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Mar 19, 2014

FIT Class #8 -- MIDTERM: The Finished Dickey Gets Graded



Readers, I won't lie: I was nervous to show my dickey to Professor B yesterday.  It's the basis of our midterm grade.

First thing on arriving in class yesterday, we were instructed to place our dickeys on the "Alva" brand, Size 40 male dress forms in our classroom, and pin our name to our work.

I used the dickey I'd worked on during class; it was good enough and I really didn't feel like making another one (I had man-skirts to sew!).  As instructed, I had had four buttonholes made at Jonathan Embroidery ($5 down the drain) and sewed on my buttons by hand, as per Professor B.'s directions.

Personally, I thought four (diagonal) passes through each pair of buttonholes, using doubled thread, made for a somewhat clumpy-looking button, but for now, I'll do as told.  Normally I'd use thread that matches the button rather than the topstitching but he seemed to want us to use the thread we'd been working with.



I carefully trimmed away any stray threads and pressed the final garment.  I carried it to class on a hanger.











There were a fair number of good-looking dickeys on display: nice fabric, appropriate button choices, well-pressed, etc.  Naturally a few looked less than fabulous, but some of the students are sewing for the first time.  Professor B. said he was impressed overall and commended us on our effort, reminding us that we have the second half of the class to hone our skills.

Then, while we worked at our machines on cuffs and collars (in our final shirt fabric), we were called up one at a time by Professor B. to show him our dickey and get our grade.  I had a scare when, a few minutes before class, Professor B. asked if I would step out into the hall for a moment.  Ugh -- he's not happy about my blog.  He told me he had drafted a size Small shirt pattern and wanted to know, since I was a smaller size, if I wanted to use it to make my final shirt (so that conceivably I could wear it).  I said yes, so in the time remaining, I traced the thin plastic pattern pieces onto craft paper.  Whew!

When it was my turn to come forward, I took my dickey off the form and brought it up to him.  He seemed pleased and commended me on my stitching.  He wants me to try to get the collar extension closer to the placket edge (which I could have, had I used my usual method).  It's probably less than 1/8" off but that's still too much (see pic below).  He thought one of my collar points could have been a little sharper (to match the other).  And then he gave me my grade.



I have not been graded for anything in more than twenty-five years, so I was sort of embarrassed by how much it mattered, but there you go.  (Plus the pressure from the blog.)

I got an "A" --  I'll take it!

I'm excited about having a smaller pattern to work with, especially because the new one has a collar and collar stand adapted from a Canali shirt, with much nicer shaping; I'll show it to you down the line.  BTW -- we do have class next week; spring break isn't until mid-April.  So expect more weekly updates till then.

Meanwhile, I also hope to start on Michael's crossword puzzle shirt later this week -- maybe even this afternoon.

And that's it.

Have a great day, everybody!

Ever-tactful, Prof. B. silently wrote down our grade for us in our notebooks.

57 comments:

  1. Awesome. You'll never forget your first FIT "A."

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  2. Mazel tov! Really, though I didn't expect less. It's nice that you'll get to use a pattern that will fit you for your shirt.

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  3. Well deserved! Although we really didn't expect anything less! : )

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  4. Congratulations on the A! I love reading about your class.

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  5. Congrats on the grade and having been chosen to test drive the smaller size shirt pattern! I agree: those buttonholes are nothing special the method of sewing on the buttons looks clunky. Back in the day, we were taught 3 passes through, and that does look better to my eye.

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  6. Did you wear your new outfit to class? If so, what did they think. If no, would you?

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    1. It's a little fancy for a night class!

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  7. You know what that dickey would look great with? A certain skirt...

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  8. So when do we see the dickey in action. Why in the world are these things called dickeys? Is it just to give us a giggle?

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  9. Well done Peter! Love your blog!
    Lee (longterm lurker, first time poster)

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  10. Congratulations on the "A" too. I also love reading about your class, it is as close as I am ever going to get to taking it, and the tips are really useful.

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  11. congrats, you deserve your grade, really enjoying these posts

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  12. Congratulations! Well deserved!

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  13. An "A." Congratulations! Well done!

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  14. A well deserved A! And congrats at being given the Prof's pattern... did he design and draft it himself? Has the Prof made mention of your blog?

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    1. I'm sure he doesn't know about it. I believe he did draft the pattern himself.

