes it’s just nice to hear the hum of the machine.
After getting everything cut out it was time to start putting things together!
Let’s talk about necklines and collars today! Collars were initially tricky for me but I am starting to feel more and more confident in my abilities. In fact, I am actually pretty proud because it sounds like collar shirts really weird some people out but I find them to be a pretty fun project that includes a nice mix of shapes of fabric and sewing techniques.
Once you complete the back panel and attach the front body pieces, you then have this funny shape that you could wear like a hanging Cape. At this point, you can open and layout the pieces such that you have a nearly straight edge if fabric for the whole neckline. This is where you take the bottom pieces of the fabric and pin them right sides together onto the shirt. This is what you see happening above.
It is easiest to start by aligning the center notches of the collar and back shirt neckline. From there I pin out towards each edge. I also start by pinning down one collar piece and then adding on the second by taking out each pin and layering on the extra piece. This is what you see above.
From here you can sew this down by slowly working along the raw edge and taking out the pins as you go. The pins really help make sure all three pieces stay together and help you avoid any unusual wrinkles.
From here, you sew these little J shapes on the edge of each collar, only through the collar material. You then flip these up from the shirt and press them flat! This makes the neckline of the collar with a nice bit of flappy extra fabric which the outer collar gets attached to.
I have started to skip adding in the collar stays feature of these collars and the nice part about that is that I can choose which side has the best print alignment. I am sure there’s an official technique that I’m missing by doing this, but it does really help me get the best print alignment.
I am continuing to be about on par with getting though the collar approximately on weekends and having the sleeves left to finish up in second and third sessions. Buttons are always usually a 4th session. This will be a long sleeve shirt so it will take longer than the magical Chicago shirt.
Today, sewing music was a little more hardcore and 90s/rock inspired:
System of a Down: Toxicity (very good for threading a bobin!)
For this project, I transitioned back to my existing fabric collection and broke out a small circle print fabric I had purchased with the second laundry disaster. This fabric had survived and it was time to bring it to life!
I started out by trying to get everything I needed together first. This involved a quick trip to F S Fabrics and I finally bought some real fabric scissors and nice buttons.
I will use the white buttons on this shirt.
By the end of the night I was here:
Boy oh boy it is a lot of cutting and honestly, these new scissors are EXACT but also heavy. I may switch back to using paper ones lol.
With all that cutting, something has to pass the time right? I will try to start featuring this more for fun:
A friend at work is getting married and I have discovered that I really LOVE sewing accessories for weddings. It’s a neat way to contribute something and also help friends easily save a lot of money.
For my friend, in her fittings they found a cute beaded belt but it was over $100. At work we talked about it and I mentioned that we just needed to go to Mood and we could probably find and make something similar for much less.
We went on an initial exploration trip and it was so fun for her to see all the fabrics and trims! From there we went back a little while later and picked out a favorite and some ribbon to use for the ties.
With this selected, I took it home and hand stitched the mesh back behind the beads. I then attached the ribbons, used glitter nail polish to prevent the edges from fraying, and embroidered a little message about the bride and her sister that will receive this belt.
I have room to improve that last bit some but it will be hidden so who cares? 🙂
I also made this little bag out of some silk chiffon scraps so that it can be a nice gift. I put the logo on in case I’m famous one day Haha
I can’t wait to see photos of her big day! She has a very nice fiance and I’m genuinely just happy for her.
After the navy dress, I felt a little hesitation starting this dress. I wanted to make a style that would be unique and push my design skills a little.
I had also been inspired by some of the Dries van Noten dresses which had panels which hung down past the hem. As I made the dress, I also decided to do it without sleeves so I can layer it over a turtle neck.
It was fun to put this together and the fabric is SO SOFT!
I also made sure I used the direction of the stripe threads to make the fabric face the same way throughout the outfit.
First I made a normal dress with a standard back zipper. From there, I played around with the plaacement of the front panel. To add flexibility to the fabric and give it a looser drape, I cut it on the bias (diagonal)
Last but not least, a great friend was in town from Saskatchewan and we got lunch! Afterward the Equine Immersion Program was having an even called Trail to Zero with NYC police officers and veterans to raise awareness and help prevent veteran suicides. They were riding 20 miles through the city because every day approximately 20 veterans across the country die by suicide. It was very neat to see them have such a unique event and it was great to talk to the people involved.
It was a great day! Now it’s time to kick off the process for a few new back to school dress shirts. Stay tuned!
Here was the game plan! I was so excited to whip through this dress and make a really nice classic look… but… it’s only been going “sew sew” (is that a pun? It’s supposed to be)
The first challenge was that once I was home, I wasn’t 100% sure if I liked this fabric after all…
It felt very classic and sort of like a polo/golf vibe. It’s a cotton men’s shirting fabric. I thought it would be neat to have a striped shirtdress in my wardrobe, but then I started to question if I actually liked it.
At first, I gathered the skirt but it had too much volume. It was not very flattering 😦 there is no picture of this, but beleive me, it happened and wasn’t good.
I tore it off and really thought about a way to achieve a less busy look. After some time, I decided that pleats could be the answer! I hoped the pleats will be flatter yet still break up the stripes and make a nice A line silhouette. It started to get better! I used an inverted box pleat.
Last but not least! I visited F&S fabric store to pick up some unique buttons and made a sash on the bias to finish it up. I also actually hand pick stitched the collar too as inspired by my sewing friend George who showed me a jacket he was working on that used this technique!
With the pleats, it was much easier to align the stripes between the collar, bodice, and skirt! This also makes the sash pop a little bit more since those stripes go diagonally.
Overall, I feel like I achieved the look I set out to create, but I will be a little more discerning with my in-store fabric choices so that I hopefully feel more confident throughout the project.
Last but not least, I’ve learned that the two daughters of my husband’s coworker have visited the blog and are going to be taking sewing classes! Just wanted to say HI! They are about 10 and I really can’t wait to hear about if they like their class!!! They have a very cool Mom for encouraging them too!