Sunday, 27 October 2013

The Tim Gunn Project: The Classic White Shirt

Stash Busting 2013:  Project #35

Fabric Used:              2.3 metres

Pattern Used:            Burda Style 7136

Buttons Used:           8  

I lost my sewing mojo at the start of this project but I finally managed to get it done. Finally. It took almost two months to get it off the sewing table.

I know, I'm in shock myself that it took that long to complete. But I digress...

The fabric is from Fabricland and it is listed as a 50% cotton and 50% polyester blend. It frays like crazy! And that makes me wonder if the polyester content might even be higher? Hmmm.

It is a lightweight fabric and it has a nice drape. And its yarns will snag if you're not careful. I'm stash busting a fabric that I picked up this year. Yes, I picked this up specifically for the classic white shirt since I did not have any white fabric in my stash and well, I was suppose to make a classic white shirt.

I would have preferred a white 100% linen (first choice) or 100% cotton but it just was not in the budget for the ones that my heart desired. Sew, I went with the least expensive choice, the cotton/polyester blend.

The pattern is also a 2013 addition to the pattern collection. I picked it up because the blouse has cuff variations including french cuffs. Now you might be wondering how it ended up being a short sleeve shirt. I was working on the placket when I realized that I made a rookie mistake. While shortening the sleeve length I totally neglected the length of the sleeve placket. Well, when I realized that the placket opening would be higher than my elbow I thought it would be best to abandon that idea. Out came the scissors to recreate this as a short sleeve top.

The buttons were also a recent addition to my stash. Can you believe that with all the white and clear buttons in my button tins I could not find eight matching buttons to use on this project.

The buttonholes were super easy with my Janome. I really didn't give much thought to buttonholes until I read Karen's post earlier this week. Karen purchased a new tool for opening buttonholes, the Bernina buttonhole cutter. I was unaware that such a gadget existed. She even mentioned using a seam ripper for opening buttonholes which made me gasp in horror as I recalled one terrifying memory when I destroyed a garment using a seam ripper to open buttonholes.  I've changed my ways since that painful experience.

After admiring what a fine job my Janome buttonhole maker did, I'm ready to open it up.  

First, I fold the button hole in half.  
I then open up the folded buttonhole
and finish clipping the rest.  
I take my clipping scissors and clip a small
hole in the centre of the buttonhole.  

Do you have a different method or trick of the trade for opening buttonholes?

There you have it, the shirt that took two months to complete. Let's see, what's next?

Happy Sewing!  


  1. Lovely shirt - and I really like this challenge that you are working on . . . . I may have to unashamedly copy you (with your permission, of course!)

    I use an old Singer template attachment on my old Singer Featherweight for my buttonholes (my lovely Pfaff is rubbish at these), and I use a seam ripper to open the buttonholes. I insert the seam ripper at one end of the buttonhole and gently rip open the buttonhole just over halfway, pushing the seam ripper towards the centre of the buttonhole. I then insert the seam ripper at the other end of the buttonhole, and again, gently, push it towards the middle where the first cut finished (I hope that makes sense!) I then trim off any straggly threads, and voila! So far, so good - I have not had any mishaps!

    1. You're a brave woman using a seam ripper. I was obviously not as careful and that's the real reason that I abandoned the seam ripper for opening my buttonholes. And you're more than welcome to copy away. I actually found the Tim Gunn's sewing challenge logo online. I took a short detour on the Tim Gunn Sewing Challenge this afternoon and made a skirt. But this week I plan to start sewing the day dress, next on my challenge list. I just have to cut out the underlining and then I will be ready to go.


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