A failed experiment

Some of us have been continuing to discuss alternative methods to finishing off the slit opening of the sleeve in the reverse engineering tutorial series. Here’s a photo of the finished product from part 5 of the series:

Jess said in the forum that he has a shirt in which the pattern of the placket was one long continuous piece. He wasn’t the only person who said they had a shirt like this but I can’t remember who else said it. Here is a photo of Jess’s shirt:

Intrigued, I dummied it up by folding the edges of the belt to my bathrobe in a rough configuration as I read the forum from home last night. Under those conditions, it worked last night but it didn’t work today. Today, I’d fully expected a successful result before I even started the project. Failing in the experiment was very disappointing and a little demoralizing. I decided to post about it anyway because we all have failed experiments. We’re eager to share the results of successful projects but we squirrel away our failures. Looking at it from out there, you’d think nobody ever made mistakes but you. It’s not that others don’t, they just don’t tell you.

This entry was to be entitled “reverse engineering standard work pt. 5.1”. Here’s what I did (to fill in the blanks, review the series pts 4 and 5). The first thing I did was to cut the binding for the sleeve slit and press it using the paper jig. Below you’ll note the cut fabric was slightly larger than the jig. That amounts to an error on my part. Still, my piece came out exactly the right size once pressed. I decided the paper jig performed the function of a poka yoke. There are so many things like this that you can do that will prevent poor results in spite of another’s incompetence. Of course, useful as is the paper jig, you wouldn’t need it if you had a folder on your machine.

Below is the strip pressed to shape having been folded in half. You’ll also note my not so subliminal message. I’ve always written these kinds of things on the walls (my ex husband was not amused) but I decided to grow up and limit the expression of philosophy to table tops where I can spread sedition to hapless tutorial readers.

Below I’m sewing the strip into the slit. So far, so good.

I got to this point (below) and had two epiphanies: I now know why home sewers use pins. It’s because these friggin machines don’t have any pressure. None. Sewing the end point at the top of the slit is easy on an industrial, no problem. It was a pain in the butt to do this on this machine. So much so that I loused it up. It looked fine under the needle which brings me to the second epiphany I had which was that 6 years ago -when I’d been patting myself on the back for the improved quality of my pattern making and sewing- is right about the time when my need for bifocals got really bad. You think I’m picky now, be glad I’m blind. I could be worse. Much worse. Anyway, I loused it up to the extent that I had to start over cutting new samples, pressing and everything. Insult to injury when you consider the experiment failed.

Below is the result (of the second sample):

Once I finished it though and tried to fold it, I couldn’t get the top of it to fold into that triangular shape so I don’t know what I did wrong.

Jess, I think you’re going to have to help me out here by photographing the dis-assembly of your sleeve step by step. Does anybody have a handle on this process?

Entries in the reverse engineering standard work series (how to copy industrial sewing methods)
Shirt making tips
Standard Work (sounds boring, read it anyway)
Reverse engineering standard work pt.1
Reverse engineering standard work pt.2
Reverse engineering standard work pt.3
Reverse engineering standard work pt.4
Reverse engineering standard work pt.5
Reverse engineering standard work pt.6
Reverse engineering standard work pt.7
Reverse engineering standard work pt.8
Reverse engineering standard work pt.9

Spin off of Reverse engineering standard work pt.5:
A failed experiment
A failed experiment pt.2
A failed experiment pt.3
Reverse engineering standard work pt.5.1

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