Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Shirt in flowers

May is coming closer and closer but I'm also progressing quite well with my collection. I have finished the shirt I was planning for a friend before Easter, and boy am I happy with it!

The plan was this:

- Pattern 9/2013 #117 from Burda Style.
- Cotton poplin fabric from Minerva Crafts.
- Yellow butterfly buttons and black flat buttons from Stoff & Stil.

The fabric I got was quite a bit narrower than what was in the pattern, so there was a moment of panic when I started laying out the pattern pieces and they wouldn't fit πŸ‘»! Thankfully the moment passed and it was after all enough fabric 😁.
There were a lot of pieces to this shirt, quite the puzzle! 22 pieces!

It was indeed a project that took time and effort. I really wanted to get it right and make it look professional, so all seams are sewn on the normal machine first then finished on the overlocker and a lot of the edges and hems were basted to get the exact shapes, curves where it's curved and straight lines where it's straight lines. The result is very...very satisfying!

The process went like this: First I did the bust and waist darts on the front bodice pieces (are you counting? that's 2 πŸ˜‰).

Then I sewed the side back bodice pieces to the center ones (that's 6) and stitched the center back seam, after which I laid it on top of the front pieces and sewed the shoulder and side seams.

So far so good. Next is where it starts getting a bit complicated...Now I sewed the waist darts on the front skirts (let's call them that) after which they were sewn to the front bodice pieces (8) but only for like 20cm . The goal here is to connect them at the center to get the button and buttonhole bands done which was next step. There was a lot of folding back and forth involved to create the invisible buttonhole band, I had to take some deep calming breaths and activate the imagination, then take some more deep breaths and make the buttonholes. The ones on this shirt are my best so far! Almost sad you can't see them πŸ˜„

The hem of the front skirts came next. I sewed the facings (10) to the skirts, turned them to the wrong side and pressed the allowances under.

Next the instructions tells you to topstitch the front bands catching the insides, but that would've left the seams at the waist unfinished, so what I did instead was to topstitch below the waist seam only for now, then I top-stitched the skirts hems, all in yellow thread 😊

Now it was time to assemble the back skirt: I stitched the center seam on the two back skirt pieces (12), then created the tie bands that go on it (14) and pinned them in place, then pinned the front skirts on top of the bands and stitched close to the edge. Now the front skirts, back skirts and tie-bands were sewn together, and I completed the waist seam all the way around.

Now I could overlock that seam in one go, and top-stitch the rest of the front bands.

It was then time for the collar. The construction is pretty standard: Iron interfacing to all pieces → sew the collar pieces together (are you still counting? We're at 16 pieces now) along the outer edge then turn right side out and press → attach the collar stands (18) to the inner edges → sew the outer layer to the neckline of the shirt → press allowances of inner layer to wrong side → and finally baste them in place and top-stitch from the outside catching them.

The pattern pieces remaining now were of course the sleeves. Each sleeve consisted of 2 pattern pieces, an over piece and an "elbow" piece (and that's pieces 19 tp 22 😊). I sewed each over part to the elbow part, improvised with the placket quite a bit, but it still turned out neat. I did the hemming and the placket folding one inside the other in a way so there are no visible folds of fabric over fabric. Then top-stitched the hem and the placket, catching the inner part at the top, made buttonholes and sewed a yellow butterfly on each sleeve.

Then I thought: Since I started with the buttons, I'll just finish with them. So another butterfly went on the only exposed button position at the top closest to collar, and 7 flattish black buttons went into the invisible spots.

The only thing left at this point was to set the sleeves in.

Then try it on!

Do I like it on? Is the sun bright? I like it so much I'm so close to not giving it to my friend πŸ˜†, and I'm almost sure I'm making one for myself sometime this year.

For more pictures of the finished garment, see the project on BurdaStyle.

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