This shirt was cut out in May to be sewn together over the summer. You see, I had a break from my weekly sewing workshop to do out door summery things. And it seemed like a good idea to treat myself to some wonderful Liberty lawn to make a wonderful summer top. Something simple, that would only take a couple of hours on a rainy day. It was a good idea, but it didn't rain much this summer, so not much sewing.
I've made this pattern a couple of times now. Actually I've made Simplicity 8523 and New Look 6356, but if you lay the pattern pieces on top of each other they are the same. I love this pattern because it lets a stunning print do all the talking. And I can wear these shirts on formal occassions, and as everyday wear. The previous versions are starting to fade, which just shows how often they are going through the washing machine. I had thought about saving them for 'best', but came to my senses and treated myself to the one metre of fabric it takes to make a new one.
The problem with the previous versions is that the hem tends to sit on top of my bottom, so that they look wrinkled around the waist. This time I added some extra space at the hips. The front piece fitted well; so I took the back piece, and added 1 cm on the side seam and 1cm on to the centre back seam at the hips. This gave me a total of 4 cm extra width around the rear. The shirt still tends to ride up a little over my bum, but not as badly as it used to.
I also tried using french seams on this shirt. They are a little on the chunky side because I was nervous about enclosing the raw edge. For a straightish seam with a thin fabirc this makes a beautiful finish, and is no more effort than overlocking both edges to press open. I did try french seaming the sleeves. It was a complete disaster. I find setting in a sleeve challenging. I'd forgotten that, and french seaming them was just a thing to far for me. In the end I seamed them in normally and overlocked. Unfortunately I'd lost some of the seam allowance through my french seaming endeavours. There are still some annoying wrinkles round the top sleeve, but I'm putting those down as a learning experience.
The pattern calls for a facing at the neck, and a keyhole opening at the back of the neck. I can get the shirt on easily without the keyhole opening, so I used bias binding to finish the neck and the sleeves. Taking the time to hand stitch the bias binding rather than top stitching was really worth while. I love the finish. The hem shaping was drafted by hand, and finished with bias binding too.
Mostly I'm really pleased with this, but I have made a mental note to take my time next time I do a set in sleeve.
What sewing techniques challenge you?