Jan 15, 2011
Readers, I have concluded that the subject of fusible interfacing is a perfect metaphor for life itself: we all have our ways of being/doing/thinking that work for us and we're unlikely to change -- regardless of what others say -- unless forced by fate. Do you know what I mean?
I would advise those who are happy with fusible interfacing to continue using it and those who are not to a) find substitutes (which most of you have already), and b) consider that some of your negative experiences could be due to improper application.
Let's move on!
My 1939 detachable collar Dubarry shirt is coming along nicely though for the life of me I can't quite figure out what is buttoning onto what.
The instructions clearly state that the removable collar stand is where the buttonholes go, and it wasn't until I'd sewn buttons onto the outside of the band (the band is attached to the shirt itself), that I realized that the collar stand (attached to the removable collar) should go inside the band -- the point being that you want to keep the band clean since it's not removable -- and have the stand next to your neck. So I had to remove the buttons and sew them onto the inside of the band.
It all seems to work except for one thing: I'm guessing a shirt like this always would have been worn with the top button closed and a necktie. Since I don't intend to wear it that way, I have an inside button where an outside button would normally be on the right front collar band, to attach it to the collar stand. Meanwhile, the left collar band has an inward facing button with no outside buttonhole to attach to the (nonexistent) button on the right collar band. Does that many sense? Long story short, if I did want to wear a tie with it there's no easy way to button that top button since there is no top button or buttonhole. Restate that clearly and win valuable prizes.
Let's move on.
I want us to spend some time this weekend examining a men's RTW shirt. I've chosen one we can look at together, a very sturdy, well-constructed men's shirt from the Gap. It's not a shirt I particularly like -- the fabric is coarse, the cut boxy -- but it is very solidly constructed and has worn incredibly well over the last six or so years.
I have taken many photos of the shirt, archiving all the little details most of us -- myself included -- never even think about.
Rather than post a million photos here, please take a look at my Picasa file: GAP Shirt. I think you'll find it interesting. What I learned was that despite the "meh" cut and coarse cloth, the finish is professional in the extreme. It's easy to take for granted how well mass-market menswear is constructed these days. Later on we'll be examining much higher end shirts, including a few "custom" shirts. and see what -- if any -- the differences are. Who knew shirts were this fascinating?
Meanwhile, we already have 50 people in our Sew-Along Flickr group, which is a lot of shirts to be made!
I received my Negroni pattern and I must say the instructions -- essentially a booklet on shirt construction -- look excellent and the whole presentation impeccable. Very nice to see...
Especially after this mind bender.
And that's it. I'm off to the flea market to distract myself from detachable collars for a while. Then it's back to the sweatshop.
And what of you? Are you dreaming about shirts yet?
Have a great day, everybody!