Saturday, 4 June 2011

Prototype Complete

Yes it’s done! Being Friday and I didn’t have to get up this morning, I was able to finish the first shirt! But that’s getting ahead of the story. After I got the collar on and the hand-stitching finished, next step was attaching the sleeves. And I was correct in my guess, it was the easy way! I love the easy way.

Here’s the sleeve pinned on to the shoulder:

And both sleeves sewed on: I have to remember for the rest to iron the shoulder seams at this point.

Pinning the under arm and side:

Heming the sleeves: it took a few years before I realized just how useful that little metal ruler is; now I use it all the time. The sleeve on the right is completely pinned and ready for sewing. The one on the left (with the ruler) is first stage pinning. I had to measure and pin up the hem allowance, then turn under the raw edge to make nice finish that won’t fray in the wash.

And sewing the sleeve hems: proof I actually use the dewing machine.

First fitting! The last project I made for Cory ended up 6” too short for his chest, so this time I measured the pattern against one of his t-shirts I have on my repair pile to make sure it was long enough. It was too long. I had to take 3” off the bottom. Looks great though!

Forgot to take pictures for a while so threw this one in. I trimmed 3” off the bottom, keeping enough to do the hem, and hemmed the bottom the same way I hemmed the sleeves. This is freshly ironed.


Prepping for the button holes: I’m never sure what side of the material all the markings on the pattern are supposed to be drawn on. There’s no help in the instructions either; so all my button-hole markings ended up on the inside of the facing. This is not the first time this has happened. So I grab the pattern again. This one has the seam allowances marked, so it was really easy to line it up and draw the marks again.

Had to show the funky foot for sewing button holes. I don’t exactly have a new sewing machine, but they have gotten much easier!

Cutting the button holes: yes I know I’m supposed to have a proper cutter for this, but I haven’t been able to find one. May have to try a hardware store… And before my family panics that I am cutting on the antique table: see that black mat underneath? That’s a self-healing mat especially designed for cutting on. The table is safe. I don’t want to damage my cardboard mat either, those scissors are sharp!

My absolutely favorite new tool: a tailor’s chalk holder. Almost like the ones teachers use, but the sticks are smaller and it’s a comfy plastic. I love this thing!

Time for buttons! The store had a sale on boxes of buttons, and though they always have a sale on regular buttons (come in twos, threes, or fours stapled to a piece of paper), this was a MUCH better deal.

Buttons being sewed on: no way to avoid this hand sewing. Every time I do buttons I always think of the pirate costume with its 60 buttons.

Finished!! I love how it looks!

Now that the first shirt is done, the rest will be much faster: I have to make 5 more. Also have a few extra steps I will have to add. Mostly zigzagging the edges of the material that end up in unfinished seams. I don’t want these things to fray and have to repair them all the time!

Total time spent: about 9 hours.

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