Peter Pan Collar Tutorial – part 3

Just kidding. There is no part three. Why? Because it took me four tries to get my placket right, and I have no business offering advice on how to do it. What a headache. Four times. That means three times I had to rip out all my stitches and try again. And I cut a new placket at least once. Maybe twice. But let’s talk about that later. Instead, how about some pictures of a finished blouse!

 Not so bad, right? I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, although I can think of a lot of changes I’ll make on the next version. But first, I’m going to gloat about all the new things I tried that went right.

  • French seams – I did these on the shoulders and sides, and I really like the effect. Very neat and tidy on the inside. Also, I don’t think it’s any more time-consuming that zig-zagging the raw edges, which is what I usually do. And it probably uses a lot less thread. Triple bonus!
  • Seam binding – I did this on the neckline facing, and I might go back and do it around the armholes too. Looks pretty nice, although I kinda which the bias tape I used wasn’t so stiff.
  • Tulip sleeves – I drafted these, and they are an easy alternative for someone who’s afraid of set-in sleeves. Maybe I can draw some diagrams of the process and post it later.
  • Button holes – I’ve done button holes before, but this time I consulted my sewing machine’s manual and figured out how to use its settings. One practice run and I was button holing like a pro. Sorta.
  • Hand sewn rolled hem – I did this on the sleeves, because after a few sloppy attempts on the machine and a lot of ripping stitches, I decided that hand-sewn is the way to go. It really does not take that long, and it’s worth the effort. Next time I won’t waste time trying to find a short cut, because short cuts just don’t look as nice. Colette patterns has some info on hand sewing a rolled hem on their blog, here. The photos aren’t great, but you get the idea.

Things I’ll do differently next time:

  • Make the armholes larger – I guess this shirt pattern isn’t a perfect fit after all. I need a little extra room, and I think this would also solve some pulling issues the blouse has when I stand in certain positions.
  • Try a new shape for the sleeve – I think it should probably be a little more curved without so much overlap, and also more flared at the bottom.
  • Sew my button holes vertically – Uh… now I know why button holes on shirts go up and down. It’s because otherwise your buttons won’t prevent the two sides of your shirt from moving back and forth horizontally. This was a really unfortunate mistake because to fix it I would have to cut a new placket. Yeah. Do the placket A FIFTH TIME. That’s just not going to happen right now. Not to mention, I’m out of fabric.
  • Lower the neckline – More scoop! Scoop a doop.
  • Play around with the collar – It kinda sorta wants to flip upward. It’s not that bad, but it could probably be better.

That might seem like a lot, but this blouse is definitely wearable. Plus, the fabric only cost a few bucks (odds and ends bin at Joann’s), I didn’t have to buy a pattern, and the buttons were on clearance. And also, a good lesson in patience (once again), the value of hand sewing, and how not to sew your button holes. I deem this one a success.

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