The last post started to run long, so we’ll continue here. I used a variation on setting the sleeves, to make them easier to topstitch, and updated the sleeve plackets with a much better technique.
I wanted this shirt to have a more casual, work shirt, type of look. Part of this was to topstitch the sleeve where it joins the bodice. The original pattern calls for setting the sleeve into a finished arm hole, like a jacket sleeve. Instead of doing this, I did not sew the side seams before the sleeve set. With the entire bodice, front and back laid open, I set the sleeve to the opened arm hole. Doing this allows for easier topstitching later. After the sleeve is set and topstitched, I used a French seam to seal up the sleeve and side seam all in one go.
For the flannel, I French seamed everything to keep all the raw edges neat. In hindsight, flat-felled seams would, in my mind, have given the best look inside and out. Serging would give good results, but feels a little less authentic to me.
The presser foot did create a bit of a wave in places, especially when sewing perpendicular to the grain. Most of this could be worked back into the fabric with a little coaxing. I think this was mostly the inexpensive fabric talking. This stretch (and not being sure of the fit yet) is what turned me off to flat felling
The other variation I used on this pattern is a two piece shirt placket design. I learned this from PAM ERNY and it is really useful. The original pattern had the placket that is pre-shaped into a nice triangle, but takes really intricate folding and pressing to pull off.
The two piece technique is really straight forward, and it’s easy to get excellent results with half of the fuss. Pam’s tutorial above does a really good job of explaining the technique, and you can create a pattern from the pictures she provides. Depending on the cuff length, there may need to be some adjustments made on the width’s of the plackets. If all else fails, and the shirt sleeve is a little wider than the cuff, easing in the extra fabric isn’t too hard. You can put in a basting stitch and pull in the extra fabric, just like a sleeve cap.
Anyways, here are some pictures of the finished shirt. Optimism paid off, and the adjustments worked out to create a well fitted, wearable shirt.
For future shirts, I have shortened the length of the side dart by about 1/2 inch, and moved the pockets up and in by 1/4 inch.
I’ve already begun another shirt with this pattern. This time it’s out of 8 oz Cone Mills selvedge denim (some of the last, since the plant shut down). It features selvedge finish along the insides of both front plackets, and flat-felled seams.