I think of myself as a pretty exacting sewer. My standards are high -- but maybe not as high as I thought!
This FIT class is making me work. That's a good thing, but it's challenging.
The standard in this class is professional. And that means everything has to be just so. It's not enough that, say, a shirt cuff -- which is what we worked on yesterday -- look good. If the cuff pattern piece is curved at the bottom, the cuff must show precisely that same curve. If it doesn't, Professor B is going to let us know. (The cuffs on the shirt patterns I use are almost all squared off at the corners, with the exception of the Colette Negroni.)
Shirt cuffs are something I never give much thought to. They usually come toward the end of a project -- in fact, they're generally the last piece I add to a shirt -- by which time I'm eager to just get the thing finished already. I'll sweat over a shirt collar, but a cuff? Hardly ever. Which isn't to say that mine look sloppy -- they don't -- but they're not as precise as they could be, or so I'm finding out.
In Tuesday's class, we learned how to interface our shirt cuffs (interfacing facing outward) with our fusible interfacing. Last week someone asked what kind of iron/vacuum board we use. The brand is Sussman; don't think they're in business anymore, alas.
The technique we used to create the shirt cuff is something that would be familiar to anyone who has ever made a men's shirt. The biggest exception is that the 5/8" seam allowance is never used (anywhere on the shirt, actually).
We covered stitching, clipping curves, turning, pressing, and edgestitching, all to an exacting standard. We gave considerable attention to rolling the seam connecting the outer cuff and inner cuff toward the inner cuff, so that it isn't visible from the outside -- much as one would to the seam connecting outer collar and under collar. (One usually cuts the under collar a little smaller to facilitate this. Apparently that's done on a women's shirt cuff but not a men's. Who knew?)
There's something about sewing in a classroom that I find a little stressful. I'm not used to having to produce something in a specific time frame, even though I'm a relatively fast sewer. And using a machine that I'm not intimately familiar with is also a new experience. Last night, I happened to sit at a machine that didn't have a faceplate with marked measurements. I took my ruler and pencil and drew a temporary 1/2" line and used the edge of the presser foot for everything else.
Next week we'll be covering yokes, and wedging the backs and fronts between the two yoke layers, so for homework we need to cut these pieces out of our shirting and bring them to class. We also need to produce four "beautiful" cuffs. I guess I'll try to do these over at FIT since I need more practice on the industrials. Something tells me the plaid shirt I'm currently working on is going to have beautiful cuffs!
In closing, in your sewing projects, do you make an effort to achieve what you'd consider professional sewing standards, or is good-enough good enough for you?
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!