This was the sorry state of my living room today, but I did manage to get some sewing done, adding collar stand and collar to my madras shirt as well as buttonholes and buttons.
The undercollar and inside collar stand are gray cotton interfaced with a lightweight woven interfacing. The patchwork madras itself is not interfaced (though I normally interface the out-facing fabric) since it has all those bulky crisscrossing seams.
When you're cutting a collar stand and collar, it's important to make sure both ends are identical. I always check them against each other even if I've cut my fabric carefully. As you can see below, the edges of my collar stand were not quite identical when I took this photo.
I'm going to sew with just a 3/8" seam allowance (I cut half of the
seam allowance off the collar stand and collar pattern pieces since it's
easier to attach them to the shirt with a narrower seam allowance) and
then turn right side out: I must make sure I'm going to end up with a
collar stand that's even on both sides.
Here's my inside collar stand attached. I stop and press at every step; you can't take shortcuts with a collar and expect accurate results.
With the collar stand attached, I once again check to make sure both ends are identical. This is the time to trim or make any other last-minute adjustments.
After I've attached the upper and under collar, right sides together, but before I turn it, I press open all the seams on my June Tailor board. This makes the turning so much cleaner. I also trim the corners and remove bulk where necessary.
Next I turn the collar right side out, making sure that none of my undercollar shows out from the edge of the upper collar, and topstitch at roughly 1/4".
As I did for the collar stand, I check to make sure both edges of the collar are identical in shape and in width. Then I attach the collar to the outer stand.
Finally, I stitch the inside stand to the outside stand along the outer edge (with the collar already attached to the outside stand) and then turn the outer collar stand right side out and topstitch it along its lower edge.
I explain this method of attaching shirt collars, which I learned from the Margaret Islander video "Shirts, Etc.", in more detail here.
Next came buttonholes, which I made with my vintage Singer buttonholer, the old-style one that allows me to adjust the width of the stitches and the size of the hole, along with the length of the hole. And no metal templates.
I still have a few more tasks ahead: sleeve cuffs, hem, and perhaps collar buttons. But the hardest parts are over, thank goodness.
I didn't expect to like this shirt very much, but I really do. You'll be seeing more of it in the weeks ahead for sure. Madras rules!
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!