This is another fabric I picked up from JoAnns when I was in America back in July. Pyjamas were suggested and I was really into the idea. The cotton is so soft, almost brushed. It’s one of those great Alexander Henry prints, the one with all the skeletons jollying it up in the saloon. Then the thought of going to bed wrapped up in skeletons had me a bit shivery. Instead I opted for Halloween Shirt II, ‘The Revenge’
How many Halloween shirts does anyone need? I hear you ask. Well, this oneis struggling to keep up with the wash-wear-wash-wear schedule … Halloween is a really short season!
The pattern is my current TNT shirt from the book The Gentlemans Wardrobe. (Previously seen here and here). I made it in much the same way, but, of course, with a few deviations! Even though the hem is quite a gentle curve and not too tricky to fold, I used black satin binding this time.
I was so proud of myself for matching the pattern across the centre front of the pattern pieces, I forgot that it doesn’t include the placket! There was enough for a 5mm hem & topstitch on the under placket but I had to fix up the top one…
I used a bit of the satin binding on the raw edge of the fold back. I didn’t topstitch, just used the buttonholes to hold it in place. (Just look at those spooky guys inside!)
This worked out nicely as there is less stitching to get in the way of (what has turned out to be) my (best!) pattern matching!
To match the pocket, I overlay the pattern piece, then draw key points of the pattern onto the tracing paper. If you use a ‘frixion’ pen, you can remove your scribbles later with a warm iron and use the piece again.
The cuffs and collar turned out nicely and I used a plain black contrast on the inner yoke, under-collar and inner-stand.
The big epiphany for me was coming across a new technique. I’m not sure where I saw it first… I think it might have been in pattern instructions but could easily have been online or in a magazine! I’ve since tried googling it and there are a few tutorials out there…
Have you heard of it? It’s difficult to find online as you have to sift through all the tutorials for the hand gathered method, but it’s there… Admittedly at just 3 years in, I’m still new to sewing, so this is definitely new to me! It’s the easiest thing in the world to explain, but even easier with a little video…
So you hold your finger behind the foot, bunching up the fabric while you sew within the seam allowance.
This gives you some nice little ripples making it much easier to ease in the sleeve cap. I’ve only tried it on cotton shirts so far… and it gets better every time!
I’m looking forward to trying this out on heavier fabric too. It could have been good on AuntieE’s Coat.
Forget Halloween, I’m looking forward to wearing this all year!
Notes to self:
- Remember which version of the shirt hack you’re doing and don’t cut it wrong!
- Find out where I first heard of easestitch plus.
- Remember, in the sewing calendar… sewing Halloween clothes in October means you’re WAY behind on your Christmas sewing!!!
This shirt is just ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I bloody love it! The pattern matching is awesome, and the gathering is definitely going to be trialled – I hate setting in shirt sleeves 😂 the contrast yoke looks so good on the inside. I have this same fabric in the terracotta colourway to make the hubbo a western-style shirt with a suede yoke and metal snaps… let’s see how that goes 😂
Thank you so much!
I’ve only just seen the other colour online, perfect for a western shirt… he’s a lucky man!
Hope the ease stitching goes well, it’s been great for me! 👍🙏
Great technique and one that is totally new to me, even after forty-odd years of sewing! Love your ‘notes to self’ this week:)
That’s really nice to know, thank you! I hope you’ll try it out?
… ps Christmas is definitely on hold… I was up til 11.30 making MrA a vampire cape last night! 😂😈👍
Of course I’ll try it out – anything that makes sewing easier or more professional-looking has got to be mastered in m y book! Good luck with your Christmas catch-up:)
😄👍🙏😘 thank you!
I have been watching this blog awaiting the arrival of the skeleton saloon cowboy pjs and just whooped out loud! A shirt! If the wash/wear synchronises, I’ll see you on the 4th Nov in this snazzy number… 🤞🏻
Haha! Excellent I’ll see you then 🎃😈👻
Wonderful job on the pattern matching!
And with this new technique, do you use a basting stitch? Otherwise, how can you control the amount of ease you’re introducing?
So far I’ve only tried it on regular stitch length (2.4mm on my machine) and 3mm – can’t see much difference, but still able to pull it out a bit if it’s too much 👍🙏
Pattern matcher extraordinaire! Super awesome job ….
Never seen the ease stitching done that way myself I have to say. I usually cheat and sew the sleeves on flat and then join the sleeve and side seam in one go especially as I like to flat fell that particular seam anyway. I should imagine that technique would work well on jacket sleeve heads and the like…..
I know… Try it out on your winter Peacoat before it gets too cold lol 😀
Aww thanks 😊🙏
Yes, I sew shirt sleeves in flat too. Using this as well saves a lot of pins and helps shape the shoulders much better for me 👍
Yes, that peacoat…! I’m really starting to feel the cold!
That fabric design is wondrous and your pattern matching skills really are extraordinary. I absolutely love it !
Thank you so much 😊🙏👍
No, hadn’t heard of EASESTITCH-PLUS before. Nice one! Thanks.
A technique I have tried is to make two parallel bastes, one either side of the final seam line. I only ever used it once and can’t remember the fine detail. IIRC, you gather the inner and the ungathered outer holds the ripples off giving you a flat or flattish channel in which to stitch the seam. The inner baste then gets removed.
Unfortunately, I don’t think the the two techniques could be combined. With a double needle, you could almost certainly do a double gather but that’s not what you want … though maybe you could somehow exploit differential tension?
Food for thought.
Food for thought indeed! I must admit that what I really like about this method is – no unpicking! 👍🙏
I hope this is helpful to you but I think this is easestitch idea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QSw8SwH9V8. Hope you can get video to work.
Great 👍 thank you 😊