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On the Cutting Table

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Cutting Table

Things are progressing very slowly on the cutting table. This table is too short, it’s an old dining table and 29.75″ high. I should be cutting at 36″ high. My old table at The Stitchery was 39.5″. The one table that was the correct height was my embroidery work table and now it is our dining table. And, remember, I’m cutting 5 workshirts from a denim cambric

Ouch, I need a break, lots of them!

Lately it’s almost impossible to cut more than 1 piece before my back is in spasms. I cut, I go sit. Over and over. I don’t remember having this happen before, usually I can push on through, not right now.

Ever had a project become bogged down from surprising circumstances?

Well, the mind is willing, even if the body is not. I decided to make the job even worse by pulling the fine shirtings that have been waiting for years upon the shelves.

I always like to cut as much as possible from the pattern before me, it makes more sense than cutting one garment and searching for another pattern, ’cause I can take for—ever to decide what’s next. It’s bad. And old production habits die hard.

I have these lovely fabrics that have been waiting for shirts for the husband. This new piece just came in from Acorn.com in
Acorn 2013, from Acorn, UK

I didn’t know the source of the blue stripped fabric, purchased from The Wool House, until I went to Acorn’s website

The Blue Stripe is from Acorn, The Wool House 2008

This top fabric has the lightest hand of all

Lightest hand of all, not sure if I will cut it

and while I bought it for him, I may cut it into a shirtdress for me. It suggests “feminine”

Purchased 2006? Source possibly Michael's Fabrics

This last piece is the most unbelievably silky hand, the finest denim I’ve ever seen. It may be too good for this pattern. Maybe I should wait to cut this when I find or draft the most amazing shirt ever? Yeah, probably.

Fine Denim Shirting, Italy, The Wool House 2011

I bought it from The Wool House in Toronto when I went to meet Els and Lorna in 2011. This is seriously fine cloth and most likely from Italy, since that’s where their fabrics are supposedly sourced.

So, I’m cutting slowly and wondering how to get this table raised when I really don’t have the bricks or vegetable cans to put under the legs. Oh OK, I should go buy the 5″ tall cans and insist that my husband help me get them under the table legs.

A woman’s got to do what a woman’s got to do. Well, if he wants the shirts, right?

Mom's Graduation Project, Traphagen School of Fashion 1936

Vogue 8759 Man’s Shirt

Back of man's shirt

I cut the original pattern with no adjustments in size 46 in a light blue cambric pinpoint and we had a try on.  I hated it!  It looked like a school boy’s shirt but maybe that was because of the traditional fabric. And it was not appealing because it didn’t look like a proper “work shirt”,  I could see this style  cut with the mandarin collar but not with the collar and stand as I need to make.

V8759

The yoke is drafted to seam at .5″ below the shoulder point, not dropped like a proper yoke, the sleeve has enough ease in it that there might be gathers when inserted.  But oddly enough the collar might just fit my husband’s 18.25 inch neck.  I wish Vogue would print the collar length on the pattern somewhere so that those of us who are serious about making a fitted man’s shirt could chose the proper size.  But they don’t.

I don’t trust my measuring ability to accurately tell me just exactly how long that collar is. Between the pattern’s tissue paper that is inaccurate by it’s very nature, and the exact placement of a measuring tape, millimeters can be lost or gained.  Ah, well.  No shirts are built by stressing over the small details, right?  But I did have my day of pouting.

I lowered the shoulder seam line and by like subtraction I extended the shoulder yoke, shortened the shoulder seam, cut the armscye lower and wider, added fabric over the torso, and added 3″ to the length of the garment. I did not alter the sleeve pattern. And I did not alter for my husbands dropped shoulder and leaning stature. These details of sewing for him have completely stopped my suit making. One day I will overcome. Pray for me.

adjustments

I cut the cloth and basted the shell together.
front of man's shirt

Button Stand left open

Side of man's shirt

It looks like the sleeve could be rotated in the armscye a touch towards the back. How odd. This sleeve has a high cap, again that’s odd considering that most men’s shirt patterns have a flat sleeve cap.

But that’s why I like this patten: it has a taste of side shaping, and high and tight armscye, a long collar band and some shape and finesse to the sleeve.

So Onward I go, now to cut 4 more shirts as accurately as possible from a tissue. I don’t know of a garment that needs the most accurate and nuanced cutting as a man’s shirt. And for a picky man, the bottom line is how comfortable it feels, who can blame them?