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  15. Great job! Amazing isn't it that even when it matters not at all, we still strive to get a good grade. I took (and paid for) a SQL programming class at a community college to expand my work skills. No one but me cared what my grade was, but I was obsessed with not only getting an A, but scoring 100s on the tests. Obsessed!

    Congratulations of your grade, and what fun to get to test drive the prof's shirt pattern!

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  16. Congratulations on your "A", eh? (I'm Canadian) Sorry I haven't got to the post office yet with your buttons. I will go tomorrow.

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  17. Congrats Peter. Do you think those buttonholes are any better than what you have done on any of your machines? I watched your you tube vids and I think your buttonholes are quite, quite good. Daily reader, love your blog

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    Replies
    1. The biggest difference is that the professional buttonholes are rectangular and the home ones are slightly oval.

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    2. Peter - That's odd about the buttonholes. My 40 year old Pfaff 1199 makes buttonholes just like that.

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  18. the dickey looks completely professional to me. Congrats on the A!!!!

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  19. Bravo on the A!! Well deserved I'd say. You did a good job of it. Well done.

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  20. Beautiful work and a well-deserved A. Mazel tov!

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  21. Congratulations! Lurking and learning ...

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  22. Yeah! Congrats. You are good at this we aren't just humoring you.

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  23. Congratulations! I'm a lurker but I learn so much from your posts. Thanks!

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  24. Congrats! I wish my stitching was as even and straight. Looking forward to seeing the next project?

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  25. I love these posts, Peter. I would love to take a class at FIT!

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  26. Clap clap clap! Well deserved A!! Now that the midterm is over, if you have any inclination to you could wear it under a sweater like they did in the turn of the century i think (i may not be remembering history correctly..)

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  27. Excellent work! Congratulations on the A.

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  28. Excellent. Well done! Loving the thought of you quaking in your boots over the grade.

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  29. Congratulations!
    But really...DIAGONAL stitching on buttonholes? That was always taught to me a a huge no-no that is only used in cheap manufacturing methods. Like you said, it creates that ugly lump, so I find it weird that that's what he asked for.

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    1. That's funny because he specifically said that it creates a higher "percieved value," i.e., you can charge more for it! I'm with you.

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    2. Perception. Preconconceived. I have used diagonal stiching on buttonholes since seeing it in a master craftsman tailoring book.

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  30. Congratulations... I giggled when you mentioned feeling embarassingly anxious about your grade, because I realized that I was feeling anxious for you. I wanted that A for you so much, Professor B's opinion of your sewing suddenly took on such significance in my life. But why? I read your blog, I adoreyoufrom afar, but I don't think I ever even commented before! But I'm delighted that I can now think that Prof. B understands as I do what a delight you are, and how special your skills are,and how much care you take. Silliness!!!

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  31. That's wonderful! Congratulations. I really like Prof B from the way you describe him; he's tactful, and he sounds so professional (ha! inadvertent pun!). I love his extreme attention to detail.

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  32. Thank you so much for sharing this class with your readers. I look forward to reading about your class experience every week.

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  33. Any discussion of collar stays- (as I do the family ironing, I've just noticed one of DH's better shirts has the upper collar constructed of 3 pieces to form the pocket for the stay)?

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  34. Isn't it fun to get an A (still)! Well done

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  35. Well-deserved!!! Peter, you are brave and amazing, attending FIT and steeping yourself (and us) in the education sensation.

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  36. Awesome! And so well deserved - congrats on a job well done!

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  37. I would think that for some of the students being sent out to have professional button holes done is a new experience. Seeing the shop , talking to the sales person about the job, looking at samples, would be helpful. So, I really don't think for most students it is $5 down the drain. But $5 of experience.

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  38. I really enjoy reading your FIT blog posts. I love making shirts and bought an online class from Mike Maldonade some time ago. He teaches a clean finished collar stand and cuff. Dicky is such an english word don't you think? My Bernina makes better buttonholes than your $5 ones I think. In fact buttonholes were a deciding factor when I bought the new machine! Very impressed with your work and of course you deserve an 'A'.

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  39. * Mike Maldonado
    http://www.mikemaldonado.com/cart4/
    His class is really good for those of us that don't live anywhere near FIT. Getting the classes downloaded is a bit clunky, but I have learned hugely from it. Hope this link helps someone?

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  40. Wooooo! An A is well deserved. But get that Prof an apple anyway!

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  41. Congratulations!
    Thanks for sharing all your experiences, your blog it's a pleasure to read. Big Hug.

    Greetings from Belgium

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