Making samples

I have been following some of the advice given by David Page Coffin in his book Shirtmaking: Developing Skills for Fine Sewing. I haven't ordered the book yet, but am now absolutely convinced that I'll love it. I could copy a few of the pages from the previews offered by and Google books and have them next to me at the sewing machine. What a wonderful book! I followed David's instructions on making a sample cuff and sample sleeve placket, and then made the shirt collar using his detailed drawings and text. So much better than the Burda instructions, which I could ignore completely.

I am very happy with the collar. I used unbleached muslin as an interfacing and it gives the collar body but keeps it soft (Jeremy commented on this unprompted!). I had a little bit of trouble with edgestitching the collar stand, but that was because I didn't press the seam allowance under evenly: the stitching on the right doesn't fall exactly on the collar stand inside. Maybe I'll redo that bit.

The slight bump on the right side of the collar is just where it was distorted a bit by lying crumpled overnight - it actually lies perfectly smooth. Following David's advice, I am sewing and topstitching using Mettler 100% cotton embroidery thread. The linen is a pleasure to work with - fingerpressing is easy, and it presses well. The only drawbacks I can name so far are that the fabric is very fluid, and it ravels. So I'm glad I'm doing flat-felled seams to enclose all the raw edges.

Sleeve plackets and cuffs next!


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