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Step 1 — Block Fusing and Pre-Pressing
We are making the long sleeve shirt in this sew along, but the steps are the same if you are sewing the short sleeve shirt.
Depending on your fabric you may choose to interface the collar, upper placket and under placket pieces.
This can be done by block fusing or piece fusing.
Block fusing is a fusing technique whereby you apply your interfacing to a section of fabric prior to cutting out the pattern pieces. It helps avoid interfacing slippage and stops your pattern pieces from stretching out of shape, and therefore ensures accuracy. It also means you only need to cut your pieces out once. Block fusing does require you to group all the pattern pieces requiring interfacing together when you cut out your pattern however, so you may require additional fabric.
If you do not wish to block fuse, you can piece fuse these pattern pieces. This means cutting out each pattern piece in both interfacing and your main fabric and then applying the interfacing to each piece separately. If you choose to piece fuse keep your pattern pieces close by for reference and make sure they don’t stretch out of shape.
Fold the collar piece in half with the wrong sides together at the notch and press.
Take the sleeves and fold the cuff edge over 1cm to the wrong side and press. Fold the cuff edge over another 6cm to the wrong side as indicated by the notches, and press. The finished cuff depth is 6cm.
Fold the hem of the front over 1cm to the wrong side and press. Then, as indicated by the notches, fold the hem up another 6cm to the wrong side and press. The finished hem depth is 6cm.
Fold the hem of the back over 1cm to the wrong side and press. Then, as indicated by the notches, fold the hem up another 6cm to the wrong side and press. The finished hem depth is 6cm.
Fold the top of the pocket over 1cm to the wrong side and press. Then, as indicated by the notches, fold the hem up another 3cm to the wrong side and press. The finished depth will measure 3cm.
Next up, we will sew the shirt front, including the placket and the pocket.
Step 2 — Sew Front
Fold the top of the pocket towards the wrong side 1cm, then again 3cm as indicated by the notches. Your pre-pressing steps will help with this. Edge stitch closed and press.
Sew a line of machine basting stitching around the remaining three raw edges of the pocket piece at 1cm.
Then, fold back and press the edges using the stitching to help guide you.
Transfer the pocket markings from the pattern piece to the left front (as you are wearing it) of your shirt.
Pin the pocket aligning it to the markings you have just made and then edge stitch the pocket in place.
On the upper placket, sew a line of machine basting stitches at 1cm along the left, long side. Fold back and press this edge to the wrong side using the stitching to guide you.
We will now mark in some stitching and slash lines using a fabric pen, or tailor’s chalk.
On the upper placket, mark in the stitching line on the wrong side.
This runs 1.2cm from the edge, starting at the neck and finishes at the notch near the bottom of the placket.
On the under placket, mark in the stitching line on the wrong side.
This runs 1.2cm from the edge, starting at the neck and finishes 4.5cm from the bottom of the placket.
Now, mark the centre front slash line on both the right and wrong sides of the front. This line starts at the neck edge and finishes about midway down the front of the shirt.
With the front of the shirt wrong side up, place the upper placket right side down, matching the neck edge notches, and the edge of the upper placket to the slash line. The bottom notch of the upper placket will meet the end of the slash line. Pin in place.
Now sew the two pieces together along the stitching you marked on the upper placket, stopping at the notch near the bottom.
Flip the shirt front over so the right side is facing up. Place the under placket right side down, matching the neck edge notches, and the edge of the under placket to the slash line. The bottom notch of the under placket will meet the end of the slash line. Pin in place.
Now sew the two pieces together along the stitching you marked on the under placket, stopping at the 4.5cm from the bottom of the placket.
With the shirt front face up, cut carefully along the slash line, stopping 1cm before the end. Clip in at an angle to the end of the upper placket seam. Get as close to the stitching as you can without cutting through it.
Cut through the shirt front only. Do not cut the upper placket.
Turn the shirt front wrong side up. On the under placket, about 1cm up from the end of the stitch line, clip in at an angle to the end of the under placket stitching. Get as close to the stitching as you can without cutting through it.
Cut through the shirt front only. Do not cut the under placket.
Fold the under placket out, and then press the seam allowance towards the under placket.
Fold the free edge of the under placket under 1cm, towards the raw edge of the seam allowance and press.
Fold the bottom of the under placket up 2cm and press. This is just above the notch.
