It’s a couple of weeks or more since the Sewing Weekender event, this is usually a weekend away for about 100 people in Cambridge with lots of sewing, chatting and speakers. It sounds great fun but obviously sells out in a matter of minutes. This year one silver lining to the current situation is that the organisers made it on-line instead, so numbers were pretty much unlimited. It only cost around £15 and there were lots of speakers on youtube, a goodie bag of lots of discount codes and lots of camaraderie over the weekend, with zoom meetings of everyone sharing their makes. It was all good fun, though I didn’t get as much sewing done as I hoped! Lots of money was raised for charity too.
I decided to pluck up the courage and make a shirt from sheer fabric. It was on my to do list this year, I seem to have ended up with a few sheers in my stash – I keep falling for them on Dewsbury shopping sprees!
I decided to make this gorgeous burnt-out chiffon – at least I think that is what it’s called. It’s sheer, but it does have a little bit of body to it – it’s not as fluid as some I’ve sewn with. Isn’t it just gorgeous!
I chose a Style Arc pattern called the Artists Tunic. I bought it a couple of years ago with a sheer shirt in mind as it is pictured in a sheer fabric. It’s the first time I’ve used a Style Arc pattern. It is the last time I will be using a Style Arc pattern!! It is already in the bin!. When I first looked at the instructions I thought they were a bit minimalistic but the more I sewed, the worse they were! To give you an example for the dressmakers out there, it said stitch sleeve side seam, so I made a nice neat french seam. Next stage, stitch sleeve placket!! Now how are you meant to sew a full sleeve placket with limited access due to the side seam being stitched! I quickly gave that up as a bad job and just bound the edges of the slit instead. OK, having made lots of shirts over the years I should have twigged instead of just blindly following the instructions but I didn’t…
Having had my moan about the instructions, the actual shirt has come out OK!
Luckily when Bluprint had their free classes at the beginning of lockdown I watched one on sewing sheers and made lots of notes. I picked up lots of tips such as the size of needle, small stitch length, not doing a back-stitch at the beginning and using organza as an interfacing. I’ve decided when I next visit a fabric shop I’m going to buy some plain organza to have in my interfacings box, I ended up rummaging in my fancy textiles box, there was a silvery one and a slightly bronzy one which twinkles a bit but they did the trick.
I used french seams throughout except for the armhole which I just zig-zagged. I edge stitched round the collar and cuffs as well as the front button placket, it just helped to keep the edges crisp.
I finished it a week or so ago but I didn’t have any buttons, so the photo below is the buttonless one! I ordered some on line, they’re a ruby red shell button. I rather like the shell buttons as they’re very light weight. This evening I made the buttonholes as stitched the buttons on.
Have you ever noticed that even if you practise the buttonholes beforehand, the automatic buttonholer makes a beautiful buttonhole until the moment you relax, usually about three or four buttons in, before it throws a wobbly and jams half way through. This means that even if you start with something like the bottom one just to make sure it’s working OK, it always blobs on the most obvious one, like the bust buttonhole!! At least it’s covered up by the button!
I’m really pleased with my shirt, I just need to make a camisole for underneath and something to wear it with – I’ve a pattern for a Morticia (Adams) skirt which might just work.