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Jun 19, 2011

Peter models the funky-cuffed summer shirt!



Readers, the shirt is finished and yesterday, with Michael's able assistance, I got to play fashion model!



I am now thinking the lavender cotton shirt fabric, which I had originally identified as lawn, is in fact voile.  Or gauze.  Or something.  As you can see in the photos, it's slightly transparent, loosely woven, and very soft.  In fact, the softness and loose weave resulted in the one (minor) disappointment in the shirt construction.



Not wanting to deal with flat-felled seams on such soft fabric, I'd planned to stitch the sleeves on, serge the seam allowance, and then stitch the seam allowance down to make a mock flat-felled seam.  However, even with the shirt open and flat (before I'd stitched the sleeve and torso closed), I was unable to stitch down the seam allowance without puckering -- it's that stretchy and soft.  This wasn't a tension issue, though it caused some!

I completed one side, and then ripped it out (gently); traces of which are slightly visible.  Has this ever happened to you?



Anyway, with a shirt this casual and summery, it's fine, and it's not like I'm going to be hurling baseballs in it or anything.  The shoulder seam is perfectly secure.



Here are a few more construction details.  You can view the whole folder of construction pics here.

I interfaced the collar stand with knit weft interfacing on just the outer layer.  For the collar itself I used an additional layer of my fashion fabric (I was short on interfacing).  This is one of my better collar stands.







I topstitched all the way around the stand; sometimes I skip that step.  With the exception of the buttonholes, I sewed the shirt entirely on my Featherweight, using a #9 needle.  Anything larger would occasionally snag the fabric.



I finished the sleeves and side seams with French seams, stitching at 2/8" wrong sides together, trimming down to 1/8 inch, pressing, and then stitching right sides together at roughly 3/8".  I like the result -- clean.



The buttonholes, which I made on my 15-91 with my buttonholer attachment, aren't gorgeous.  I chose not to interface the front left button placket and it could have used a little more heft for prettier buttonholes.   Do you see how the fabric puckers along the width of the placket?  Still, they're stable and not particularly noticeable.   (I really should clip those stray threads...)



And that's it.

Here's a little slide show of me modeling the shirt.  No sailors, I'm afraid.

As always, to see these photos full-size, please click on any image.  In Picasa, click on the title of the folder, and then in the left hand corner, "Slideshow."



Happy Sunday, everybody -- and to all your fathers out there, Happy Father's Day!

35 comments:

  1. Fantastic! I love the shirt and the cuffs are great! I really enjoyed all the construction photos as well!!

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  2. I've had the puckering problem, too. It's why I interface anywhere that has buttonholes....

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  3. I missed yesterday's episode and have just caught up. I was right in thinking that contrast for cuffs as well as collar would work, but you are completely right about white looking corporate. The funky little surprise on the end of the arms is fabulous. Love the french seams too- they always look so luxurious.

    I'm in the middle of redoing my failed contrast collar and cuffs - sticking with white 'cos I want to look like miss secretary 1960!

    Re buttonholes- I've just started stitching my buttonholes twice using the ordinary automatic buttonholes on my (nonvintage) machine. On ordinary cotton fabric it was trouble-free and I got a thicker coverage.

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  4. I love this shirt! Just enough banker and just enough whimsy. You look 'too cool'.

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  5. Just in case you haven't seen this yet, Debbie Reynolds is auctioning her amazing collection of costumes and Tom and Lorenzo have lots of photos

    http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/2011/06/debbie-reynolds-auctions-movie-memorabilia-today.html

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  6. Isn't it interesting how much difference a needle can make?
    Looking good, Peter!
    Love the cuffs.

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  7. Thanks, guys!

    Mae, I've even downloaded the auction catalog -- fabulous (and big).

    http://www.profilesinhistory.com/debbie-reynolds-auction/event-and-catalog-information

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  8. Perfect color and material for summer. Love it, Peter!

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  9. You're no Cousin Cathy, but you do cut a dashing figure in that smashing shirt!;P

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  10. Your shirt is a thing of beauty. I am in love with the cuffs.

    I'd like to offer a tip on keeping the buttonholes from puckering on thin fabric. Buy yourself a little package of "wash-away" stabilizer. It kind of looks like a kind of thick matte finish plastic sheeting. I cut mine into about 2 inch wide strips and put two layers underneath where I am about to sew my buttonhole. You have to finagle a bit to get the little sandwich underneath the buttonhole foot - I usually pin it in place until I get it under there. It works like interfacing, but it goes away when you are done. Once you are done sewing the buttonhole, you can just clip or tear away the excess. You can then move your strips to the next buttonhole location. I can get lots and lots of buttonholes out of a little package. The plastic stuff that is trapped in the stitches will just wash away in the laundry.

