Friday, 21 June 2013

Negroni Shirt - Part IV

Yoke's no Joke - that's the terrible pun out of the way and here's the rub.  I really struggled with getting the facings and innner yoke attached to the outer yoke.  It has taken me two and a half goes to get to this stage.

Go No1:  I pinned  the facings and yoke and machined with them on top. It looked like there was some ease to manage around the neck but, as it was lying on the feed dogs I thought they would take care of it. First time around left me with three dirty great puckers in the outer yoke and a small one in the under collar - YUK. I ripped out the neck seam and tried again.

Go No2: I didn't pin. I just aligned the raw edges and followed the dots left by my ripped seam.  Took it very slowly, lifting the presser foot, smoothing things  down and realigning the edges frequently, every half inch or so.  Things went much more easily without the pins to worry about and I felt I could see and feel whether the bottom layers were lying flat. I only ended up with one small pucker this time which I spotted early on so I only had to rip out about an inch and a half to get the outer yoke flat.

Go No3:  Produced what we see in the pictures.

It's not bad but it's not right.  Some how the collar has shifted or my seam allowance got narrower because less of the right half of the collar is enclose by the shirt front and facings than the left.

This also means that the lapel notch on the right shirt front is about a quarter of an inch longer than on the left.  This is very noticeable when I place the lapels and collars point to point but less so when the shirt is on (I think).

Now. What to do? Should I rip out a short length of the collar and try to even things up by burying it further beteween the yoke and facing?  Could this be a recipe for disaster?  Should I chalk this collar up to experience, be mindful of what has happened here when making the next shirt and live what I have?  Is it wearable or does it SCREAM?


  1. You have done such beautiful work on the rest of the shirt, I think you should adjust the collar. My first two shirts I took off and attached the collar so many times I am embarrassed. But it was a learning experience and I am glad I did it. Since you don't have a deadline, take a break for a few days and you will be reinvigorated.

  2. Collars are hard to do and can be so frustrating. You have done a very nice job minus that mistake with the shirt so far. I would call this a practice shirt and wear it while you sew other projects. Your top stitching is very pretty!

  3. Collars are humbling. It's your first one so don't be too hard on yourself.

  4. Hello Gavin,

    I totally agree with Susan.
    And, by all means wear this shirt! My guess is that those fun pocket flaps are going to be the first thing people notice anyway :-))
    Besides, even if the collar isn't perfect, the stitching is immaculate.



  5. Brilliant Gavin.

    Wear it, wash it, wear it, take it on holiday, spill beer on it, keep talking so nobody gets to your collar with a tape measure, have another beer...

    Whatever you do, don't undo it!


  6. It doesn't look bad so leave it as-is and chalk it up to experience. In the future, sew your collar out from the center in each direction. That way, whatever happens, it should be even on both ends. Did you not notch so you could see how things were lining up? Truly, though, the error is hardly noticeable and nobody but you will ever know.

  7. It looks pretty good Gavin, not quite as bad as you think! I think this is one of those sewing techniques that gets easier the more you practice. I have found it easier to sew the collar to the outer yoke first, and Peter's suggestion is a good one to try and match centers to sew out. Staystitching the curved yoke edge and notching before sewing can also help keep the yoke from puckering. I have found it easiest for me to attach the collar first to the outer yoke, then sew the inner and outer yoke to the bottom shirt back, then finish up the lining by pressing and hand stitching the upper part in place around the shoulders and collar. I'm sure you'll find your own tricks after trying a few more times. Happy stitching!