Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Elvis has left the building

I've spent today warm and snuggly indoors - can you believe it's been snowing in England today?  It's supposed to be spring!  I've been immersed in changing the collar on the shirt I made my husband following his comment yesterday that it was 'a tad Elvis'.  Using one of his many linen shirts as a guide for size I redrafted the collar piece and set about remaking the collar, although I wouldn't have chosen to remake the collar the new one has accidently turned out better.  When I started on this project I bought some light woven interfacing specifically for the shirt as I thought it would give a little more body to my linen which has a fairly open weave.  However after interfacing my collar stand this (third!) time I realised there just wasn't enough left for the collar piece, so I looked to see if I had any more in my stash to find that I did.  However this wasn't a woven interfacing and was much more lightweight, being that I didn't want to leave the house I used it and it has given a much better finish for this particular fabric.  The woven interfacing had been used on the 'Elvis' collar and it did look a little stiff considering that a linen shirt is inevitably casual in style, this lighterweight interfacing is more appropriate and has given a more relaxed finish.  What great about this is not only that it's a better finish, but also I never really got the point of different types of interfacing and now I do.

The second happy accident with the collar is that when my husband tried it on yesterday we found that it was too tight to ever be buttoned at the top, now neither of us were too bothered by this as again the shirt is casual and will always be worn with the top button open.  However, it's nice to get it right.  As I had already trimmed the seam down to 1cm where the shirt joins the collar stand I decided that rather than doing the same to the collar stand piece I would continue as usual with a 1.5cm seam allowance.  This way the collar is a tiny bit looser, but just enough so that it can be button comfortably.  They say that you learn best from your mistakes and today has been one of those days.

I have now finished the shirt except for the buttons, our local town has a small fabric shop with a limited selection of button but Tuesday is market day and there is a regular stall with a larger selection of buttons so I thought I'd wait until tomorrow.

In the meantime have a look at the work in progress, I'd love to know what you think.

This is the 'Elvis' collar version, not particularly massive, but I want this shirt to be worn and it wasn't going to be.

Redrafted collar piece, I chose not to bother with separate upper and under collar pieces and just used the iron to ensure that the seam fell to the under collar.

Elvis has left the building - the new smaller collar

                      Just the buttons left to do, I might make the sleeves a bit narrower next time.

I'm pleased with how the cuffs turned out, I made a bit of a mistake with the placket and made it too  long but I think I can get away with it.


  1. What a great shirt - I love it, and would definitely wear it! :) And I have to say I agree with your husband on the collar. The first one is a bit large and a bit outdated for my taste, but the final collar looks great!

    For the interfacing, I always use Pellon 911FF - it's a non-woven, fusible featherweight that adds the perfect amount of body to most any shirt. Not sure if you can get it easily in the UK, but if you can, it really works out well! :)

    Also, how'd you like the Craftsy class with Pam? I've had my eye on it for months, but just hate to spend the money!

    - Brian

  2. I can't recommend Pam's Craftsy course high enough, but I'm not sure you need it your shirt looks amazing.