Monday, November 20, 2006

A Return to Textiles

KwikSew Men's Shirt Pattern

For the first time since early August, I've done some sewing. All my fiber arts web-rings notwithstanding, there hasn't been much textile activity on my weblog. I dyed some socks purple, I spun some burdock-laden fleece, but that's about it. No knit hats or velvet scarves for the local craft shop, no socks or mittens or new cardies for me.

Book Cover: Shirtmaking

Today, I sewed myself a flannel shirt. The summer before last, I immersed myself in shirtmaking, trying nifty techniques from David Page Coffin's Shirtmaking: Developing Skills for Fine Sewing. I tried all sorts of patterns, and made shirts for men and for women. I was pleased to find I remembered the techniques I wanted to use, in that "motor-memory" way.

Although the shirt is for me, I used Kwik-Sew pattern 2777, a men's oxford shirt. I skipped the front buttonband, because this is where my shirts show wear first, and I made different cuff plackets, from the pattern in the Coffin book. I think they make a tidier finish. I've tried many women's shirt patterns, and made scads of different alterations in the search for a perfect fit, but when it comes to a flannel shirt, I've gotten my favorite fit by simply sewing up a men's shirt with no fitting alterations at all. I'm not sure why. There seems to be a mystery involved in the fit of a shirt yoke.

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