I knew I wanted this collar as soon as I saw the envelope
I didn’t even need to see the POM broadcast although I did. Watch the broadcast that is. I liked it so well, I even worked sewing it into the que pretty quickly.
I traced my normal sizing i.e. Size 4 across the shoulder and bust with 1/2″ added to waist and hips. I found the interesting 2-piece blouse sleeve during tracing. Usually I see the 2-piece sleeve in conjunction with a jacket or coat. It is possible to achieve a superior fit with this type sleeve so I’m surprised I haven’t seen it more widely used. But this is Summer. High Summer in South Dakota where you are lucky I am even wearing clothes and sewing instead of sitting in front of the A/C. So I did not trace the sleeve. I made a sleeveless blouse. I made my 5/8″ shoulder slope and 5/8″ round back alterations before fetching my recently received armscye templates. OMG these are wonderful. I slipped the acetate sheet for the sleeveless armscye under my tissue paper ; aligned at the new shoulder point and underarm; then traced. So e-a-s-y. I’ve been using manila folders cut along my favorite armscyes. Using the templates was even better. Well worth the few $$$.
My fabric is a rayon challis, but I must say I’m a little disappointed. It is a recent purchase and lacks the body, the heft of the challis that I had fallen in love with and have been purchasing for years.
I am well acquainted with the shawl collar. Did some serious testing way back when. I was using La Fred’s Athena Blouse which had a beautiful wing, shawl-collar plus square-set armscyes.
I don’t think you can find the Athena pattern any more. Mine is preserved with fusible interfacing. Point is, the winged shawl collar and square armscyes were a challenge. A challenge I spent several hours; days trying to find an easy sewing procedure that would also produce professional results. Oh BTW, this was before the Internet. I had a few dressmaking references; a few friends and a lot of scraps on which to practice. Morale of the story is, I never forgot that quest for knowledge.
Which made sewing SP611 very easy. I well remembered that hard-won knowledge. I measured and marked exactly on the stitching line at the square corner of the collar and the neck edge of the shoulder. I stay stitched exactly on the sewing line. Reinforced the stitching with Frey Check; clipped when dry. Clipped all the way into the corners. If you want a clean, angular turn, you can’t leave a thread uncut. I stitched the undercollar CB seam together; carefully pressed. Pinned the CB in place and then pinned the square corner. The instructions will always have you sewing this in one fell swoop i.e. across one shoulder, across the back neck, across the other shoulder. Doesn’t work for me. I always manage to get a little fold/pleat or miss stitching something. For me, I pin the next place I’m stitching–leave the rest free to move about. Start by pinning and stitching from CB to the neck -edge of the shoulder and stop. Repeat on the other side again pin then stitch from CB to neck edge of that shoulder. Check carefully then stitch from shoulder neck-edge to shoulder armscye edge and repeat on the other side. Yes, I am sewing 4 lines of stitching. Short lines. I am pinning, starting, stopping and checking 4 different times. Then I serge finish the edge in the one-fell swoop not worrying about corner. Just zoom, serge, done. As long as I follow this procedure, I produce a perfect shawl collar. Everytime. If I don’t follow my procedure I goof it up. Everytime. Adding the facing then is a breeze. Pretty much straight quick sewing. Confession, I serge the facing to the blouse. I stop to understitch the collar and press carefully. But I happily serge. For this blouse I stitched-in-the-ditch to secure the facing to the blouse at the neckline. The collar and front edges are all top-stitched at 1/4″ and the facings are secured at the shoulder-armscye.
I am disliking this fabric. It wants to cling. I have another picture where the back hangs perfectly but the pic is fuzzy/out-of-focus. I hope this is not the ‘new normal’ for rayon challis. I’d be very disappointed.
My standard 5/8″ shoulder slope is usually enough to remove these drag lines. On this side, I’ve also done a 1/4″ lower shoulder adjustment. which means I stitch the right shoulder seam 1/4″ deeper than the left. Actually, I am hoping the drag lines are the fault of the fabric and not the need for further fitting
adjustments refinements. It could be the underarm business. At the last second I decided the armscye needed to hug my body just a little more. While the rest of the side seam is sewn 1/2″ deep, at the armscye it increases to 3/4″.
Like the Athena, I am unlikely to have more than 1 version of Maggie’s Blouse in each seasonal wardrobe. It isn’t a one-and-done but is unique enough to be remembered–unlike a T-shirt. I’m looking forward to the fall and winter versions just so I can try out that sleeve.