Saturday, May 25, 2013

The silk shirt

Well, here's the silk shirt and my last word on V1033.

The silk shirt, front view

And back view
The silk  fabric came, again, from Mood LA; the buttons, as I said in the last post, from Chelsea Flea market in NY.

I’ve made this shirt often enough to feel fairly confident about it now.  This time round, I added a little width to the sleeve and gathered rather than pleating it at the cuff, to go with the ladylike buttons. I was thinking lady blouse not shirt.

In keeping with the mood I opted for a tie collar.  It’s a really easy thing to do – just like adding a super-long neckband. Here’s how I did it in case anyone wants to know:

For the blouse body, I turned the front facings to the right side and stitched them at the neckline.  People often recommend using a narrow seam for the neckline, but I find a normal seam allowance easier to handle.  I can always trim it if needed.  I clipped the neck edge so that when I turned the facings back to the inside   the blouse neck was ready   for sewing on the tie as shown below:

I didn’t cut a collar or band, just a strip the full width of my fabric (140cm) and about 8 cm wide.
I marked the centre (i.e. the 70 cm point). 
I measured the length of the neckline (excluding the facings) on the blouse.
On the neck tie I marked the spots where the tie would end.  I cut a bit of high quality iron-on interfacing the length of the neckline and 4 cm wide, and then   interfaced the tie at the centre.  
I folded the tie in half lengthwise, right sides together and stitched from the ends to the marked point, then turned the ties right way out.
Then I sewed the tie collar on as though it were an ordinary neckband, attaching the interfaced part of the tie to the neckline, right sides together, and matching the centre mark on the tie with the centre back of the neckline.  I turned in the remaining raw edge of the tie and hand sewed it to the inside of the neckline.  (Some people like to sew the tie to the neckline before they stitch the ends of the tie.)

Because the fabric is silk, I used French seams for the body and sleeve seams. I bound the armscye seam in a Hong Kong style finish, using bias strips of the silk.  But I made the strips 2.5 cm wide and trimmed the edge back less rigorously than usual so that there is just a little more support for the seam in case of slippage.  (The silk is tightly woven so I don’t think that’s likely, but after the episode of the wool challis I’m playing it safe!)
The armscye seam  with the  binding tacked on

I had the buttonholes professionally done, and they turned out much better than any of the samples I tried to make.   

buttonhole in close up
And  I love the buttons.
Buttons close up
So, the shirt saga comes to an end.  Next post- a couple of dresses!