Hot Patterns Collar/Lapel Tutorial, Part 1

Sunday, December 3, 2006
Many of my readers have asked me to explain how the collar and lapel on many HotPatterns styles are sewn. So Let's start with the collar. As you can see in the photo, this collar may be shaped differently than other collars you have sewn before. To make it more clear, I have marked the stitching lines on the collar, so you can see which edges must be sewn before the collar can be applied to the shirt.

After the collar is stitched, turned and pressed, mark the match points with a dot on the lower corners of the collar.


Hot Patterns Collar/Lapel Tutorial, Part 2

After you sew the garment front and back together, you may wish to reinforce the inside corner with a small piece of interfacing as shown. Whether you choose to reinforce this area or not, do remember to mark the matching point with a dot. I have also marked the stitching lines on either side of the dot, so you can see where you will be stitching next.

Pin the collar to neck edge, matching collar to the shirt at center back and shoulders, taking special care to match those dots you marked on both the collar and the shirt.

Stitch the collar to the shirt, from center back to the dot. I have marked this stitching line with a blue pencil so it can be easily seen in the photo. Stop stitching when you reach the dot, then clip to the dot through the SHIRT ONLY.

Spread the shirt to meet the remaining edge of the collar, and stitch. Again, I have marked the stitching with a blue pencil so you can see it clearly in the photo.

This is how the collar will look as viewed from the right side. I have marked the corner area stitching in pink pencil so it can be more easly seen in the photo.

The next step is applying the facing. Do this as you always do, sandwiching the collar between the shirt and the facing, right sides together. When you get to the inside corner of the FACING, you will need to clip into the corner of the FACING ONLY, then spread it to meet the remaining neck edge...just like you did with the inside corner of the shirt. After turning and pressing, the collar/lapel will look like the following photo (on the inside/wrong side of the garment).

This photo shows what the applied collar and facing will look like from the right side.

Finish the facing and clean finish the neck edge of the collar as desired, then turn back your completed collar/lapel and admire your work!

HOT PATTERNS Princess Shirt

Sunday, October 1, 2006

This is my version of the Hot Patterns "Plain And Simple Princess Shirt", fashioned from buttery soft Ultra Suede. This garment is interfaced with Pro-Weft Fusible Interfacing.

While this shirt has basic princess style lines, the pattern is drafted in a sophisticated manner. Rather than the usual Convertible Collar/facing combo that is "supposed" to look like a lapel...this pattern is drafted with a classic tailored collar and lapel. This makes for a very smooth flat revers and a collar/lapel that rolls into perfect position and stays there!

~Click Photos To Enlarge~

I have made this style many times, in fabrics from denim, to silk, to the eggplant Ultra Suede pictured here. I highly recommend this pattern, and will continue to use it myself again and again because of the many style variations that are possible. Piped seams, slot seams, felled seams, bias cut, and contrasting color collar/lapels all represent interesting design opportunities!

Little Shirts for Little Divas

Wednesday, September 6, 2006
It's been a while since I've posted to this particular blog...but I've been busy this season designing and sewing new garments for little girls...a change of pace for the season. Here are examples of some of the new garments, all the rest can be found here:

Men's Hemp Shirt With Vintage Styling

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I was recently commissioned by a client to design a shirt based on a circa 1940's pattern that he found at an estate sale. A fan of my "prince seam", he asked that it be incorporated into the design. My client also requested his favorite pocket, my "cigar" pocket that features one straight side and one curved side. This tobacco-brown hemp shirt is the result of my slight redesign of the vintage pattern draft.

Vintage details to notice include the high set and wide spread of the collar and the long, almost elbow-length sleeve plackets.

Islander Men's Classic Sport Shirt

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Another fabulous shirt design from Janet Pray of Islander Sewing Systems, this style, the Men's Classic Sport Shirt, features chest pockets hidden cleverly within the yoke seams. I fashioned this shirt from fine Italian cotton shirting for a client who admired the pattern's illustration.

Like all of Islander's patterns, The Classic Sport Shirt, goes together quickly and easily because of its superior draft. Seam allowances are adjusted so that the sewist can progress from step to step without stopping to trim and grade. The famous Islander "burrito" technique is included in the pattern instructions....a technique every sewist should learn in order to consistently produce a professional collar unit without the use of pins or basting.

I highly recommend this pattern!

The Islander Shirt

Monday, January 16, 2006

Having been a longtime devotee of Islander Sewing Systems , I was anxious to try the new shirt designed by Janet Pray. My version is shown here in heavily distressed silk dupioni. I made it to the exact pattern specs, with the exception of adding my "Cigar Pocket" at the request of a client.

Since I usually draft my own patterns for my shirt designs, I am very picky about printed patterns.
The Islander Shirt far exceeded my expectations.

The pattern is perfectly drafted, with clever details like the subtle curved hemline
that makes this style a cut above other "camp shirt" silhouettes. The instructions are precise and include the famous Islander "Burrito" technique, and well as a technique to set sleeves that every sewist should learn. The shirt is oversized without being sloppy, and the cut lends itself to many fabrics...though soft drapey fabrics will enhance the clever way this pattern is designed. It's definitely a winning style that I will make again and again!

The Rocketeer!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006
A question was asked recently on one of the internet sewing discussion lists: Did anyone learn to sew using a 50's era Singer sewing machine?

Yep! I did! It's still my favorite machine....I use it every day.

The one pictured here is a model 503, nicknamed the Rocketeer because of it's (then) ultra modern design. My father bought it as a gift for my Mother, who loved the machine, but procalimed, "....Don't ever get me another household appliance as a gift again. " Mom was a diamond/silk kind of gal, and although a wonderful seamstress and tailor, she none the less considered a sewing machine as a needed household appliance, not a gift to be associated with romance. LOL!

Now her daughter on the other hand (that's me), would love if her husband (that's Roger), would get me a new TOL sewing machine for our upcoming 10th wedding anniversary...he has until June to gather my hints and link them all together.....