Top tips for smooth shirts – Plus FREE PATTERN
We’ve rounded up 5 top tips for collars and cuffs that should make your next shirt project a real success! There’s a wealth of information on shirtmaking available but we wanted to share our favourite bits of advice from inside the Love Sewing offices.
1 It can be tricky to remember which pieces to interface when making shirts. Button placket areas benefit from interfacing as they’ll experience a lot of wear when you take the shirt on and off. For stand collars the inner stand and under collar are interfaced so the seam line ever so slightly rolls towards the interfaced side for a polished finish. However remember that on notch collars the upper collar piece should be interfaced to sit on the outside of the shirt when worn. This is so it sits nicely alongside the interfaced facing portion of the lower collar which folds to the outside. Last but not least you’ll also interface the inner cuff pieces that sit next to your skin on the finished sleeves.
2 To create an even point on both sides of the collar you need to accurately transfer the dots and squares onto the collar and stand. Use a fine-pointed chalk pencil, frixon pen or air-erasable marker. You might even find it helpful to mark the seam line around the entire collar to ensure you don’t waver during stitching. As you approach the corner of the collar reduce your stitch length down to 2mm so you can finish perfectly on the marked dot! Turn the corner, stitch for a little bit and then go back to the normal stitch length. This will make the point nice and strong and you can clip the excess seam allowance with confidence that it won’t fray through your stitching.
3 For perfect top-stitching around collars and cuffs, we recommend using an edge-stitching foot, or if you have a blind hem foot this will do in a pinch.
Run the plastic guide down the edge of your seam and ensure the needle is positioned to fall a neat distance away for a consistent stitching line.
4 Check the fit of your sleeves before attaching the cuffs as you may find you need to add or reduce the length.
Similarly, if making safari sleeves with a buttoned tab to hold your rolled sleeves up, check the length of your sleeve tab before attaching it, as the sleeve should sit comfortably in the loop when rolled up above the elbow.
5 For a flawless finish on the front of a notch collar, understitch the facing to the seam allowance up to the position of the top button. After that you’ll need to roll the seam line slightly towards the RS of the front where the facing becomes the visible collar.