Mission accomplished. Flannel shirt done just in time for a week of beautiful 60 and 70 degree (F) weather. Well, that wasn’t the plan, but more on that later.
As mentioned in my last post, I was having problems with the collar. The main problem being that I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing, and just thought I could ‘wing’ it. Shirt collars with stands do not want to be winged. Respect must be given.
I ripped out the previous attempt (ugh, navy thread on cushy navy fabric!) and cut out a new stand and interfacing. Let’s talk interfacing for a moment: This is my first project using interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply – it’s a dream! SO much better than the cardboard-y stuff you buy at JoAnn’s (my only local interfacing option – There’s another small fabric shop nearby, but they don’t carry interfacing.) I used Pro-Weft Supreme Light Fusible for this, and I’m sold, sold, sold. When FSS recently had their yearly sale, I bought a yard each of a few different types to try out. Each interfacing is light and fabric-like – it makes sense that you would want something like this inside your garments. The interfacing is pre-shrunk and is 60″ in width – a bargain right there, as the big box-store brand is only 22″ in width. (And FSS is a Buffalo, NY small biz – Western NY is close to my heart, so that’s just a bonus.)
Anyway, back to the collar. David Page Coffin seems to have written the definitive word on the subject, but after flipping through several pages of text encouraging practice collars to perfect technique, I decided to just finish this shirt and learn the finer points later. (Yeah, patience is not my strong suit.) I found this great video on A Little Sewing, and decided that this was the method I’d use for this shirt. (I swear I’m coming back to you, David!) The weather had something to do with my urgency, too— It’s suddenly getting warmer, birds are singing, and I’m itching to get to more spring-like projects. If it was snowing this week, I wouldn’t be in such a hurry to push through the flannel.
It helped to mark the stitching lines on both collar stands (as I had already interfaced the whole thing. In the video, Robin suggests that you cut the interfacing to the pattern size without seam allowances and use that as a guide). I was cavalier and marked on the interfacing with a fine point Sharpie, and marked on the flannel with a chalk pencil. This helped with lining things up accurately as I pinned. I stitched slowly and, while not perfect, the result is perfectly acceptable by me for a first attempt. I think I’m going to try different methods for attaching collars for the next few shirts to see what else I can learn.
I love this shirt! The flannel is wonderful, and the shirt is comfy. The pattern leaves a lot of instruction/interpretation up to you. You can sew this any way you like, really, once you get past the nifty front placket/pleat section. For that part, you really have to watch the Hot Patterns videos, especially if you’re a visual learner, like me. There are 3 videos in all, the first telling you about the pattern, the second showing the important placket construction, and the 3rd shows sewing and styling options.
So it’s going to be mid- to upper 60s this week – lovely spring weather, and I’ve just finished sewing a flannel shirt. Will I pack it away? Nope! This is New England, and I keep a wool sweater and a knit hat close at hand year-round. It’s not unusual to have 30 or 40 degree temperature swings from the beginning of the day to the end in the middle of summer. In fact, this is the perfect weight shirt to have stashed in a backpack for a hike or campfire or to throw around my shoulders for those evening walks by the lake. I think we’ll be seeing a lot of it this summer in the late hours…
I will be making this pattern up in some light cotton too. I’m thinking a band collar and 3/4-length sleeves, and no buttons in the front placket. The shirt ended up slightly roomier than the muslin lead me to believe – It could easily double as a nightshirt. I might trace off a smaller size for the lighter weight version.