Behold, my first adult button-down shirt!!
This was one heck of a trip. In my previous post I talked about jumping into the wilds of garment-sewing, via this shirt. I plum forgot about those graduation dresses I made last year!! But still, I think what made this harder for me was that the intended recipient is ME, and that makes trying on as I sew, more difficult. I keep thinking I want a dress form, but I hear they’re a hassle to work with sometimes. And they’re $$$. At some point I’m going to have to get on the ball and make one of those duct-tape forms. I’m sure the Mr. will love wrapping me in tape. 😉
Anyway, On with the show. Let’s go down the list of shirt highlights and things I’ve learned/become annoyed with:
First off, the collar stand. See that? It’s supposed to reach the edges of the button bands and it doesn’t. I double checked the pattern piece and I did indeed cut the right size.. This one issue makes me not want to make this shirt again. I’m debating if I want to just get a different pattern or try messing with adding length and extra seam allowance to this one. That’s another issue I had: seam allowance. Pretty much everything else I have sewn garment-wise involves 5/8″ seam allowance. At the very least, they were always more than the 1/4″ I was allowed on this one. Pressing seams open was a bit of a problem when I barely had enough fabric to hold down. Combined with this slightly stretchy fabric, the small seam allowance caused me to have to resew some seams because they’d come apart! Part of me wants to serge all the unfinished seams but with such small area to work with I might accidentally make the shirt too small. So I’m leaving the insides just as they are.
Buttonholes! Aside from the collar, another of my big fears was the buttonholes. I was so afraid I’d mess it up. Part of that was because I thought the buttonhole foot would also open the hole, so if I messed up I’d ruin the shirt. But that’s not the case, and once I practiced on some scraps I was good to go. All I had to do was cut open the hole with my friendly neighborhood seamripper. (Mr. Seamripper and I have become very friendly lately.)
Bust dart! At first I wasn’t sure how to sew this part. I’d never sewn one before. And based on this photo I’m thinking I didn’t need it. I never paid much attention to where the darts are on purchased clothing, but then that rarely if ever fits me correctly anyway, so it’s anyone’s guess. I’m thinking, next time to leave the dart out somehow. At least until I actually do have a form to try the shirt on. I have some dress patterns that I think have darts too, but I might just leave them out if the fabric is busy enough.
All in all, not bad. I could have made the visible seams straighter but I don’t go too many places so this is good enough for home and such. I got over the major hurdles: buttonhole, darts and figuring out how to attach the shoulder seams to the back yoke. That there was a doozy. One other frustation I had was sewing the curves of the bottom edges. Actually the sewing wasn’t the issue, it was the pressing flat. I might just draw in a square bottom; should be simple.
Though this pattern put me through some ups and downs I’m not giving up sewing. It’s not perfect, but at least I know, it’s made in America! 😀