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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Collared Shirt, Lesson 1

The Collared Shirt, Lesson 1 -- Front Placket

I started this series back in 2010, but I'm going to start over since I never followed through the last time and I've realized that many folks need more details and more photos to understand the construction steps.

I will assume the reader has a basic understanding of sewing terms and some experience sewing clothing. Please do not hesitate to post questions, though, if I've used a term you don't understand or you need more details.
This class is all about the sewing steps of the shirt, so you'll need to pick out the size, cut out all the pieces and apply interfacing on your own.

The pattern: Kwik Sew 2849 -- Princess seam blouse 

Why I chose this pattern:

I really don't like side seam bust darts on shirts. Princess seams just seem more refined and more flattering on a wider range of bodies.
I also like the 1/4" seam allowances which require very little trimming. This does mean you need to be accurate when cutting out and sewing since you don't have much 'wiggle room'.

What you'll need for this lesson:

Left and right front shirt pieces with interfacing fused or basted in place
Straight edge ruler
Washable marking pencil/pen/chalk
Edge Stitch Foot (#10/C/D for Bernina owners) also called 'stitch in the ditch' or edge-joining foot.
Shirt front pattern piece

Let's get started!

Mark, fold and press.
I find it's much easier to mark a line to match the cut edge to instead of a line to fold on.
 I call this a "fold-to" line.



1. Measure the distance between the front edge and the first fold line on the pattern (1 3/8").

2. DOUBLE this measurement (2 3/4")

3. Lay the RIGHT front piece right side down.

4. Mark a line on the WRONG side of the fabric 2-3/4" from the cut edge.

5. Fold the fabric (wrong sides together) so the front edge lines up with the mark you just made.

6. Press well.

7. Measure the distance from the first fold line to the second fold line (2-1/4")

8. Double this measurement (4-1/2")

9. Mark a line on the WRONG side of the fabric 4-1/2" FROM THE FOLDED EDGE.

10. Fold the fabric so the folded edge lines up with this new mark.
(You'll now have two folds == 3 layers of fabric)

11. Press well.

12. Mark 1-1/8" from the new fold. You'll use this mark in the next section.

1. Repeat steps 1 - 6 above.

2. Open the fold and mark 1/2" from the CUT edge.

3. Fold so the cut edge lines up with the mark.

4.  Press well.

5. Fold first fold again and press well.

Sew the front plackets.


1. Put the edge stitch foot on your machine.

2. Make sure the needle is the center position.

3. Line up the blade on the foot with your mark and sew the front placket.

4. Fold the facing back towards the front edge.
5. Press well.


1. Move the needle to the right (How far depends on your machine and sewing accuracy--you might want to practice first).

2. Line up the blade on the foot with inside fold and sew the front placket.

AND YOU ARE DONE! (with lesson 1, at least :)  )

Next up: Princess Seams


  1. HI. I came here from pattern review. Thank you for the detail about how you mark your fabric. I tend to eyeball things, often with poor results. This is a much better way to get good results.

  2. so glad you got something out of this post, Leslie!