To my rescue, the Pattern Review Sewing Bee. First challenge: a fitted, woven shirt. "That's no problem." I told myself. "I can whip up McCalls 6124 in a couple of days!" Of course it was Wednesday by the time I heard about it, but I easily convinced myself that I still had plenty of time to cut it out, sew it together and take pictures. After all, the fitting work was all behind me, and I had a long weekend ahead of me.
|McCall's 6124, roughly the view that I chose.|
Stephanie could use a classic white shirt to wear with her suit, after all. So, I found a white linen/rayon blend and started cutting it on Thursday. Then I got a phone call from a new client, with a "small project". That, along with sitting at the clinic with my son for three hours devoured my Friday (day and night). It still left me three days, though. How long can it take me to sew one shirt, with no pattern alterations required?
|M6124 from 2014's waitress gig|
|M6124 with the opalescent top-stitching on all seams.|
I decided to take it off the placket & collar stand in the end.
|One of the many off-center shots.|
So I wore it, while my husband took the photos. It actually fit me fairly well, even though Stephanie is three inches taller and nearly as many cup sizes bigger (I wore her bra). In the end, I changed into and out of the top for three rounds of photos. For some reason, Steve was unable to take a picture from the dead center, and they all had shadows and wrinkles that weren't really there. In one shot the left side of the collar turned up and the right side down. "Oh, I thought you did that on purpose." He replied. Really? Who wears a shirt collar like that?
|Finally! Third try.|
|With the top-stitching unpicked in the front placket and collar stand.|
The reason I chose this pattern initially, was the fitting potential with the princess seams. I still like that, and think it's a flattering cut. The two-piece sleeve (in the full length) also makes fitting easy and hangs naturally, as well as giving an easy placket solution. The cuffs are simple to execute, as well.
|Sleeve seams are folded and top-stitched.|
I changed the shape of the hem from a straight hem, to a slightly rounded hem, by using the center front/back as the center point of the radius. Stephanie will most likely wear this tucked into a skirt, so that design detail may be irrelevant to her, but it pleased me.
|Split side seam. I may add a gusset here, as I'm worried about strength.|
Per the contest rules, I finished the interior seams nicely (which I would have done anyway). My plan was to use flat felled seams throughout, but I found that a simple turned-in seam with top-stitching looks so much neater, so I did that with the sleeve seams and the side seams. I shortened the hem from 5/8" to 1/2", because a narrower hem looked better.
The fabric is a nice weight for a dress shirt, especially one that will be primarily worn under a jacket. I was inspired to use white after reading about Sew-to-Fit's white shirt sew-along. It was difficult for me to sew with white, though. I can't recall a single item that I've ever sewn with plain white fabric. I wanted to paint it, or dye it or add some sort of embellishment. I considered slot seams or piping to jazz it up, and finally found a white solution for my need to bedazzle: opalescent top-stitching thread. It required a bit extra time to occasionally change the needle and thread, but it made me smile, and it adds some sparkle while remaining business-friendly.
Although I came to appreciate the whiteness of the shirt in the end, I still worried about one thing: pit stains. Any white shirt I've owned has come to an early demise from sweat stains. So I drafted a pair of dress shields in muslin. Sure, you can buy them, but with the pattern still laying about, I drafted a pair to fit perfectly inside this shirt. The unbleached muslin is tan enough that it doesn't show under the slightly transparent white fabric.
|I may remove some length before serging the edges.|