Friends, I have a soft spot for Western shirts. I don't know why. It's not like I look so great in them and it's a slippery slope from chic urban cowboy to looking like you should be singing "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" around a Montana campfire.
But I wanted to take on my first treadle project, and I decided a Western shirt -- without too much fancy stuff like contrasting fabric and piping -- would be the way to go. Since I purchased my 1920 Singer 66 treadle a few weeks ago I've been practicing on it a lot. On eBay last week, someone was selling some old Singer notions and Singer 66 accessories cheap, and I picked up these extra feet (which you'll notice attach at the back, not the side). They can be hard to find and expensive.
BTW, the old bobbin tire, which I'd like to replace, is hard as petrified wood. How do I get this off -- electric drill?
The old bobbins included in the package were full of ancient silk, which unwound produced this -- pretty, right?
But back to the shirt.
Here's the pattern I decided to use. I made this shirt with it last fall, which ultimately felt a little too busy.
The pattern is from 1978 but no matter, Western shirts don't change much from decade to decade.
My fabric is a black-raspberry-colored cotton shirting I picked up at my favorite fabric dive, H&M on 35th St. for $2/yd.
The pattern has this cool bat-shaped back yoke:
Here's the fabric cut:
I stay stitch the edge...
I turn the edges under along the stitch line (I use a little water soluble white glue to hold down the points).
Here's as far as I've gotten:
I won't lie: treadling is challenging. It's sort of like playing the bagpipes (kudos to Michael for the metaphor) -- you're trying to do two things at once and it's a little scary, especially when you're topstitching. I'm a perfectionist and my topstitching results aren't quite up to my usual standards but no matter -- it's good enough and I'll improve with time.
I'm also not accustomed to sewing on a flat table surface. I like it, but it's different.
Today I'd like to get as far as I can with my shirt, maybe even finish it if possible. I even bought pearl snap fasteners!
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!