Readers, I've been pleating my shirt all day.
Or have I been tucking?
According to Wikipedia, in sewing, a tuck is a fold or pleat in fabric that is sewn in place. So I guess I've been tucking. Anyway, whatever you call it, it's taken a long time and a fair amount of eyestrain. In a way, sewing tucks on a plaid is easier than on a solid, since you can follow the lines. Problem is, there are so many lines that it's easy to start losing one's mind.
I started this project on my Kenmore 141.158 but after my first tuck/pleat/whatever, I realized I really needed to be on a true straight stitcher, since even though my Kenmore has a straight-stitch plate and can accomodate my Singer straight-stitch foot, you can't narrow the feed dogs. As I was sewing the narrow tucks, the fabric was feeding on only one side, and there was a tendency for it to slip a bit. So I pulled out my Featherweight instead -- I haven't sewn on it in eons -- and it was the perfect solution. I'd forgotten how well this machine sews and what a beautiful stitch it has. Really a pleasure.
Since each tuck is 1/4" wide (i.e, 1/8" on each of its two sides), I added an inch of width to my shirt fronts for every four tucks. (Wait -- is that right?)
First, I finished my left and right front plackets, where the buttonholes and buttons will go, respectively, and then started stitching my narrow tucks. I think I stitched about twenty-four in all.
Here's a peek:
From the underside, they look like this:
My inspiration for this shirt is project #14 from my Japanese men's shirt pattern book, but I ended up adapting Butterick 4575, which I've used for my last two shirts, rather than tracing a brand new pattern.
When I looked at the patterns in the book, they looked like they'd need a lot of tweaking -- they seemed very long and very narrow, and I'm neither. The Butterick pattern fits right out of the envelope (though I shorten the length an inch). Why make life difficult?
I cut my back yoke and sleeve plackets on the bias. Everything else is cut parallel to the selvage.
To interface the front plackets, I finally tried Pam Erny's interfacing and it is marvelous to work with. I used the Pro-Sheer Elegance Medium.
Would you believe this is the first time I have ever used interfacing that came with actual instructions? Pam's are very clear and very specific. Love it!
And that's it. I have a few chores to do before class tonight, so off I go.
In closing, would you call what I made pleats, tucks, or something else entirely?
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!