I've got buttons! I really didn't think I'd manage to find something I liked at my very first stop, but sometimes you get lucky. On Friday lunchtime I walked down to Karlin's at 8th and Filbert Streets. It's a fairly small store, but the only place in center city where I can buy thread. I buy other things, too - they get decent remnants from manufacturers and other stores - but it's ridiculous that my only source for thread is over 4 miles from my house.
Anyway, I went down with a scrap of my shirt fabric and the two buttons I'd picked out as color samples. While one of the girls was pulling down anything they had in the same general color range, I went digging through the box of sale buttons, and I found the perfect buttons. Go figure.
I still wasn't 100% certain - I was pretty set on something in the purple range - but my better judgment, and the opinions of 5 customers, male and female - pushed me over the edge. So I bought 2 bags, 7 buttons in each, for $2.50 total. That excited me so much I came home and finished the shirt.
Had a little time on my hands yesterday at work and I spent it usefully, doing a little blog-browsing. Pam at Off The Cuff Style very conveniently had a recent tutorial about shirt cuffs and collars, and I printed them out and stuck them in the pattern envelope for future reference.
The collar advice I used immediately, because every time I sew a collar on a shirt, I have to pick it off and sew it again. Which is something that the ends of the collar stand really don't like. This time I took her advice about pinning the center, then pinning each end of the collar stand exactly, and sewing inward from the end for about an inch (reasoning that an inch isn't too much to pick out if something goes wrong). Then sew the other end, and if that's working, keep going until you reach the stitches at the end where you started. Then you take the inside of the band, which was already folded and pressed, and topstitch from the bottom all the way around the band.
Trust me, she says it much more clearly than I ever could.
Let's just say it worked. Really well. This is probably the best-looking collar stand I've ever done, and it's partly because I didn't wear out the fabric sewing and picking, sewing and picking. But whatever, it looks good.
I was so pleased that I got the collar done without too much bloodshed (negligible straight pin vs. finger incident, but whatever) that I started right in and put on the cuffs. Which behaved equally well.
Today, if my workroom drops below 100, I might get to the buttonholes. Right now, it's a sauna in there, and that's not the most relaxing condition in which to try not to screw up a dozen buttonholes. So it may wait until evening.