Sunday, October 31, 2010

a little shirt progress

Several of you asked what pattern I am using.  I am using a frankenpattern based mostly on a Burda World of Fashion shirt.   I morphed the design details from the Burda pattern to my TNT shirt pattern.  My first TNT's came from copying RTW.  And of course, I have posted often about how much I love pattern making software (Bernina My Label).  Getting a commercial pattern to fit me is time consuming and not always successful, but I am still learning about fit.

I started copying RTW when I was a teenager.  It was as simple as taking a seam ripper to an old pair of pants that fit well.  As I carefully deconstructed the pants, it was easy to see how they had been put together, so no instructions were really necessary.  Pants from commercial patterns never fit, so I just made do with my TNT pants pattern.  I was pretty lazy, too.  I seldom added pockets or other details.  I had better things to do with my time (a teenager always does, right?)

About five years ago, when I really got back into sewing, I wanted shirts that fit better in the shoulders.
I had several much-loved shirts from Eddie Bauer that were worn out, so I tackled one with the seam ripper.  Once it was taken apart, it didn't really seem that hard to use it as a pattern.  I cut new fabric and sewed it together the same way Eddie Bauer did.  Over time, the fit has been improved by several teachers and I have even learned how to make changes to the pattern myself.

I just sew.  I don't really look at instructions.  I guess this is why I can have the TV on while I am sewing.  Fortunately, there is no TV in the room with my cutting table.  That part does require concentration.

So!  This method of sewing seems fast.  Of course, it is a very plain shirt, but for now, that is fine.
The sleeve placket pattern came out of David Page Coffin's book.  I lost my old placket pattern pieces.
And this happened.  LOL.  I had to make another collar and try again.

I finished the collar & collar stand in one session, the sleeves and plackets in one session and the bodice in one session.  Next, I'll put the collar on the bodice, then I will set in the sleeves.  Buttons, buttonholes and a hem, and it's a shirt!

I already know I want stiffer interfacing in the collar stand for the next go-round.  And I have yet to see how my alterations turned out, but so far, it's looking pretty good.  Once I have this all figured out, I will start cutting and sewing in multiples.  I'll take some detail photos to show you how I do it.

At this point, I just have my way of sewing shirts.  I enjoyed reading Coffin's book and got lots of great tips that I will incorporate in my sewing.  But I am not really up for changing the way I do things.  At some point you say to yourself, "this is what's comfortable for me".

Oh - one more author mention- I got my Claire Schaeffer DVD!  I watched the first DVD in one sitting and oh I enjoyed it very much!  It's all about hand-sewing.  She wears a needle holder around her neck (like a handyman wears a tool belt).  That way she has all her various needles handy.  I might think about doing that.  I learned so much and I'd like to incorporate more hand-sewing in my work.

OK, this is feeling a lot like an entry into my diary or something.  The weather was pretty and we took a 4-mile walk.   The end.

And thanks to all of you who de-lurked and commented on my last post.  It will be fun to send this fabric off to one of you.  And Mary Nanna, I post things to South Korea all the time.  Flat rate shipping is really not too horribly expensive.  I know how to pack it tight into the smallest possible space!

Cheers, all!


  1. " At some point you say to yourself, "this is what's comfortable for me".
    Oh yes. Vry well said. I definitely fell that at some point I admitted this is me and this is what works for me.

  2. Looking really nice. At some point I want to try shirts again, purchased ones are so hideous I switched to knit tops a while back, but if they fit better.....

  3. Beautiful illustrations as usual, very instructive, this is going to be a great shirt.

  4. Looking good. I have been re reading David Coffin's book and again on the search for a felling foot. Do you use one? Janome don't have one!

  5. What pattern are you using? I like this. Are you making this ala Coffin with felled seams etc?

  6. I understand that you are using disjointed clothing as pattern. So? That's one way that the employer feels you perfectly ..

  7. Looks good. I use Coffin's book the same way. It is good to glean ideas to try and tips and tricks. I don't follow it to the letter, but I certainly have learned some good things from him.

  8. Your shirt is coming together really fast.


Thanks for visiting my blog and Happy Sewing, xo

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.