New project - princess shirt

I started a new project over the weekend - a princess-line shirt for myself in fine 100% cotton with a floral print.I like the print - not too busy and pretty. While at the shop, I saw two other shirt fabrics and bought quarter-metre samples of them to test at home. The floral and pinstripe turned out to be 100% cotton, but the blue stripey fabric has some polyester content, though not a lot. I may sew up a test collar and cuff and add it to a few loads of washing to see how it holds up. Maybe it is an "easy-care" fabric that won't pill. I hate it if that happens.

Floral at front, dotted pinstripe cotton in centre, with polycotton stripe at back

The pattern I'm using is one I bought at a sale about a month ago. Simplicity 3990. It has a huge range of variations. I am making a plain princess line front with long sleeves with cuffs. It is reviewed positively on PatternReview. The great thing about this pattern is that it has additional pattern pieces for different cup sizes, saving me from trying to do an FBA (at which I am still a beginner). As this was a sale pattern, I bought the size 18-24 envelope (there were no others!). I cut out the size 18 for D-cup and tissue-fitted meticulously on Saturday and it looks like it will have figure-conscious but not too tight fit (I hate tight). I cut out yesterday and started sewing last night.
Simplicity 3990

I have made some alterations: I lengthened the sleeves by 3.75 inches, as I am taller than average and have long arms. I also drafted my own cuff based on a cuff from a favourite RTW shirt. The pattern has a very un-shirtlike way of adding the cuffs without plackets, and I have opted for following David Page Coffin's method (in his book Shirtmaking: Developing Skills for Fine Sewing), using his pattern for sleeve plackets. The collar is in one piece, and I may make a two-piece collar next time.
After making some samples using different interfacings, I have decided to use soft 100% cotton percale (read: old sheet) sew-in interfacing instead of a fusible. The fusibles left visible texture on the thin fabric, which didn't even go away after ironing. The topstitching also looked much nicer on the percale.
My interfacing sample after various treatments

So far, I have done the front bands, the back darts and the shoulder seams. I'm hoping to sew again later today. I have a new work project (editing a book on bats!), which will keep my busy for the next month-and-a-half, but I try to make time every day for some sewing and generally get more done when I'm working than when I don't have work.


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