Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's Not So Bad

I finally, finally got the shirt done for the BF using McCalls 6044. And now that it is complete, I can say that I spent way more time agonizing over it than I did sewing it. I spent Sunday getting the collar sewn on using David Coffin's instructions in his book, Shirtmaking. At one point, I thought I had done it wrong, unsewed it, then sewed it back, and only then I discovered I did it right the first time! I really think that part of my confusion stemmed from Mr. Coffin's instructions which are so detailed, I sort of get lost about what I'm doing next. He's extremely thorough, but sometimes I just need basic, overview instructions about what we are trying to accomplish here. I will say that it resulted in the best collar I have ever sewn:
Certainly, the collar stand is way better than the ones I sewed using conventional instructions in my Amy Butler tunics:

On Sunday, I also got the buttonholes done. I took Monday off of work and finished putting the buttons on and I hemmed it. The Carpenter came over that night for dinner and he was anxious to try it on. It wasn't near as small as I feared it would be:

Hallelujah!!!! It fits perfectly as long as he doesn't move around a lot. : ) For the next shirt that I make, though, I'll probably make a bigger size since he likes his shirts loose fitting, and I'll probably go with a more traditional pattern that has a yoke. I know he likes it though, because he left wearing it!
So this was definitely a learning experience, one that I probably need to repeat soon so I don't forget all the lessons learned. But the holidays are coming up, and I've finally learned not to line up sewing projects for Christmas - I don't need that stress, since I apparently can make sewing stressful enough without a deadline!
I will say that this shirt, along with my last few dress projects, in rayon and silk, have taught me the advantages of using a rotary cutter in the cutting out process, rather than just using scissors. You can cut way more accurately with rotary cutter on the rayon and silk since the scissors distort your fabric as you cut. And the rotary cutter came in very handy for the shirt since the pattern pieces were large and mostly straight edged. Anyway, I'm getting better at using the rotary cutter on curves as well.
Parting Shot: The Carpenter's dog. I expected him to have a "manly" dog like a chocolate lab, but he loves his foo-foo dog, Lucy, who is a Pekingese:

Monday, November 1, 2010

I've Mastered Cuffs!

Well, not mastered, but I've achieved cuffs based on David Coffin's instructions in his book and video entitled, "Shirtmaking":
The first cuff took me an hour and half to make, consulting with both the book and the video; the second cuff only took 30 minutes. Hopefully, I'll remember how to do it on the next shirt. I went head and sewed on the front plackets as well and I'm pretty pleased with my matching:

REALLY pleased with the pocket which is below:

Now for the collar; there will be more reading and video watching, and while I think this will be too small for the Carpenter, this is building up my skills. If the collar goes well, I might as well put the buttons on it and hem it up. Maybe I can at least get a photo of him wearing it! It's the thought that counts, right?
On on a non-sewing note, I'm extremely thrilled to be invited to do a guest post on Seraphic's blog for single Catholic women which is published here. Seraphic is a big proponent on waiting for the right man and I couldn't agree more!
Parting Shots: The Carpenter and his brother, the Forester, chopped wood yesterday near the Nottaway River and I got to go. Here's the Nottaway - not a big river, mind you:
Here's the beginning of the cutting. I think the men just like using chain saws:
Brothers, always:

All done: