How many ways…

…can I stitch a sleeve into the armscye incorrectly? At least 3! I wondered whether taking several (OK, 6) shirts for my husband to last weekend’s sewing retreat was a good idea, and I think maybe the answer is NO! Men’s tailored dress shirts require precision, accuracy, and a fair degree of concentration. All things that are a little harder to accomplish in a room of 20+ sewists. Some of them who are even loud and giggly! Not that there is any wine consumption at such events…. 🙂

Mistake number 1. I stitched the sleeve into the armscye inside out. That beautiful sleeve placket I made just would not have been visible against my husband’s arm, so I ripped it out. And yes, I had stitched both seams of the “felled” seam finish. At 22 stitches to the inch.  And yes, it did require very slow and careful ripping to not tear the shirt fabric.

Lovely sleeve placket detail:


Mistake number 2. I flipped the sleeve I had just ripped out and set it into the same armscye. Uh huh. That’s right. This time I sewed the right sleeve into the left armscye.  Uh huh. Once again I stitched both seams of the “felled” seam finish. More. slow. careful. ripping.

Mistake number 3. I pinned the sleeve I had just ripped out for the second time into the correct armscye. My shirt pattern has a 7/8 inch seam allowance on the sleeve cap to allow for the “foldover” to encase the armscye 3/8 inch  seam allowance on the front, back and yoke patterns. So my third (and thankfully FINAL) error was to reverse the seam allowance. I set the sleeve at 3/8″ and the body at 7/8″. This time I discovered my error after stitching just the first seam.

Sometimes, you just have to step away from the garment. And drinking a glass of wine can help the self-recrimination and destructive impulses too.  🙂 Soooo, I didn’t get nearly as much done on my ridiculously large pile of shirts as I had hoped. Whatever. I laughed with my sewing sisters. I made some new friends. I helped a few of my sisters with fitting and construction issues. It was a fantastic weekend. There will be shirt progress updates later.

WIP shirts:

WIP_PaleBlue     WIP_BlueGrey

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen

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