Fold the entire under placket to the wrong side, enclosing the raw edges and pin in place.
Starting at the top of the short, vertical side, edge stitch the under placket closed around three folded edges.
Give your under placket a press.
Now it is time to sew the upper placket.
Have the shirt wrong side up in front of you. Fold the bottom of the upper placket up 1cm and press. This is just below the notch.
Fold the upper placket out so the right side is up and press.
Turn the shirt front right side up and pul the placket through so the right side is up. Press along the centre front seam and then pin in place.
Trim the triangle that remains in the centre of the opening.
Now we will create the centre front pleat.
Bring the folded centre front edge of the upper placket to meet the stitched edge of the under placket. Pin it in place, ensuring all the raw edges are tucked under. Make sure you check both the right and wrong sides!
At this point, you can mark in your top stitching line on your placket to help with accuracy when sewing. This line is 3.5cm up from the bottom of the placket. Make sure you use a pen or tailor's chalk that doesn't leave a mark on your fabric.
Starting 3.5cm up from the bottom of the placket, at the open edge, stitch across to the folded edge of the placket. Stop with your needle down, pivot 90 degrees and edge stitch down to the bottom of the placket.
Stop with your needle down, pivot 90 degrees and edge stitch back to the open edge of the placket. Pivot 90 degrees once more and edge stitch the length of the upper placket to close it.
When you are sewing this final step, take care not to catch the under placket with your stitches.
Give your placket a press!
Next up we will sew the collar and assemble the shirt.
Step 3 — Assemble Shirt and Sew Collar
With the right sides together, pin the front to the back at the shoulders.
Sew each shoulder with a 1cm seam. Neaten and then press the seams towards the back
At one neck edge, sew a line of machine basting at 1cm. Fold back and press the neck edge to the wrong side, using the stitching to guide you.
Fold the collar in half at the notches with the right sides together. This is opposite to your pressing steps at the beginning. Pin each end to hold it in place. Keeping one neck edge folded up, and with a 1cm seam allowance, sew each end closed.
Clip into the point where the collar meets the collar stand. Take care not to cut through your stitching.
Trim the curved edge of the grown-on collar stand, taking care not to get too close to your stitching.
Turn your collar right side out, using a point turner to help you with the corners. Give your collar a press.
Next, we will attach the collar to the shirt.
With the right sides together, pin the raw edge of the collar to the shirt body at the neck edge, matching the notches and seams. Sew together with a 1cm seam.
Press the seam up into the collar.
Pin the collar closed at the neck edge, and then edge stitch from the inside of the shirt.
Sleeves and Side Seams
With the right sides together, pin the sleeve to the body matching the notches.
Sew the sleeve to the body with a 1cm seam and then neaten.
Repeat for the other sleeve. Press the seams towards the sleeve.
Pin the side seams together matching the notches and sleeve seam.
Sew together at 1cm and then neaten.
Repeat for the other side. Press both seams towards the back.
Now move on to sewing the hems and doing the finishing touches!
Step 4 — Hem and Finishing Touches
Now we will hem the sleeves.
Turn back the 1cm seam allowance and then turn back the hem at the notch and edge stitch the sleeve hem closed. The finished depth of the sleeve hem is 6cm.
Turn back the 1cm seam allowance and press. Then turn back the hem at the notch and press.
Edge stitch the hem closed. The finished depth of the hem is 6cm.
Mark the buttonholes on the right centre front using the button and buttonhole markings on the template as a guide. There are x4 buttons on the shirt placket and x1 button on the collar stand. The collar stand buttonhole is 1.5cm from bottom edge of collar stand and is 1cm in from the curved edge (refer to template included with your pattern). The first buttonhole on the placket sits 2.5cm down from the edge where the collar stand meets the upper placket. The last buttonhole sits 3.5cm from the placket end. The remaining two buttons are 8.5cm apart.
We would recommend you mark these and check that you are happy with the placement before you sew them. You may wish to increase or decrease their spacing, or even add more buttons, depending on your personal preference.
Once you are happy with the placement, sew your buttonholes according to your machine’s manual. Carefully cut your buttonholes open.
Sew the buttons to the front left, opposite the buttonholes.
Fold your collar down and give it a press.
Give the front pleat a gentle press and clip any loose threads.
Your Sparrow Shirt is complete!