Progress on Kwik Sew 3146

I may have mentioned this already, but I had jury duty this week.  My first time ever, and I wasn’t even asked to serve.  I only sat there and read sewing/crafting books.  Poor me, right?  😉 

One of the books I read was David Page Coffin’s Shirtmaking.  It’s a great resource and you should definitely own this book if you ever consider making shirts.  It was highly read-able.  I have a tendency to fall asleep with technical books and I didn’t fall asleep once with this book.  I took some notes while I was reading of things I was surprised to find out among other things: 

  • Iron your shirting fabric, don’t just press it.  Stretch it out in the same direction as the selvedges.
  • Use sew in interfacing not fusible since you wash shirts often.
  • Use a flat fell foot for superior flat fell seams.
  • Insert arms flat and then sew side seams.
  • Match the lightest thread color present in your shirting for your thread.

The first point is something Thea had already mentioned to me when I had problems with my Alhambra clover print fabric.  The sewing the arms flat first thing was a surprise to me as well as the match the lightest thread color.  And actually I disagreed with that last point for my specific fabric print.  I, unfortunately, do not own a flat fell foot as it did not come with my machine, but will consider getting one for the future.  But fortunately, my little boy’s shirt pattern does not require flat felled seams as the seam allowances are only a 1/4 inch, much too small for a flat fell seam finish.  

I had my sewing lesson with Thea last night and we started work on the shirt.  When I cut out the fabric, I cut in a single layer so as to match the print as much as possible.  I am using a check fabric, or is it gingham?  I can’t see what the difference is between the two.  But despite my careful cutting, I still did not get a perfect match.  I’m kind of bummed about that.  The feed dogs just didn’t want me to match I guess.  Not sure what else I can do to counteract this, except to whip out the walking foot.  Any suggestions?   I pinned the heck out of it.  

Matching fronts, left and right, with button placket


back yoke seam, almost matching


As for thread choice, I went with a navy thread even though David Coffin suggests white when white is present.  I just thought it blended better.  Here’s my test swatch. 


So far I have interfaced the parts that needed interfacing, the collar and stand, and the button hole placket.  I used Pam Erny’s interfacing.  I really like her interfacing but can’t speak to competitor stuff as hers is the only kind I have ever used.  For the placket, I probably should have cut the interfacing in half because you double the placket over itself, thereby doubling the interfacing and it became too stiff.  Live and learn. 

I opted not to interface the pocket and am pretty proud of my placement.  It’s perfectly matching on one side, and just a little off on the other.  The topstitching isn’t too bad either, but again, not perfect. 

pocket placement


That’s where I left off last night.  I have to attach the yoke to the fronts now.  Working on that tonight.  Wish me luck! 

Happy sewing everyone.


7 responses to “Progress on Kwik Sew 3146

  1. Very cute!! I tend to match the darkest color on my prints as well. I always think the lighter color stands out more and I don’t always want that. Your matching looks pretty good. I don’t have a walking foot, but I just pin like crazy and sew over the pins. (I know, but it works!)

  2. I hand baste when I want to match stuff and be exact. The most reliable method, IMO. Saves time in the long run too, since you’re more likely to get it right the first time.

  3. Yep, I’m with LindseyT, hand-basting is my secret weapon on matching plaids. And yes, a walking foot will help. And you might experiement with lowering the pressure on the presser foot. That might help. It’s all about getting both pieces of fabric to feed together at the same time and stay aligned.
    You are doing great!!

  4. I don’t think you should be unhapppy with your matching so far. It’s barely noticeable that a few a not quite perfect and anyone who comments that you have’t lined up your gingham squares should be forced to line up a yard of them …. lol
    Re matching thread to fabric – it’s such a personal thing and you go with what pleases you the most. Personally, I would use the blue for stitching and possibly the white when topstitching but maybe not … I’d have to do a test … lol.
    My sewing machine has a built-in walking foot and I use it when sewing everything except buttonholes.
    You should be proud with your sewing efforts, your work is lovely.
    Speaking from personal experience here – don’t try and have everything perfect and be disappointed when it’s not …. you lose your sewing mojo real quick!!

  5. Fascinating!! I’m still learning so much about sewing that I have yet to try a garment, but when I get to shirts someday, I’ll look for Coffin’s book for sure. 🙂 Thank you for the recommendation!

  6. I would go blind trying to figure out where it didn’t match at! 🙂 The 10 yard rule is definitely in effect here…and I agree with Meg…hand baste.

  7. It looks very, very good. I agree about the basting. Mind you, some fabrics (silk-wool blends especially) are sufficiently grabby that they don’t slide during sewing (that’s a sewing-for-grownups tip; none of us are likely to be using THOSE fabrics for kid sewing, after all)

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