I'll say this for my FIT Menswear Sewing class -- you get a lot of bang for your buck. We're at week 7, we're finishing our sample dickey, and we're still not quite at the half-way point.
Next Tuesday, we'll present our completed dickeys in class. Just to review, a dickey is a half-length shirt with no sleeves or cuffs.
Yesterday Professor B. taught us how to attach our collar/collar stand unit to the neckline, demonstrated the correct way to sew on a shirt button, and told us where to have our buttonholes made (Jonathan Embroidery). We will not be using any sort of buttonhole attachment or professional buttonhole machine. It seems odd to send an entire class to Jonathan Embroidery to have (four) buttonholes made, but so be it.
For the first time, almost all the material covered in class was new to me. Not that I haven't attached a shirt collar before -- I've attached dozens -- but the technique I use, which I learned from Margaret Islander's video, Shirts, Etc. (part of her Industrial Techniques series) is completely different from what's taught here. You can follow Margaret Islander's method in my 2011 Men's Shirt Sew-Along here.)
At FIT, we're instructed to complete our collar and collar stand the same way we did our cuffs -- turning under what will be the outside edge and stitching the turned-under edge to secure it in place (a visible stitch line approx. 1/4" in from the edge) -- so that the only thing that remains to be done is to sew the (outside) collar stand raw edge to the neck, fold the stand into place, and close up the inside collar stand seam with a single line of edgestitching (see photo below)
|The inside collar stand (note extra line of topstitching 1/4" above lower edgestitching). This is the only interfaced side, btw.|
I think I mentioned last week that one of the objectives of this method is to complete an entire unit of work (the collar/collar stand) so that it can then be passed on to the next sewer. Naturally, after four years, I find my method easier, but I can definitely see certain advantages to the one we learned yesterday. It's disadvantage, however, is that the collar stand MUST fit perfectly, which means it must be cut perfectly, and allow for stretching (due to excessive handling) or shrinking (due to the attachment of fusible interfacing).
The method is too complicated to review in full detail here, but in short, both corners are meticulously measured, pinned and sewn (roughly 1") so that the collar band fits over the top of the shirt plackets PERFECTLY. Only then do you go back and sew up the rest of the seam, easing in any excess bulk by gently stretching the neckline, even if it means having to break the stay-stitching.
Here are my two collar stand edges. It's obvious that the first (posted up top and below) fits better than the second.
|Stand is virtually flush with the placket edge.|
|The collar stand edge juts out nearly 1/8" -- a big no-no|
The disadvantage of the Margaret Islander method is that you're attaching your inner band to your outside band upside down and inside-out (it's then flipped right-side out). But once you get the hang of it, you have more control over the (extremely visible) collar band extension edge (where the button and buttonhole go).
As far as sewing on a button, readers, I had NO IDEA how. I never attach shirt buttons by hand, I use a zig zag sewing machine (lately my Bernina with a buttonhole foot). I would be embarrassed to admit this to Professor B., but it's the truth. I'm sure the correct method is explained in many sewing books; I've never looked. It was good to learn -- finally -- the correct method (when I have a better handle on it, and more experience, I'll explain it in detail). I never knew you were supposed to use double thread, or use a lockstitch instead of a knot, or hold the button so that it's nearly standing up when you sew it on, so you can create a shank.
For next week, we're to complete our dickeys, mark our buttonhole positions and have our buttonholes made (measuring 3" between each button), stitch up the side seams, and press our work so that it's ready to be evaluated publicly in class.
I will probably go with the dickey I have so far (as opposed to making a new one from scratch). It's not perfect but it's not too shabby either. Or maybe I'll feel inspired and start over again. I'm just not confident I could do a better job of attaching my collar/collar stand to the shirt than I did in yesterday's class.
After next Tuesday we have a week's break, and then after that we'll begin making our final shirt (in our final fabric, which I have yet to choose -- it can be patterned, but no stripes or plaids (because these require more complicated pattern layouts).
In closing, if you make shirts with separate collar stands (or bands), what method do you use to attach them? Do you sew shirt buttons on by hand?
Have a great day, everybody!