I'm not completely unfamilar with shirts. I've made at least a dozen men's shirts from this Kwik Sew pattern:
This Kwik Sew pattern does have yokes (which really aren't that hard to deal with), but has no collar stand, front plackets, or cuffs. I made my first collar with a collar stand when I made the Amy Butler tunic. Really, the only thing I haven't done on a shirt is flat-felled seams, cuffs, and sleeve plackets. I pulled out David Coffin's wonderful book "Shirtmaking" which I have had for years and read up. I also rediscovered that I had his video which demonstrates his techniques from the book. (I borrowed this video so long ago from VickiW that I owe her a fortune in late fees for its return!)
I decided after reading Mr. Coffin's instructions on flat-felled seams, I was going to have to do them without the special flat-felling foot. Using the foot requires a different seam allowance for your edges. For example, the piece that folds over requires a 7/8 seam allowance and the other side requires a 1/4 seam allowance. I don't have the patience to redraw all the pattern pieces to accomodate these seam allowance changes.
So I did all my seams with the standard 5/8 seam allowance, then I trimmed one edge to about 1/4 inch, then I folded the other edge over the smaller by hand and pressed to one side. To hold the seam allowances in place while I top stitched them from the right side, I used 1/4 inch wide Steam-A-Seam which was much better than pins. I got to practice this on the shoulder seams, the sleeves seams, and the side seams. Pretty cool, although kind of time consuming. The top stitched seams looked awesome, especially since I took Mr. Coffin's advice and shortened my stitch length considerably - probably to 22 stitches to the inch. Also, on the shoulder seams and sleeve cap seams, I edge stitched them as well. This definitely made it look more ready-to-wear and provided a very strong seam.
At this point I had The Carpenter try it on and I think it is going to be too small. His chest is 39 1/2 inches, and the size chart indicates that he would be a medium, but I still think it is going to be too small. I know what I should do: finish this shirt using David Coffin's techniques on the shirt cuffs and collar, and chalk it up to a learning experience even if it doesn't fit. Learning on this shirt will make the next one (the REAL one) go so much easier. That is what my brain is telling me to do. My motivation, however, has plummeted. I hate working on garments that won't actually get worn, otherwise known as muslins. No matter how much I learn from them.
Any advice, y'all????
Any advice, y'all????
Parting Shot: We went to New England a few weekends ago and we had GLORIOUS autumn weather. Here is a shot somewhere off the coast of Massachusetts, between Gloucester and Rockport: