How to Make Stripe Insertions
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Excerpted from “Gender Bender” by Linda Lee in Threads 150, August/September 2010
The basic button-up shirt has gone through many reinventions during its lifetime. Men’s and women’s versions have evolved in both silhouette and detailing. The classic men’s shirt in particular has taken on a new look with contrasting details, proving that this conference-room staple doesn’t have to be a boring garment—tiny elements, sometimes hidden, can revamp this classic with personality and design. These narrow inverted pleats with contrasting fabric insertions form three-dimensional stripes on the shirt front.
1. Plan the stripes. Determine how many stripes you want on the shirt front (they don’t have to be symmetrical). Make a second front pattern piece so you have both a left and a right side. On each pattern piece, draw 1/2-inch-wide stripes parallel to the center front.
2. Alter the pattern and cut the fabric. Cut the pattern apart along each stripe, and discard the stripe pieces. Add 1⁄2-inch-wide seam allowances to each cut edge. Use these pattern pieces to cut out the basic shirt fabric. Cut lengthwise strips of contrasting fabric 1 1/2 inches wide by the length of the shirt. Cut one strip for each “stripe” insertion.
3. Attach the stripes. Press under 1/2 inch on each cut garment edge where a stripe will be inserted. Open out the pressed seam allowance. With right sides together, serge or sew one strip side to each seam allowance using a 1⁄4-inch-wide seam allowance.
4. Topstitch the edges. Allow the pressed edges to fold under again, exposing 1/2 inch of the contrasting strip. Sew 1/4 inch from each folded edge to anchor the stripe in place. Continue to make the garment according to the pattern instructions.
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