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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Lilacs and Liberty: An Insiders View

I've had an awful lot of fun wearing this shirt I finished at the beginning of the year. Yup, it's another of my favorite Butterick 5526 - the pattern my buddy Susan altered for me. You may recall the other two versions I made. The first was my No.1 Lady's Detective Agency shirt, and later came the Mille Fleur shirt I took to London (I also finished the red plaid Pearly-Wannabe jacket for that trip. with some strips of bias trim I eked out of the scraps from the shirt).

The main fabric is Robert Kaufaman Lilac Gingham and the trim is Liberty of London Tana Lawn "Mauverina". I've had a lot to say about Liberty and this wonderful quality cotton, both in my podcast and this blog.

I ams really happy with my threesome button groupings (Click
on the illustration to see an up-close view of those)
I also liked the pocket, a variation on the pattern pocket
but I took tucks instead of the folds in the sporty-style shirt.
I also added these long tucks in front and back that weren't in the
other two versions of this shirt. The fluid nature of the
gingham seemed to call for them. They're figure-flattering too.
In my February podcast, "Getting Shirty",  I described some of the seam finishing techniques for shirts I've been working on incorporating more often in my sewing projects. I'm really happy that I did a good job on the inside as well as the outside of this garment. I wear it often and so there's quite a lot of pleasure putting on this well-fitting (thanks Susan!) shirt.


Remember when I described slicing double packaged bias tape lengthwise and wrapping the one remaining fold over the raw edge of the hem, and facing edges in the podcast? Doesn't that make a nice crisp edge? You bet! And it really defines that shirt tail hem too. I sewed three rows of topstitching too, which also helps with the stable, crisp feeling.

Notice that French Seam. Isn't that a nice clean look? It really looks finished and helps with the hang of the garment.


Not being a dab hand at seam finishes, I wasn't sure if using a french seam at the shoulder seam would be challenging. But it worked out just fine. I did baste the set-in-sleeve first, but I would have done that even in a traditional rights-sides-together seam.

We spent a lot of time learning about seam finishes in my Intermediate Construction Class at CaƱada. I'm only just starting to get in more practice with them - just as soon as I'm done with this bustier project I'm chugging away on. (Woof! It's turning into a multi-month project. But what a feeling of accomplishment it will be when I'm done:-) 

Once that challenging project is complete (Oh and did I mention I'm planning to squeeze out a simple straight denim skirt to wear with it before I move on? Hey it's got to have a real spot in my wardrobe....), I'm going to get some more recreational sewing time in with shirt sewing. You bet I've got one more cut out and in the hopper, and several more for which I have fabric (two of them are my favorite lengths of Liberty Tana Lawn I got on my trip to London last year). I'm really looking forward to polishing my seam finishing skills on those new garments. 

I'm looking forward even more, to putting them on and wearing them!


Practicing new skills and getting to enjoy the results. That's the kind of projects that keep me...

   Audio/Podcast Getting Shirty: http://www.enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com/2014/02/ench-by-sew-017-gettin-shirty.html Includes seam finishing techniques and pattern discussion


This book has really helped me to learn how to sew different seam finishes. The illustrations and descriptions are spot on!
The New Complete Guide to Sewing: Step-by-Step Techniques for Making Clothes and Home Accessories Updated Edition with All-New Projects and Simplicity Patterns (Reader's Digest)





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