Feb 11, 2014
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?
Have a great day, everybody!