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Jul 12, 2013

Getting Started on Michael's Cotton Eyelet Shirt



I could delay no longer: today I started sewing Michael's cotton eyelet shirt.

As I mentioned yesterday, Michael's choice was the Colette Negroni pattern, which I used for my shirt sew-along two years ago.  I had redrafted it a bit, shortening the sleeves, narrowing the facings, and adding a sloping shoulder adjustment.  Fortunately everything was clearly labeled.



I've never worked with cotton eyelet before and while I was afraid how the stitching would work with all those holes, I needn't have worried -- it's been easy to handle.

I split the back yoke and cut it on the bias.  I think this is a much better choice than simply cutting along the straight grain the way the rest of the back is cut.  It adds visual interest.



I eliminated the two small pleats in back and instead eased the back into the yoke.  The fabric is too thick to have pleats, in my opinion, and I was never fond of the way the narrow pleats looked on my earlier versions of this shirt.



Previously, I'd serged the edges of the front facings.  Today I think it looks cheap.



By sheer coincidence, I happened to have matching salmon-pink commercial bias tape, so I finished the facings with that (after preshrinking the tape first).







I toyed with the idea of using a thinner fabric for the facings, but given all the little holes, the color would have had to match perfectly.  Instead, I cut the facings identical to my front pieces and tried to have all the little holes line up.  As it turns out, this really isn't necessary, what's important is that the color match.


 
I had one mishap: when I was trimming the collar seam allowances....



...I must have sliced through my inside yoke.  You can imagine my reaction when I discovered this:



I repaired the hole by satin stitching over the damaged area.  Luckily it was the inside yoke and not the outside yoke.



I think I'm done for the day.  This is going to be a long-sleeve shirt, so tomorrow I hope to make sleeve plackets, attach the sleeves, and ideally finish the shirt.  We'll see.

Readers, that's all for today.

Have you ever sewn anything made out of cotton eyelet?  How did it turn out?

Have a great day, everybody!

22 comments:

  1. Looks amazing so far, can't wait to see the finished project.

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  2. Love that fabric. I saw some of the same fabric in a lovely teal color and after seeing your work I wish I had picked it up. Can't wait to see the completed project

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  3. Oooh, this is going to be so cool!

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  4. Thank you for the cutting slip. It is encouraging to know that I'm not alone in mishaps while sewing. I usually do it nearer the end of a project though when fixing becomes harder.

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  5. I love eyelet - it's natural air condtioning! On shirts I like to keep the transparencey as much as I can so I usually make one side of the collar and facings from silk organza or chiffon. It takes a little planning because it requires piecing to make sure the eyelet side flips open when the shirt is worn but it's nice touch.

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  6. Love eyelet! Made one blouse but lined it with batiste to cut down on the peek-a-boo factor.

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  7. I love it, and t will look wonderful on Michael.

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  8. Michael will love this shirt! I read a blog post today- where was it? I read so many! about "what is the point of sewing?" Clothes are so cheap these days, we certainly don't sew to save money. Sewing to make our loved ones happy is surely one of the top reasons to sew, and I'm sure Michael will be sew happy with his new shirt!

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  9. Hi Peter. Just wondering -- how do you shrink bias tape? I've tried two methods -- hovering a steam iron over it, and (2) spritzing with water and letting it air dry flat. Both are a bit of a pain and the tape still shrinks! But I use only vintage all cotton bias tape. Maybe that's my problem? Yours looks like a blend. That's a much better choice for this shirt than all cotton (will lay flatter, I think). It's a great way to finish the facing. The fabric looks like nice quality -- it looks like it's all cotton. I wonder if you snagged your scissors in an eyelet, and that's what caused that little slice. Nice save, though!

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    1. Hi, Sheila. I soaked my bias tape (I think it's a blend; not sure) and then dried it by pressing it with a hot iron. I don't intend to machine dry the shirt, so hopefully everything will be OK.

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    2. Oh, I try to keep the folds when I pre-shrink bias tape -- that's why I have a hard time of it. I guess you used the scroll binder attachment? It looks very neat and professional. This eyelet has a lot of body -- are you going to interface the facings? Maybe it's not necessary? BTW, If the bias tape is less than 40 years old it is most likely a blend. It's been nigh impossible to find cotton since 1970, except at flea markets, ebay, thrift shops, etc.

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    3. Hi Sheila, is there a reason you like to use all cotton bias tape? I own a lot of vintage bias tape and I haven't considered if it's all cotton or a blend (I haven't used it often enough to warrant pre shrinking).

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  10. Looking good Peter, I love your reaction to problems....its so encouraging to others. Your choice of finishing the facing with bias tape was a great one, it makes it look "more expensive".

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  11. What lovely fabric! I'm muslin-fitting a Negroni for my husband and was wondering about cutting the yoke on the bias. Does that give more freedom of movement? This is the first garment I've ever made for my husband and I want him to be as comfortable as possible!

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  12. This is going to look great, can't wait to see how it turns out!

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  13. Just love reading about the care with which you make it. Makes me remind myself to just slow down when I sew and be mindful---so hard.

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    1. It always pays off when you do! I used to rush through things also, now I take the time and put in those extras that can make a world of difference.

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  14. The very first time I tried to make a garment, I used this Collete Pattern... I thought it was awful! The instructions were vague and difficult to follow and the illustrations, on the whole weren't very useful. Having made a few shirts now, I think I'd be able to follow this pattern but as a first pattern, I really wouldn't recommend it.

    This one looks good though. Thanks for sharing the mishap with us; nice to know that the pros make the odd mistake too!

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  15. Looking great so far. I want that fabric!

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  16. I totally gasped when i saw your little hole! Luckily you got to repair it perfectly...
    and breathing again. :)

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