The Great Vintage Shirt Project - Advance 6083
The shirt is now at the point where the sleeves are added. The sleeves were the only part of the shirt where I was concerned with the fit and only for the length. I did a quick check of the sleeve against my arm before cutting the fabric, and shortened it about 1 1/2", which is not unusual for me.
The first step in working on the sleeves is to prepare the bottom edge for the cuffs, which is easily done before stitching the sleeve seam. These sleeves have pleats and gathers to get the circumference of the sleeve small enough to attach to the cuff. There are pleats on the front, before the placket and gathers on the back, after the placket.
The placket is not a true placket, but a reinforced slash. There is a piece of fabric that is stitched to the sleeve, then slashed up the center and turned to the wrong side to finish the opening. Instead of hemming three sides of the small rectangle, I opted to stitch a rectangle of the fabric and a rectangle of silk organza together on three sides, turn it right side and top stitch it. I suppose that's a fiddly detail, but to me it is neater and cleaner.
I originally had intended to install the sleeves in the flat, before stitching either the sleeve seams or side seams. Because of the amount of ease in the sleeve cap, I decided not to with this shirt. Instead I made French seams, and inserted the sleeves, easing the caps with what I call the "hundred pin" method. There really are not one hundred pins in the sleeve cap, but it is a nod to the late Charles Kleibacker and that photo in Threads where a v-neck was being eased onto a stabilizing strip of fabric and there were many, many pins, 1/8" or less apart, precisely and carefully easing that neckline. I'd never tried this method, and I know Ann did a great post on easing the sleeve cap with this method and uses it with success, so why not give it a try?
It worked beautifully and the sleeves are perfect. To finish the sleeve seams, I stitched with a smaller stitch setting, 1/4" away from the seam line in the seam allowances and trimmed the allowance off close to the second stitching. This double seam is strong and a neat finish. I did not want the bulk of a binding, and I've used this method in children's clothes in the past with good success.
All that's left is the cuffs, buttonholes and buttons!
Parting Shot: One More Shelf. I'm working on reorganizing the sewing area, and I've one more shelf of fabrics to work on. All the shelves looked like the bottom shelf before I started organizing and cleaning up. I haven't reorganized in a while and the beginning of the year is a good time to do so!