I read the pattern guide twice before I started the sewing process, and I noticed right off that it did not mention how to finish the princess seams. Because I am making this from a piece of cotton, I did not want to just leave the seams unfinished. Normally, I would just serge the seams to finish them, but I was not sure if the serging would show through or work with them ok or not. But in the end I decided to go ahead and finish the seams by serging and see how it turned out. I figured if this shirt was so fitted that the serged seams were an issue, I would not be wearing the shirt anyway. At this point in time, I had grown weary of the pattern guide and just wanted to sew, so I tossed the pattern guide to the side and started sewing with this little voice in my head saying that might not have been my best move.
The princess seams stitched well and after basting the shoulder seams and and the side seams, I had my first fitting. The fit was looking good so far. I did some minor adjusting to the seams. Wow, this was great. I did not expect it to fit so good, even the length was good. At this time, I dug the pattern guide back out to appease the little voice in my head and decided to sew the sleeves in as a true set in sleeve. I am glad that I did. It took more easing that I thought it would to get the sleeves in, but by using the basting stitches to ease the sleeve in, all went well. I also followed the pattern guide for hemming the facings. I have never previously had any luck hemming the facings the way the pattern guide said to. I usually just hem them and fold them over, but in wanting to see if the facings needed to be as large as the pattern called for, I followed the pattern guide and did the stitch and turn. The pattern called for an inch hem. My shirt ended up with a 1/2 inch hem to try and save some of the length.
I picked some simple buttons for the shirt, or at least that is what I thought. It turned out that these buttons needed to be sewn on in an X pattern. This created some challenges to placing the buttons and sewing them on, not to mention taking at least twice as much time to sew the buttons on as it should have. Oh well, I like the buttons and now that they are on the shirt, it wasn’t that bad to stitch them on.
I am excited to wear the shirt and see if the princess seams pass the wearability test. Hopefully I have a new pattern to add to my sloper patterns for the future.
The only thing that puzzles me about this shirt is how to iron it after washing it. Even during construction, the front princess seams were difficult to press. The princess seams start at the shoulder but then cup out for the bust, to then taper back in a little, only to flare out for the hips. So, the fabric does not lay flat for ironing. There has got to be a trick to the whole ironing of princess seams but it looks like I will have have to find the trick by trial and error.
This is part 2 of a 2 part post.