The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

Student Update!

I had another wonderful class- mostly shirts, and had a lot of fun with the students…..


We started with Kitty and we did a great fun altering her pattern.  She picked out a bodice that she liked, and we transferred the collar from Simplicity 2339 (yeah, it’s out of print but you can still get it on the site), but this is a great collar and collarband, so we finished the two-day class with her completing the collar and collarband skill so that she can insert into a class later this month, but also so she can take this home and practice this.

I’m not kidding – if you take these simple steps (particularly the ones that scare the daylights out of you) and just cut out about 5 or 6 of them, and repeat it one after the other – you will have it….I know it’s boring, but it works!


Maisie looks very persnickety here but she’s anything but.  She has the driest sense of humor and at her age knows a lot more about tech stuff than her kids!!!  But she had picked out some fabric that she had never made up and wanted to use as a learning fabric.  It was white, but she didn’t want another white blouse as she really needs a strong color with her light-colored hair (BTW, Maisie looks dreamy in this color hair for those of you who remember the post about to go gray or not – it depends upon your skin color, and Maisie’s is perfect to go gray).  Anyway, we picked up some funky fun black and white different prints and decided to do some fun things with it.

You can see we did the inside collarband and upper collar one way, the outside collarband and under collar in another, the inside placket still another way and the housetop placket in two different prints as well.


In case you can’t see it (you can click the photo to see a larger version), the swirls were on top and the diamonds were on the underside of the placket.  For Maisie this made a very nice alternative to just another plain white blouse.  Now I happen to adore white blouses, but they didn’t work that well for Maisie in her wardrobe, and this is all about personal choice.  For Maisie to add this contrast or color to her shirts/blouses is a great way to make the blouse classic yet a little different to her taste.


This is Lauren’s first shirt (I love catchin’ ’em young!!!!).  She’s thrilled with her collar and collar band, and that afternoon we finished it up with her setting in her sleeves and putting in another type of sleeve placket, and all she had to do was add buttonholes.  The blouse looks absolutely great on her, but she announced that she’s pregnant and won’t wear it for a while.

Once we had enough of the blouse finished (without the buttons) and sleeves inserted, side seams sewn up, I showed her how for a while you can still wear blouses like this as an open jacket look.  Obviously the closer she gets to her due date, she’s going to be closeting this piece, till after the babe is born, but for a while she can still get some use out of it.

Finally – our last student wasn’t photographed…..yet.  Fortunately I know where she lives and will get to see her shirt finished.  She had a great stripe and we found some foulard-type fabric to make the beautiful contrasting collarband, collar, cuffs and housetop placket (that’s my name for it, it’s simple a sleeve placket, although a shirt placket is made the same way, it’s just a little wider.)

With just a little creativity, you can make a shirt sing for you.  For me, what’s so nice about a shirt is that once you have a fit, you can take that pattern and it can be a shirt, blouse, tunic, dress, vest, over shirt/jacket.  A top like this once it is fit, serves a lot of purposes.


1 Comment
  1. Maisie’s shirt is quite striking. I’ love to see the striped shirt with the paisley. I’m very interested in the techniques you use for collar application and the housetop placket. Both are reasons for me that I make few shirts of this type.

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