Sunday, December 7, 2008

Weekend Project: Gift for Dad

Two important things to teach a child: To do and to do without.

-Marcelene Cox

Last week I implemented my sewing-for-30-minutes-per-day plan on my Dad's shirt. It was a success!

Block #1: I got the front facings, pocket and shoulder seams assembled.
Block #2: I got the collar assembled and attached.
Block #3: I attached the sleeves and finished the side seams.
Block #4: I hemmed the sleeves and overall shirt.
Block #5: I did the buttonholes and attached the buttons.

Turns out it's a pretty good thing that I DID sew each evening after work, because my weekend didn't go exactly as planned... Life interfered and I haven't even started on my Grandmother's shirt yet. :(

I have been feeling guilty for so little sewing content lately, so I put together a quick photo tutorial on my favorite method for hemming shirts that have facings made by folding over the main shirt fabric. This is a very simple technique, and I learned it from a Big 4 pattern, so you may very well have seen (and done) it many times before. But not every pattern uses this method, and I like it so much that I use it even when the pattern calls for something different. So, I thought that some of you might like to see it. :)

First, I open out the facing (made by folding the shirt fabric to the inside two times) and stitch a narrow hem (1/4 inch) across the entire bottom of the shirt.

Next I re-fold the first fold inward, but fold the second fold outward.

And I stitch the facing to the shirt body at my desired hem height (here illustrated at 1 inch).

I trim beneath (but close to) the stitching line, approximately 2/3rds of the way in to the facing.

Then, I carefully trim the remainder of the facing, leaving a tab of the main shirt fabric uncut.

Close-up shot, with the corner trimmed diagonally.

Next, I use a corner turner to turn the facing back towards the inside, where it belongs.

The bottom of the shirt flips up (and inside) to the desired hem length, and the little extra tab tucks into the facing so that no raw edges show.

Next, I just continue to fold the fabric up to the desired hem length, pressing as I go.

One last row of stitching and you have a nice, neat hem! :)

Here is a shot of the finished shirt. (My Dad loves to ride a bicycle, as you may have guessed.)

I tried to make this pocket match the underlying fabric (because the pattern is quite busy), but I actually didn't have a large enough scrap with the right bit of the design on it. So, instead I centered a single bicycle:

The white cardstock tag explains my new label and I am planning on including one on every gift that includes my label. ("gwyn hug" - loosely translated from Welsh to mean "A blessed cloak".)

Parting Shot: This fellow (or gal?) was ambling past my sewing room window this morning. It's a good thing that Ana wasn't here at the time - when I showed her the photo later, her reaction was, "Ah! Dinner!" ;)


Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much for posting that tutorial. That was extremely helpful. I'm going to copy your post and put it in my sewing technique notes. What a great turtle! I'm glad s/he didn't wind up being dinner tonight!

By the way, the shirt turned out really great! I like your idea of centering a bicycle on the pocket.

Joanne said...

I like that quote at the top, very true. Great shirt, I bet your dad will love it. And I like the visitor you had outside your sewing room! Glad he survived.

Becky said...

Looks good! Very professionally finished.

Summerset said...

Nice job with 30 minutes per day! I do the hems the same way for shirts like that - very neat and clean on the insides!

Meg said...

Nice job! I may have to make a shirt like this for my son one of these days...

MadeByAmanda said...

Love that bicycle fabric! And that is a useful tutorial - the first shirt I made (for myself, luckily) had those instructions, but I misunderstood and messed them up, resulting in a hem with a 1/4" bobble in front where I cut the wrong piece of fabric out.