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threadWEAR 301

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The London Shirt Sew Along Part Three: Collars and Sleeves


Welcome back to the London Shirt Sew Along! Today we are focused on constructing the collar, sleeves and side seams of the garment. Grab your materials and let's get sewing!

I chose to apply a neutral Lightweight Fusible Interfacing to the wrong side of my COLLAR piece. This is an optional step, so if you prefer a lighter Collar, or are already working with a stable fabric, you can choose to skip this step. 

With wrong sides together, press the Collar in half lengthwise. 

Open out the Collar and fold it in half lengthwise with right sides together. Stitch the ends from the fold to the dots and backstitch. Trim the seam. Be precise about sewing to the dots. This is important when attaching the Collar to the neckline. Press these seams open first using a point presser or tailoring board. No need to diagonally trim the corners. For more instructions on perfecting your Collars and stand, check out our Sew Confident tutorial Collars and Stands

 Turn the Collar to the Right Side and press. 

With right sides together, pin one Collar edge to the neck of the garment, matching notches and dots. Clip the garment seam allowance as needed. Stitch the Collar to the neck edge. Trim the seam and press it towards the Collar.

Turn the remaining seam allowance under on Collar and pin to neck seam, just covering the previous stitching.

Slipstitch. Use a tailor's ham for better control over your slipstitching. 

To press the sleeve hem, we recommend using our pressing with templates method. To do this, cut a strip of tagboard (or manila file folder) 11½ʺ high by 2¾ʺ. Cut another strip of tagboard 11½ʺ by 3ʺ.

For the first fold, place the 3⅜ʺ template on the wrong side of the hem edge. Press the hem up and over the template, matching the raw edge of the fabric to the top of the template. Press.

​For the second fold, place the 2¾ʺ template in the pressed creaseline. Press the remaining fabric up and over the bottom edge of the template. 

With right sides together, sew the Sleeve to the garment, matching notches and dots. Finish the seam. Press the seam allowance towards the Sleeve.

Finish the raw edge of side vent opening of the BACK only. We like to use a 3-thread serger finish.

Press a ⅝ʺ vent hem allowance to the wrong side. Vent opening will be topstitched later. 

With right sides together, sew the Front to the Back at the Sleeve/side seam. Keeping the back vent opening hem pressed in place, sew over the folded hem to the dot. Finish the seam, continuing past the dot to the bottom of the Front. Press the seam towards the Front and continue to press the Front vent opening hem ⅝ʺ to the wrong side. Pressing a seam towards the Front is not the norm, but in this case it allows the vent hem allowances to lie in the proper order.

Trim the seam allowance of the Sleeve from the bottom to 1ʺ above the hem fold line. Clip into the seam allowance at the end of the trimming. Press the seam open. 

Re-press the 2¾ʺ Sleeve hem and the ⅝ʺ turndown in place. Topstitch. 

​To form the cuff, press 1ʺ to the right side. Bartack at the seam. 

Is this your first London Sew Along post? Be sure to go back and revisit Part One: Getting Started and Part Two: Front and Back

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