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Archive for the ‘UFOs’ Category

Freezer Paper

Right now there is another UFO blouse on the machine. I’m going to be seeing my sister in a week or two so want to finish up at least one more blouse to give to her.  The blouse is cut out of the purple fabric shown on the right:

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I like to get the collar unit out of the way first, then it is front bands, shoulder seams, sleeves, side seams, collar and hem. Then buttons and buttonholes. I’ve never been very good at sewing around small curves, and when I try to do a curved collar or collar stand without any help, one side looks very different from the other, probably because you sew from the bottom up on one side and from the top down on the other. Anyway, after I made a botch of one collar and saved the day by crocheting two lace motifs to hide the mismatched collar curves, I looked for some kind of template to make the sewing easier.

DSC00911Crocheted motifs to hide uneven collar points

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This is the freezer paper I use

Freezer paper is a great tool for things like this because you can iron it onto the fabric and it will stick. Quilters use it for a lot of things like applique which is where I first heard of it. I used to use it for stencils when I was into painting t-shirts for my little girls, and baby bibs. I traced the collar pattern and removed the seam allowances, then I realized that I didn’t really need the whole collar, just the end sections.

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Freezer paper ironed to collar piece

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Hand basting the seam allowance on the under collar

All you have to do for nice even curves is to sew along the edge of the template.  For this kind of collar which is really a collar and stand combined into one pattern piece, it is helpful to reduce the stitch length in the ‘V-shaped’ section where the curve of the stand meets the bottom of the collar.

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UFO Shirts

Once, years ago (at least 10) I was sewing some shirts for A.  I don’t remember what pattern I was using since I traced it off without putting the number on the pieces, but I still have all the traced pieces.  Time marched on and of the six shirts I cut out, I did sew some of them.  A liked one, but rejected two others since her taste in fabric changed.  Luckily, my sister is the same size so I passed on two finished shirts to her.  I recently pulled out the ziplock bag with three more cut-out shirts waiting patiently to be assembled inside and decided to finish them up.  I called my sister to see if the shirts I gave her years ago still fit, and they do, so I can go ahead and sew up the rest.  Here’s the first one:

DSC00571This is a classic style with collar and stand, curved hemline, and short sleeves.  I have several short lengths of fabric to use up, so maybe I should cut out more of these shirts since both A and my sister are a petite size so the shirt requires very little fabric.  Which means I will be replacing the UFO’s with more UFO’s to work on in the future.

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Shirt One

The first shirt seems to be a success.  I used a dark gray and white striped cotton shirting fabric from the deep deep stash. The spouse was pleased with it, and he wore it for our getaway to Reno this last weekend.  I thought lowering the neckline and adjusting the collar and stand would be a difficult alteration but it turned out to be easy.  All in all, the shirt fits really well, and he likes it.  Now I can start sewing the fun fabric.

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While in Reno we went to Mill End Fabrics which is a big warehouse full of sewing notions and fabrics.  My brain gets overwhelmed when presented with such a huge variety of selections, so I only got one piece of Hawaiian fabric for another shirt.  When we were in a different department store in town, I looked at the upscale shirts for men to see how they were put together.  The shirts looked nearly identical in construction and design to the pattern I used, but  I liked the nice neat buttonholes on those shirts so I think I will try using a thinner thread for my next buttonholes so they don’t look so hefty.   I’m going to try Maxi Lock thread on the next shirt’s buttonholes.

I tried the new-to-me method of sewing on the collar and stand (http://behindtheseams.wordpress.com/2006/05/24/collar-on-stand-part-1/) but I just couldn’t make it work for me and had to go back to my usual method which requires a lot of hand sewing.  I’ll have to try the new method again in a thinner fabric.  Thinking about the collar and stand made me remember some UFOs that are cut out and waiting to be sewn.  They are women’s shirts with short sleeves, so I found one and am now almost finished with the first one.  These shirts have a one-piece collar and stand combo.

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