Saturday, March 12, 2011

MPB Shirt Sew-Along — Almost There

Michael's shirt is nearly done. I only have the hem, buttonholes and buttons to do and I will get those done after I finish this post. But I had to take this break to say:

I HATE flat-felled seams!

OK, maybe "hate" is a little strong. But they bug me. A lot.

They are so fiddly to do neatly. Sure, they get better with practice (and a glue stick), as shown in my examples below. The first photo shows my squiggly seam allowance on the wrong side of the sleeve head. I *know* it will never be seen (after Peter is done inspecting my sewing, which BTW, because I'm sewing for someone else is not nearly as straight as my usual output. Figures, right?), but it still bugs me.

This is the other sleeve head, after I arbitrarily decided learned from practicing to trim a little extra from the seam allowance that is folded over. Not perfect, but much nicer. I can only imagine that if this shirt had three or four sleeves, I'd be close to perfection. ;-)

But since this particular seam is in a location that will never be seen when the shirt is worn, why bother with flat felling it? It's one thing if you have a factory with machines dedicated to flat-felling men's shirt seams, but in a home-sewing environment, serging the armhole seams and topstitching is just as good as spending all that time trimming, pressing, and wrestling seam allowances that will never be seen. And it's just as sturdy too. I mean, women have been wearing serged armholes for years now, right? ;-)

Yeah, yeah. I know there are one or two good reasons for flat-felled seams (especially the seam on a long sleeve that might be rolled up), but I'm venting so I'm not feeling generous toward those reasons right now. And the venting felt so good. :-)

Now Michael, if your missing internet has miraculously shown up again and you're reading this, don't fret. I'm still enjoying the whole process of making this shirt. Even those fussy flat-felled seams, because I learned something new.


  1. I've never made a man's shirt,but I make little boys' shirts. I don't make flat felled seams on the sleeves. There's no way to get inside these little sleeves. so I just do a French seam on them. I've tried a bunch of differnet ways to do the flat felled seams. I've never tried to glue. What kind do you use?

  2. Hi Debbie...the shirt looks great!

    I hear you about felled seams...after you do miles of felled shirt seams they get a little less annoying. I've got 10 custom shirts that need to get to my clients by the end of the my tolerance for felling is falling ;)

    Here's a link to a how I was trained to do flawless and easy (yippee) felled shoulder/sleeve cap seams (no glue stick needed)that you might find useful in the future...or not ..but here it is anyway :)>Felled Shirt shoulder/cap Tutorial

  3. I can post comments on my phone, though the tediousness of it probably approaches that of FF-seams!

    The shirt looks beautiful -- love the bias-cut cuffs/placket. Am as excited for the arrival of this garment as for the arrival of spring....

  4. Glue stick is my very favorite sewing notion. I wouldn't do flat fell seams without it. The shirt turned out fantastic.

  5. Glue stick had been really useful for me when sewing specially if the dressmaking fabrics won't stay put when I'm fixing it in a way. Anyways love the color choice for this shirt I never tried sewing one but would love to try it in the near future.


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