Thursday, September 23, 2021

 We're almost there, everyone,

When I ended the previous blog, I had just sewn the sleeve seam, leaving 2" open at each end of the seam, like this:

Now let's move on.  It's time to stitch the underarm sleeve seam from the raw hem edge (unfold the hems you've pressed earlier) to the dots at the underarm.  Be sure to match those dots accurately.  

Then stitch the side seam from the matched dots at the underarm to the matched dots at the top of the side vent.

(Let me interject something here.  In all our instructions, we suggest that you keep the paper pattern pieces with the fabric pieces you have cut.  Then the first step for each Front, Pocket, Sleeve etc. is to mark clips and dots.  You probably did that when you originally cut the pieces, but we remind you.  As you move on to each new garment section, you can quickly check that you have all the markings completed.  If not, you can do it before you sew that section.  It's much easier to mark while everything is flat, and you have the pattern right there, rather than folded away in the envelope.)

Ok, here's how the shirt looks once you've completed those seams.  The pressed underarm sleeve seam is to the right, the pressed side seam is to the left, and the hole in the middle results from leaving 2" open at each end of the sleeve seam.

Turn the sleeve right side out so it's inside the garment, which remains wrong side out.  Match the side and underarm seams at the dots, like this:

It's important to get the dots (where your stitching stopped) matched precisely.

Now fold back all the seam allowances so they are together and moved to one side of the seams.  I put a pin through one dot, then look to see that it's through the dot on the other side.  Sometimes it takes a couple of tries to get it right.

Once your dots are perfectly matched, pin to hold everything in place and stitch from where your previous sleeve seam ended to the dot, securing your stitching at the dot.  

Repeat folding the seam allowances back and stitching the open portion of the sleeve seam on the other side.

Now you're ready to serge the sleeve seams.  Note that the underarm and side seam allowances are still free.  That's the whole idea--they allow the garment to drape properly when worn.  They don't pull or pucker.

Fold down the seam allowances on one side, and begin your serging on the other side:

Begin serging on the seam allowances that remain upright, trimming them to 3/8".  Serge all the way around the sleeve.  When you approach the end, fold down the seam allowance where you started.  Your result will look like this--

This technique is used in several of our patterns, and now you know the details of how to complete this unique finish.

Next time, I'll review a few items for finishing your new shirt.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

 Greetings again, everyone,

Let's move on to stitching the sleeves in the View B shirt from At Every Angle.  By the way, much of what I'm talking about can apply to other patterns in our Cutting Line Designs line of patterns.  So carry this info with you as you work on other shirts.

The pattern instructions tell you to serge both vertical edges of the sleeves.  It's best to serge from the underarm corner to the hem.  If you go in the other direction, you are working against the grain and you'll stretch the edge of the sleeve.

Then you can press the hem edges.  In this case, there are 2 folds so you end up with a clean finish.  First, a 3/8" fold, using one of our Pressing Templates.  (My bad; imagine this turned 90 degrees!)

Then use the same Template to press a 2" hem (all the Templates are 2" wide).  I like to press the hems while the sleeves are flat, even if I have to touch up a bit later.

Now you're ready to pin the sleeve into the garment.  As I've explained before, you are working with a concave edge (the garment) and a convex edge (the sleeve).   So the cut edge of the sleeve is longer than the cut edge of the garment.  However, the stitching line is the same length on the garment and the sleeve.  That's why you will find it easiest to pin in a certain way.  Let's look:

Note that the pins catch only a few threads right at the stitching line.  That's where the sleeve and the garment are the same.  The different edges can do what they need to.  (See the May 20 blog for more.)  By the way, sharp pins with glass heads really help.  

It may also help to see how the corners look when matched correctly.  They should cross right at the stitching line--not at the corners.

Time to stitch.  In this pattern, you begin stitching 2" in from one underarm corner and end 2" from the other underarm corner.  Like this:

Next, stitch your underarm seam of the sleeve.  Unfold the pressed hems.  Stitch from the raw sleeve hem up to the dots at the underarm corners.  Also stitch the side seam of the garment from the matched dots at the underarm corners to the matched dots at the top of the side vents.

Tomorrow, I'll explain how you'll stitch that open spot at the underarm.

In the meantime, I hope you're following along and finding info you can use in other projects.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Hello fellow sewers,

It's time for the next step in constructing the Shirt (view B) from At Every Angle.  In the last blog, we ended with beginning to pin the collar to the shirt's neckline, so let's see how that looked.

As a quick review, this collar is somewhat unusual.  As you can see in the photo, the collar is slipped down over the neckline of the shirt (in other words, the neckline is inside the collar), right side to right side, center backs matched.  At the center front edges, the collar would fold around the fronts and back on itself with the neckline sandwiched between the 2 collar layers.  Once both layers are pinned, it's time to stitch.

Look closely at the stitching below.  I sank my needle with the fabric turned in the opposite direction and stitched to the end of the collar.  Then I turned the collar around as you see below.  I like this technique because it avoids the dimple in the fabric's edge that backstitching often causes.  Now I'm ready to stitch across the combined collar/neckline.  I'll mirror image this technique at the other end.

Same view as above.  

Once the collar/neckline seam is stitched, it must be graded and clipped.  I've mentioned in other blogs that we now clip on the diagonal.  I clipped one layer, then turned the collar/neckline over and clipped in the opposite direction, and so the clips don't overlap.  Thus no ridges or gaps press through to the right side.

Below, I'm pressing the collar up and away from the neckline of the garment.  You can see that the top edge of the collar is open.  See the raw edges?

You might be wondering, "How on earth do I close the top of that collar now?"  It can be done!  Of course, all of this is explained and illustrated in the instructions, but it's helpful to see it done.

You'll roll the front edges of the shirt and pin them out of the way, like this:

Note that I've pinned the rolled front.  It can be rolled again on top of itself.  Once you've rolled each front, you can pull the collar down over the garment, wrong side out, and pin the edges together.  Begin stitching the collar at each center front end and stitch toward the center of the collar as far as you reasonably can.  Grade the seam allowances where you've stitched and press them open over a point press.  This photo is showing you one end of the collar. 

Once you've stitched and pressed both ends, you can turn them right side out, using a point turner to walk out the corners.  The middle of the collar will still be open.  Turn the seam allowances down inside the collar, pressing them carefully so they are even.

Once the pressed seam allowances are perfect, trim them to 3/8".  Slide a strip of Steam-a-Seam between them, remove the paper backing, and press to fuse this last part of the collar together.  Finally, you'll edgestitch the collar.  Work on the side of the collar that will show when worn and begin stitching at center back where the collar joins the neckline.  Edgestitch all the way around.  You did it!

Next, we'll construct the sleeves.  We have different way of finishing the underarms, so I'll show you that in the next blog.