Thursday, September 25, 2008

The White Shirt, not as originally planned

I bought this pattern a while back. I thought it was a nice, simple Kwik Sew take on the BWOF pattern that had similar ties (though BWOF's top also had interesting gathers down the front). When I decided to make a white shirt as the first piece to my gray wardrobe, I thought that this pattern was a good combination of basic and interesting.

It still is, it just doesn't look much like the pattern drawing anymore. One thing you DO have to say for Kwik Sew that makes up for all their bland envelope drawings and photos is that their patterns are always beautifully drafted, and their instructions are very clear. Everything always lines up on a KS pattern, which I greatly appreciate.

On the other hand, sometimes they eliminate things that would improve the pattern for no reason but to make it quicker and easier to sew. Like the ties. Which are supposed to have a 3/8" hem. Would you want to see a hem on those ties? I wouldn't; it seems like cheap RTW to me, one of those shirts you can buy in the $7 store. Would it kill anyone to cut 4 ties instead of 2, sew them together and turn them right side out? It wouldn't make the side seam appreciably thicker, it would actually add a nice bit of weight to the ties so they wouldn't stick out in the front, and it would give a nice clean finish. So why don't they do that? It's a mystery.

And why am I talking about the ties when my shirt doesn't have any? Because my white stretch shirting fabric, clearly marked on my list as being 2 yards, wasn't - by a long shot. And there wasn't enough fabric to cut 4 ties, and I tried cutting 2 and hemming them and they looked cheesy and awful. And then I decided I didn't want them on the shirt anyway.

Back to the shirt as drafted: I love the collar. It's not actually a collar, per se. There's a 2-part under-collar, which gets sewn to the back of the shirt. The visible collar is actually cut in-one with the facing, which makes for a nice smooth look. Interfaced, it has an almost starched feel which for some bizarre reason reminds me of those curved white nun's wimples from old movies. Flying nun, anybody?

The 3/4 length sleeve has the nice touch of an elbow dart to make it fit more smoothly, and while the notched sleeve is kind of a cheat from making a proper cuff and placket, I didn't necessarily want buttoned sleeves on this shirt so it was an interesting enough alternative. There are bust darts and back darts for fitting, but I think (especially without the ties to adjust the fit) that I'm going to add vertical front darts as well, just for a bit of shaping. We'll see.

One complication with making this shirt was that my sewing room seems to have eaten my edge-stitch foot, just after I found it again. And I wanted this to be top-stitched, so after an hour of fruitless searching, I taped a piece of cardboard to the machine for a guide and I edge-stitched it that way. Now that will guarantee I find the foot, right? And now I'm really torn. I have a ton of white/pearl buttons for this shirt, including some vintage mother-of-pearl ones that I really like, but I'm tempted to use these really cool gray and white vintage ones with rhinestone centers instead. It would limit the shirt to being worn mostly with black and gray, but then it would also force me to make another white shirt, perhaps a bit more classic, where I could use the mother-of-pearl buttons. Tell me that those gray buttons wouldn't be fantabulous?

9 comments:

AmeliaSews said...

I agree the buttons are great fun and I think look really classy with the shape of the collar.

Little Hunting Creek said...

I love the collar on this shirt - it looks great. Your edge stitch foot will come out when it is good and ready. It is probably down at the corner bar with my blind hem foot.

Dawn said...

I love those buttons you have on it. Mother of pearl would look pretty too. Sorry, no help here. :) It's a classic white shirt. I love it.

Elaray said...

I totally agree with your comments about Kwik Sew. I think of them as the "Anti-BWOF". But sometimes, Kwik is exactly what I want and need. Good choice on the buttons.

Lindsay T said...

I like the buttons you picked out and don't think this will limit you to the other colors you can wear with this. They're still neutral.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Please, please, please use the gray ones! Those buttons make a hum drum white shirt into something spectacular! And I love taping the cardboard to the machine to get the edgestitching just right!

The MSILF said...

That is one gorgeous collar.

Isabelle said...

Oh, that collar!
The buttons really jazz up your shirt.

Lori said...

I vote gray buttons, too. You are so right about the KS pattern drawings, your blouse is gorgeous, it should be on the pattern cover.