Yesterday I worked on top stitching on a white western shirt that Miss Williams Lake Stampede Queen ordered. I spent a lot of time on the top stitching and only have the cuffs left to do. It was worth the time I spent doing the previous tutorial prior to doing the shirt.
Top stitching on the collar:
This method takes a bit longer to do but it looks perfect on some of our shirts.
The other technique I worked on was new sleeve plackets. I have been doing continious laps. They have their place on shirts and blouses but I wanted to do those plackets you can find on ready to wear. I have spent a lot of time thinking about this technique and my favourite tutorial is this one:
It has a free template; the main reason I bookmarked it.
Ron Collins also loves this sleeve placket and we did a sample on Sunday. It is tailored and looks great on men's and some women's shirts. Though you can use the template from Kathleen Timm's page, we used an OPP Sandra Betzina pattern. And some of the steps are slightly different.
1. Cut out your placket pattern and mark it as shown below. Do not interface this piece as sometimes recommended.
You can see that there are a lot of lines on the pattern piece (very confusing) and how few we marked on the fabric piece. Two lines and the dot off by itself.
To get the dots, Ron pokes two or three holes in the pattern piece lays it on the fabric and uses his marking pen to allow the ink to flow through the holes onto the fabric. He clipped the bottom lines, turned them up so you can mark the bottom with two lines. Attach these dots to make a line using a ruler and pen.
Turn under 3/8" on the two sides and the top piece as shown. Press well with steam.
2. Place on the sleeve pattern with the right side of the placket to the wrong side of the shirt. The short side of the sleeve placket faces the back of the shirt and the long side to the front. Or as Kathleen says "the shorter side of the placket should be closest to the underarm edge".
3. Using a shorter stitch length, sew the placket to the sleeve by stitching on the stitching line, stopping and pivoting exactly on the dots.
3. Cut up the center of the stitching to 1/2" from the top angling into the corners. Cut right into the corners but do not cut the stitching.
4. Press the piece so the seam allowances are pressed towards the sleeve fabric so you can turn the placket to the right side. When you are happy with how it looks, give it a good press with steam.
5. Fold the short side over to cover the seam allowance and stitch close to the edge using a slightly longer stitch and the edge stitch foot.
Fold the longer side over and stitch it down going all the way up, around, and part way down the other side and across making a rectangular box.
The almost finished results: