Butterick 5007: Men’s vintage western shirt – progress update.

Butterick 5007: The collar is on . . .

Butterick 5007: The collar is on . . .

I did hope to get further than this, given the lovely long bank holiday weekend. But I was pleasantly distracted by 3 lovely days out instead! A birthday barbecue on Saturday, lunch with friends on Sunday and a day out at my mother-in-laws allotment today.

But I am so not going to rush this shirt. I am determined to make a good job of it. I had such a eureka moment when I found the fabric – 7 metres of a 1970s vintage Laura Ashley loveliness – and I knew it was destined for something special. Mr Ooobop decided its fate and although I was a bit unsure at first he was not wrong with his vision. I am really happy at how it is coming along.

  Butterick 5007: The button bands are on... awaiting the button holes!

Butterick 5007: The button bands are on... awaiting the button holes!

I used tailors tacks this time. I usually trace off or mark the darts and positional points with tailors chalk because its quicker but I remembered my mum teaching me how to do this when I was very young and it felt right to apply them on a 70s pattern!

Why use tailors tacks?

  • It helps to accurately mark both layers of the fabric in exact positions.
  • It eliminates the need for a tailors chalk, if you don’t have one to hand, or if it doesn’t show up on the fabric or if you simply don’t want to run the risk of permanently marking your fabric.

How to make tailors tacks

This may not be the conventional way, but this is how my mother taught me:

Thread your needle with a contrasting colour thread and match the two ends to make a double length of thread. With the pattern still pinned to the fabric after cutting, pass the needle through one of the circle marks, leaving a tail of about an inch behind. Bring it back through the other side, through the same circle mark, leaving a loop of about an inch behind. Repeat once more, remembering not to pull tightly and then cut your thread from the needle.

Continue to do this on all circle marks where necessary. Snip the loops of the tacks to leave little tufts of thread.

tailors tacks

tailors' tacks

Unpin the pattern from the fabric and gently pull over the tacks so the tacks remain on the fabric.

tailors' tacks after the paper pattern is removed

tailors' tacks after the paper pattern is removed

Then, when you are ready to use your fabric piece, carefully separate the layers and snip the tacks in the middle to leave tacks on each side.

snip the tacks between the layers of fabric

snip the tacks between the layers of fabric

Et voilà! An incredibly old fashioned but nevertheless effective method of fabric marking.

This is a first time man’s shirt for me and I am enjoying the learning curve. The instructions and little diagrams are really clear and I love how neatly it is all coming together with the topstitching and all!

I’m a bit worried about creating all the button holes but the first two have worked out fine on the pocket flaps, though I did hold my breath as I was doing them!

  Butterick 5007: The pockets are topstitched in position and the first buttonholes in place!

Butterick 5007: The pockets are topstitched in position and the first buttonholes in place!

Next stage is the sleeves and side seams, the hem and the dreaded button holes but I fear further progress on this shirt will have to be delayed just a little bit more, while I magic the bucket of golden plums into jam, the tray load of blackberries, raspberries and elderberries into bramble jelly and the giant marrow into chutney.

I am so excited by this time of year and I love the glow that my daughter and I have acquired after spending a glorious day in the outside, sampling the goodies as we picked . . .physalis, cob-nuts, fresh peas, cucumbers, baby carrots, apples and tomatoes.

Here are some of the fruits of our labours!

beetroot, apples, golden plums, marrow, cob-nuts, marrow, dahlia.. and funny carrot

beetroot, apples, golden plums, marrow, cob-nuts, marrow, dahlia.. and funny carrot

Too many distractions, too little time… story of my life!

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6 thoughts on “Butterick 5007: Men’s vintage western shirt – progress update.

  1. My mother always made me tailor tack – so I still do one every garment! As far as I know, they don’t even teach it in the fashion design program at my school, but then again I skipped a few construction courses 🙂

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