Monday, March 7, 2011

MPB Shirt STILL Sewing-Along

While it seems our official tour guide for the MPB Men's Shirt Sew-Along went on vacation with a bunch of Ken dolls, some of us are still sewing our men's shirt projects, with or without him. Me included. So what if February is over. Yesterday, I was finally able to cut out Michael's shirt from the good fabric.

But let me back up just a second. The yellow muslin arrived in NYC the week before last. Peter pressed it, and Michael modeled. Peter and Michael think it fits well. I agree, except for …

… the back waist darts.

I think the darts are too close to the sideseams and should be moved a little more toward the center of Michael's back. And maybe deepened a hair. Peter and Michael are having a fit another fitting evaluation today and will let me know.

In the meantime, since dart placement can wait until the end, I went ahead and cut the shirt. I am cheating with plaid/check matching by using bias accents to avoid the matching altogether. This means a little extra stabilization was needed for all that bias, so I used a very light fusible on both sides of the cuffs and collar stand, interfaced the entire front button placket, and cut the inside yoke on the straight grain to stabilize the public view outside bias yoke. As I'm typing this, I just realized I forgot the sleeve plackets. Oops.

I also went back to my copy of Nancy Zieman's Sewing Express and used her Express Collar technique. The collar is now one piece, shown at the bottom of the photo below. Odd looking, isn't it?

(Don't bother clicking the above photo because it will still be blurry. My camera battery died an ugly death just as I snapped that.)

With the Express Collar technique, the seams (and thus bulk) at the points of the collar are eliminated and the undercollar is automatically on the bias with a seam in the middle. I reversed the layout, though, since I wanted the upper collar to be bias. All it meant was to lay the pattern piece 45 degrees different than the instructions. I also interfaced the whole thing, since I was using lightweight interfacing.

Next will be to actually start sewing, which I hope to do tonight.


  1. Damn good fit on that shirt Debbie! I think he's going to have an excellent shirt when you are finished.

  2. You should instruct Michael to stand normally for these fittings ;-). But I agree with you about moving the darts to the center, and not subtly.. Looks really good though!

  3. Oh don't worry Marie-Christine. Peter and Michael supplied lots of pics and poses for me to look at. I just picked two of my favorites.

  4. I love that collar method. L. Cutting uses the same for her patterns. I agree with you about the darts, but other than that, lookin' good!

  5. I actually tried to wear the muslin today, over a long-sleeved tee and with the "cuffs" rolled up. Since I had a new student though, who might have taken one look at the buttonless placket and decided to shop around for a saner voice teacher, i decided to revert to a boring old RTW. Can't wait for the real thing!

    Please inform Marie-Christine that for me, normal is hard to interpret.

  6. Michael! Step away from the muslin!

  7. Hope you corrected the underarm part of the sleeve before you cut into the 'good' fabric.

    I have been interested in trying out Nancy Ziemen's collar. I have yet to get to it, but I do wonder about how the collar will behave with repeated laundering.

  8. There was some discussion about that collar method on PR a while back and I am very intrigued!

  9. What a great fit! I can't wait to see how it looks in the final fabric. I'm behind as well so glad to know I'm not the only one! :P


Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

To help keep spam comments under control, any comments to blog posts that are more than 30 days old are moderated and will not show up immediately.