It doesn't seem possible but it's true: today the first part of the MPB Men's Shirt Sew-Along draws to a close.
Now I have a suspicion, judging from your comments (and lack thereof) that not everybody is at this point in their projects yet. Let me reiterate: no one is required to have a muslin done by today; you are always allowed to work at your own pace.
That said, I do require all Sew-Along participants to have a completed shirt-like garment (no ponchos please) by the end of February, past which point you must personally request a 15-day extension. Those who still have not completed a garment by March 15 will receive an Incomplete and may be required to attend summer school. And please don't try removing the label from a store-bought shirt and using that -- you're only cheating yourself.
I try to be lenient but invariably some take advantage. Like a nosebleed, a little gentle pressure helps.
And now onward.
Our goals today are:
1. Clip facings (Did we do that already?), turn and press
2. Attach buttons and make buttonholes 3. Hem
4. Pat yourself on the back or wherever you like patting
1. I think I covered clipping the corners of our front facings to create nice sharp top corners on our shirt fronts. Now let's be sure to clip (or grade) the rest of our front facings too. Once we stitch on our buttons and make our buttonholes, we'll no longer have access to them.
Basically we want to remove bulk wherever we find it. When you're done, press the facings once again: we want to make sure that when we sew on buttons and make buttonholes, the facings lay perfectly flat against our shirt fronts.
2. Now we're ready to talk buttons and buttonholes.
NOTE: I found the top button as marked on the Negroni pattern to be too high for my neck. Button placement is very much a question of personal preference. Before you attach your buttons, have the wearer try the garment on. Where would he/she like the first (top) button to go? Remember that the Negroni has a camp collar which spreads at the top.
I generally don't mark my buttonholes until my shirt is nearly done and my Negroni muslin was no different. I forgot, however, when I marked them that the pattern includes a 5/8" seam allowance. I attached my buttons and then wondered why they were so far in from the edge (and why the shirt felt snug up front) until I remembered this. Luckily buttons are easily removed and reattached, not so buttonholes. Please don't make this mistake!
The button line should be 5/8" in from the edge of the shirt front, or 1 1/4" from the edge of the pattern piece. Is that clear? (The orange line above shows the seam allowance on the shirt front pattern piece.)
Having marked my buttons with the supposedly-disappearing ink pen, I proceed to stitch the buttons on. I use a zigzagger sewing machine to do this. I tape the button down first and then, using my button foot and with the feed dogs down, stitch them in place.
I am then ready to make my front buttonholes which, like my pocket flap buttonholes, I make with my vintage Singer buttonholer. Again, make sure your facings are flat against your shirt front. If you're making a men's shirt, the buttonholes should be on the left front side.
I always reinforce my buttonhole with a bit of Fray Check.
Now add your buttonholes to your cuffs. Buttonholes go on the top (or over) placket side; the button is attached to the under placket side. I've gotten these mixed up in the past with disappointing results.
I also add my buttons to my shirt pockets.
3. Now it's time to hem the shirt. The method I generally use here is to fold the hem up approximately 1/8" (or as narrow as I can get it), stitch, and then fold up again and stitch once more.
I decided to get a little fancy this time and, after finishing my first line of stitching from front to front, finished the front facings by stitching them right sides together and then turning them right side out. This resulted in less bulk along the width of the facing.
I stitched the facings (right sides together) at approximately 1/4".
I clipped the bulk in the corner.
And I turned right side out.
I then stitched the rest of the shirt hem a second time.
And there you have it, friends -- my muslin is done and I need a shave.
The fit on me is good though not perfect. Somebody with wider shoulders has already laid claim to it, however.
I'll address fit later. For right now, I am happy to be finished!
I see in our Flickr group that quite a few people have posted photos of their muslins and most look awful nice. Now it's time to evaluate our results. Get those husbands dressed and photographed, whatever it takes.
Congratulations to those who've stayed with me thus far. To the many who are catching up (or just getting started), hang in there.
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!