I’ve never really been one for repeating sewing patterns, but lately have had more time to sew more everyday types of clothes. Tilly and the Buttons Rosa Shirt/dress has become a TNT pattern for me and this is my third version. Worn here with my Deer and Doe Safran pants. And I realise I’m in desperate need of a haircut. Appointment made!
I fell in love with this lobster print when browsing on Cotton Reel Studio website. Navy and white is always a good combo and this is just a little different.
This time I decided to use some of the techniques I used making a shirt for my husband and practice my flat fell seams. I tried with a felling foot I had ordered, but couldn’t get on with it, so did them by hand which I enjoy. There a great tutorial on Colette Patterns Blog about how to do that. I will try again with the foot when I have more time and patience! I really love the clean insides of my shirt
The sleeve heads and armhole seam proved a problem though. Maybe not experienced enough, but flat felling armholes are hard and this has a deep curve on sleeve head, so after trying and failing with a French Seam I went with a mock French Seam. This turned out to be the best solution and was satisfying to finger press the seams. Instructions told me to steam press edges of seams together but that was a no go. I enjoyed doing something a little more fiddly. Tutorial for that can be found here Mock French Seam
The cotton is rather firm and using the traditional method of using two lines of stitching for easing in just wasn’t working. I remembered a technique I found in a book 25 years ago and I’m not sure I’ve seen it recently so I am excited to have something to share.
Rather than run 2 loose tension Seam lines you sew one at normal tension round the sleeve head but using fingers (or fingers and a small pair of scissors to help you stretch the fabric across the bias as your sewing. Just pull it apart before the needle. (No one to video me doing it but will try to get a video) Please ignore the other lines of stitching, that was from my first attempt.
The result is a perfectly formed sleeve head which just falls into place
Then a little pressing over a ham and it’s ready to just fit easily into the armhole. It doesn’t create puckers so you don’t get any. It’s great for difficult to ease fabrics.
I’ve just realised the lobsters look kind of eye boggling. I got a little confused with the pattern matching and not totally happy with how it matches at the front but am meditating on the wise words of my Instagram Sewing friend Carmen Bouchard if anyone notices and points it out then I can say proudly I made it myself, that’s why it’s not perfect! I will learn from this. And I may just flash them my flat fell seams😂
One more detail is that I downloaded the long sleeve add on for Rosa and I adapted the placket from a faced opening to a simple tower placket.
I took this placket from Kwicksew 3799 which may be the only part of that pattern I use. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it so I’ll probably make another Rosa one day. Below are the other two. I feel like I live in this shirt at the moment.