Weekend sewings-on

Like quite a few sewing bloggers, I’m working on a men’s shirt right now! I’m using this as an opportunity to improve my precision sewing skills. I’ve also been taking Pam Howard’s Crafty class on shirtmaking and have picked up a few tips. I’m using McCall’s 6044, which I used on Nathan’s gingham shirt, with only a few modifications (the addition of a yoke and slimming down the waist a bit.) I’m also trying flat-felled seams for the first time, which you can see on the armhole seam in pic below! I never really understood the technique before and had been faking it with French seams that I top-stitched down.

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I also made a bit of a splurge this weekend…. say hello to my walking foot! I’ve been dreaming about one of these babies for a long time, and it works like magic. Like Andrea before me, I’m wondering if it’s wrong to use it on everything? I’m definitely using it on the side seams and button placket for the shirt.

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On Sunday, my mom and I took a sewing lesson (really a pattern adjustment lesson) from my friend Casey. Casey (who made my wedding dress), is getting his degree from a fashion school in Seattle. I learned a ton and it was only the first class! Here, he’s showing us how to walk in a pattern that we traced to make sure that our seamlines and markings are aligned.

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Finally, my mom had been cleaning out my great-aunt’s fabric collection and I ended up with two beautiful pieces of Japanese fabric (the black and white is cotton, the striped is a stiff linen). They’re less than 15″ wide, however! Does anybody know what they might have been intended for, or what I might be able to use them on? I’m guess they might have been made with some traditional Japanese clothing style in mind?

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26 thoughts on “Weekend sewings-on

  1. The shirt you’re making looks really nice! And how fun to get some Japanese fabrics. I believe that kimono/yukata fabrics are usually woven around 14-15″ wide. Kimono are more formal tradtional attire, while yukata are lighter weight (usually cotton) robes worn in summer & for summer festivals.

  2. Wow, very nice flat felled seams! I have yet to do them on an actual shirt – I’ve just done it on scraps. Wish me luck! Your shirt really looks fantastic!

    1. Thanks, Gail! There are a few tiny bumps on the sleeve cap area, but otherwise I’m pretty pleased with how it went! May the flat-felled fairies be kind to you!

  3. That shirt is sewn impeccably! I have only used my walking foot for quilting, so I will be interested to see what other uses people suggest.

    1. Very cool, thank you for the info! In spite of my Japanese heritage, I haven’t looked too closely at kimonos and yukata. It kind of seems like magic that you could get such voluminous garments out of such narrow fabric; something to look into!

  4. The shirt for your husband looks perfect. Your sewing is impecible. I love all those sewing classes you are taking. Great to really hone your skills. Have you started on the quilting that you talked about a while ago?

    1. Thanks, Kirsty! I haven’t started the quilting – I find garments so much more fulfilling and I’m finding it hard to start. I do think the walking foot may come in handy for that, though!

  5. Hi, I’m really enjoying your blog and the shirt looks great. I remember reading somewhere about walking feet that if you use them all the time you can wear out the mechanics of your machine, so maybe only use it when you really need it. I wish I could remember where it was, no doubt I was down a sewing Internet rabbit hole when I found it so little chance i will find it again! Cheers, Sarah

  6. nice work on the shirt! i like the pocket and flaps you’ve added. i only realized once i actually sat down to do a proper flat fell that i really had no idea what it was previously!

  7. Nice looking shirt. I tried flat-felled seams for the first time recently on some shirts I sewed for my husband. They’re a bit trickier and a bit more time consuming but definitely look cooler.

  8. Damn that shirt is going to be INCREDIBLE!!!!!! Wow, those lapped seams look off-the-chain perfect. I’ve got a shirt for my dude all cut out and ready to go but my bitchin’ machine is playing up so I’m holding off from starting construction for fear of ruining the pieces.

    That’s ace that you and your mum had a lesson fro your friend, skill sharing is so cool! Have a lovely weekend

    Zoe xx

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