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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #1 
I just finished this shirt for my SIL - all construction including buttonholes and flat felled seams were done on my Singer 101.  I cannot sew these types of shirts on anything but a straight stitch machine - due to how the feed dogs work and the precision I need for top stitching, seaming, and buttonholes.  I could never get the collar points or small collar buttonholes done on anything other than a straight stitcher.  Also, to note, the sleeve seam and side seam are continuous using a vintage flat fell foot - and this done on a flat bed - although a free arm would make this a bit easier - it is very achievable on a flat bed.  I like my Singer 101 best for this work as I get the best maneuverability from this machine for this type of project.

shirt done.jpg  shirt collar.jpg  shirt flat felled seam.jpg

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pgf

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Reply with quote  #2 
Wow.
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Mavis

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Reply with quote  #3 
I second that "wow."  Your work is so fun to see.  You must not need to buy clothes off the rack!
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #4 
Yes - as much as possible I try to make all of my clothes - have not attempted jeans yet but that's on my list.  Most of my time though is sewing for others in the family.

After seeing your post and looking at my photos I see the collar points were off and not matching distance - so I corrected - here's my remake:

collar redo.jpg 

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WI Lori

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Reply with quote  #5 
Great job, Chaly!
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Zorba

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Reply with quote  #6 
Wow indeed.
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SteveH-VSS

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Reply with quote  #7 
Fantastic!
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ChattyKathy

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Reply with quote  #8 
WOW you are very talented.  Beautiful bespoke shirt!!!

How long would this take to accomplish?

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Kathy
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChattyKathy
WOW you are very talented.  Beautiful bespoke shirt!!!

How long would this take to accomplish?


Well, not quite bespoke but I try to get closer to this ideal with every shirt project.  I suppose it takes me about 8-10 hours split up over a few days.  I have most of the techniques down now after several shirts and using the same basic pattern.  I think it's not so much about talent - just practice and persistence like everything else!
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morningstar

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Reply with quote  #10 
Wow also, I also find the fabric interesting.
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PatriciaPf

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Reply with quote  #11 
Beautiful job on the shirt!  I haven't ever made one, but have considered using David Coffin's book on shirtmaking to help me get started.  Have you used his book?  If so, what is your opinion of it?
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #12 
Yes - David Coffin's book and DVD have been my main resources for shirt making.  He really outlines in detail fabric choice, thread type, stitch length, etc. to aspire to a bespoke final garment.

I have especially found his methods for collar construction and armscye flat fell seaming invaluable.  The pattern I used is All Day Shirt by Liesle + Co.  This pattern gives very good instructions for the sleeve band and is drafted well with both an under collar and an under cuff.

I've also come to like using a light (organza) sew in interfacing as I don't really like the looks of very stiff collars and cuffs.  I always use high quality shirting fabric, MOP buttons,  a short stitch length and fine thread.  These supplies along with Mr. Coffin's construction techniques produce a very professional looking shirt.  And of course, a precision sewing machine for the topstitching and flat felled seams makes a world of difference.  
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penny

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Reply with quote  #13 
Handsome shirt Chaly! You give meticulous attention to details. I have no doubt that you will be successful when you attempt jeans.
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #14 
Thanks for the encouragement.  My husband's khaki shorts are in shreds and he won't give them up since he says it's his only pair that fits how he likes.  I just patched them again today.  So, I think I'll work on finding a good mens' short pattern and using his old ones as a template.  Necessity seems to always drive my projects!!
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Mrs. D

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Reply with quote  #15 
Hey there Chaly.  Beautiful work.  I see a lot of wows regarding your amazing work.  Keep sending photos and details of your projects.  Wow.
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VintageGalKim

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Reply with quote  #16 
Fantastic job on this tailored shirt, Chaly! So impressed! Would love to see what your flat fell foot looks like. I like doing felled seams and French seams. Anything that makes a neat professional seam easier interests me! 
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jjok

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Reply with quote  #17 
Absolutely stunning!
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Maninflint

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Reply with quote  #18 
Hey Chaly:

Thanks for posting this and TERRIFIC job--beautiful shirt.  I've been looking for a men's shirt pattern with a button down collar for awhile--there just aren't very many online to purchase.  Did you use a paper pattern or did you self-print one from a digital pdf?  I also searched and found a used copy of David Coffin's book and look forward to checking it out.  Again, thanks for sharing this.