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  11. Absolutely gorgeous, Peter, and such fun! I have had the problem of puckering on finer fabrics and decided to do exactly what you did to finish the seam. I won't be pitching and baseballs either.

    I hope to actually try out my new serger today!!!

    Have a great day, Peter, and everyone else!

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  12. Sigh....I've been sewing since I was 8 years old, so for *gulp* 39 years, and I avoid tackling anything as wonderful as your summer shirt because I'm never happy with the results. You have mad skills. Thanks for sharing.

    Oh, and you have wonderfully expressive hands....

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  13. Nice shirt! Fine fabrics are a challenge. When I am short of interfacing, I use a bit of typing paper to give the machine something to bite, for buttonholes. It doesn't dissolve, but it gives the buttonholes some heft and support. Thanks for sharing, Peter. Kristina

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  14. I love the shirt (the cuffs are so cute) and excellent choice of fabric for the summer. Thanks for the slide show too.

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  15. It's a lovely shirt. I concur about the stabilizer, but I usually use the tear away sort.
    Great for summer in NY.

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  16. Very awesome shirt, I so love the flowery cuffs! :) The needle marks will probably go away after a washing, I've had that happen before and it was ok afterwards. :)

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  17. The epitome of lawn is Liberty - so if you have sheerness or loose weave, you don't have lawn. Sounds like voile actually, because gauze requires crinkles and thickish threads, loosely woven, while you have thin threads without crinkle.
    Love the flowery cuffs, and as you probably noticed they need a lot less interfacing :-). You stand is great. Do topstitch around all of them, in part because it's just expected on boy's shirts, in part because it gives a crispness that no amount of interfacing can hope to achieve.
    I totally agree with you that a lightweight shirt is a lot cooler than any sort of knit on a hot humid day. Now I'm waiting for you to discover silk :-). Silk broadcloth, which can be machine washed. Just saying..

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  18. Lovely shirt- must be so fine to cause that puckering. I hate ripping thing apart but as Alessa said, once washed it wont be noticeable. Beautiful work.

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  19. Excuse the australian parlance, but that is bloody awesome Peter. I wish mister would wear such things. Cornelia

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  20. Great shirt; I also love the trim. I'm learning from your posts. Thanks

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  21. Oh Peter!! The cuffs and collar don't match ;)
    Rhonda

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  22. Peter, Great Job! I have to say your collar stand to front placket juncture is beautiful! In my opinion, that is one of the trickiest parts of shirtmaking. Bravo!
    BeckyW that is a great tip about the wash away stabilizer!

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  23. Peter, I love your blog and share your love of sewing machines and sewing. I recently I purchased Pattern Master Tailor Made and will be making a sloper for my husband. i will be referring to your blog often. Your work is exquisite and you are truly an artist.

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  24. Great shirt, nice suit too. I bought some linen to make a shirt a few months ago but need to get off my ass to make it. You might have given me the kick I need!
    I was altering a shirt and the needle snags the threads in the material. It is a new needle but the material is very dense. What do you suggest?

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  25. Thanks, everyone! Just to be clear, the suit is from H&M, I didn't make it -- if only.

    Steven, in my experience, needle snags suggest you need a finer needle. Try a #9, which I believe is the finest size.

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  26. Are those pantlegs the latest thing in NY?

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  27. They are now! LOL

    Seriously, I'm not sure but it seemed right with the shoes and low socks...

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  28. Beautiful job!!!! I'm so in awe of how well you sew after only a few years experience!
    I'm working on a jumpsuit in fabric like that right now. It's a fabulous black and white zebra print, in soft, loosely woven, wiggly cotton. I'm so glad I saw your blog today, I won't even try to topstitch anywhere!

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  29. Unless it's interfaced, of course: I topstitched (well, edgestitched) collar and cuffs. See how it goes...

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  30. I saw a shirt on a TV presenter last night and thought of you - it had this cool arrangement of buttons, just regular shirt buttons but they were in pairs, perhaps an inch or so apart for the pair, then regular spacing, then another pair and so forth. It was such a simple thing but it somehow added oodles of style.

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  31. Peter, really it is a funky shirt, but not for the conferences!!! LOL!! It's good to see you as a model and you looks pretty cool.

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  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  33. I meant to say... you have great handS ;)

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  34. Love it! Especially the cuffs!!!

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