Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Manchester Banyan, Part 2 - sleeves

I started by sewing the sleeves together by machine, and flat-felling the seams by hand with a prick-stitch. Flat-felling is where you press your seam allowance to one side, trim the bottom-most layer to about half its width and then fold the top layer over it (encasing the cut edge) and sew the folded edge down. This finishes the seam so that there aren’t any raw edges to unravel, and makes a strong seam.
Then I attached the cuffs, and prick-stitched along the top edge.
Sometimes you get really lucky and the pattern matches without you even trying.
Next, I sewed the center back seam, carefully pinning and matching the pattern first. It didn’t work very well. The fabric was slick enough to not want to stay put between the presser foot and the feed dog on the machine. So I ripped out the seam, and prick-stitched it by hand, then flat-felled the seam.  Much better.

Side seams were next, followed by the shoulder seams.
Side seam: the pattern lined up horizontally.
Then it was time to set in the sleeves. The top of the sleeves was stitched on the machine with two rows of long basting stitches. The ends of the bastiing threads were pulled up just enough to take the "slack" out of the fabric without actually causing any gathers to form.
Basting stitches in place.

Extra fullness eased out, and sleeve pinned into place.

The next step was to sew the sleeves into the body of the banyan. I did this on the machine.
This hasn't been pressed yet, but see how nicely that fits?
Next, was the collar. I cut out a trial one using the pattern as a guide line and it failed. It failed a lot, but that's a post for another day.

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