Duke in Texas
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kndpakes

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Reply with quote  #19 
Fabulous work! Is that also a custom label at the base of the button placket?

Kelly in PA
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #20 
Kim- Thanks!  Look at the third photo from the top that shows the flat felled seam.  I use a flat feller vintage foot and it works so wonderfully for my
shirting work to make the flat felled seams. New flat feller feet are also available for low shank machines.

Kelly - Yes - I did some free motion embroidery to make the label, thank you.

JJok - thank you!  I love to sew shirts and my techniques improve after every one.

Duke -Along with Coffin's book, I use the All Day Shirt pattern by Liesl + Co.  The instructions are very good along with the drafting.  I modify slightly based on some of Coffin's suggestions and my construction techniques closely follow Coffin - especially important for a professional result, I think, are doing flat felled seams for the armscye seam and Coffin outlines this process very well - I had to modify the pattern's drafting a bit on the armscye curve to follow this method.  Now I have it down and it's pretty easy.  The pattern directions use Coffin's methods for the collar and cuff attachments and the drafting for the collar and cuffs is superb - using a separate facing piece for both for better results.  I've also done a lot of work with the buttonhole attachment to get the buttonholes how I like them - especially for the collar points.  I've reviewed this pattern on PatternReview and it's my favorite men's shirt pattern.  You could check out my other posts here on the other shirts I've made and also buttonhole techniques.  Please share your results with your shirt making as we all learn from each other.  I use my Singer 101 and on occasion for the continuous arm/side seam my Singer 222 since it's a small free-arm and it's a bit easier to sew this flat felled seam with a free-arm - but I've also done it many times on my Singer 101.  From my experience - a straight stitch only machine is the only machine I can use to get the precision I like for top stitching, collar points, etc.  Narrow straight stitch presser foot/feed dogs make a huge difference for me and my Singer 101 is my favorite for this work.

https://sewing.patternreview.com/review/pattern/155116

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Maninflint

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Reply with quote  #21 
Chaly:

Thanks for your reply and suggestions.  I have been finding/collecting VSM's for about 5 years now but have only sewn a few quilts using them.  I've been wanting to try to make an actual piece of clothing which is why I've been looking for an easy pattern to try out.  Yours doesn't look easy!  I had to look up a few UTube videos to even know what a flat felled seam was or even if I had a feller foot in my boxes of attachments.  I have been using a Singer 201-2 (have 4 of them which I've repaird/rewired) on the quilts so I believe this will work well as it does have the narrow foot and feed dogs as you mention.  It is hot in Texas so I hope that I can modify the pattern to be short sleeved (probably a naive comment).  I'll let you know how it goes...

Duke in Texas
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #22 
Duke,

I've made several short sleeve shirts for my husband using this pattern.  This pattern has some of the best instructions and if you start with short sleeves (thus avoiding cuffs and sleeve placket) and follow the directions exactly (they omit the flat felled seams) then this is a very doable first project.  You could start with some inexpensive fabric to see how the fit is and make adjustments from there.

I think your Singer 201s would service you excellently for the sewing and doing the buttonholes using a Singer vintage buttonhole attachment.

I would suggest making your first few shirts simple - doing short sleeves and avoiding the flat felled seams.  Once you feel comfortable with the basic techniques you can go on to more advanced seaming, cuffs, and plackets.

There are many online resources, Youtubes, etc. and shirt sew-alongs.  The Male Pattern Boldness blog has a very worthwhile shirt sew-along tutorial.  And if you have any questions I'm happy to help.
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Maninflint

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Reply with quote  #23 
Chaly:
Thanks!!!  I do have several of the Singer Buttonholers so I need to practice a bit with these as well.  Thanks again for the suggestions and helpful hints.  I've washed the fabric and starched it--ready to get started!
Duke
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