# Reverse engineering standard work pt.5.1

This entry brings to a close the Failed Experiment sub-series (pt.1, pt.2 and pt.3) which had originally been intended as an alternative way to finish off the sleeve placket of a men’s shirt originally shown in part 5 of the Reverse engineering standard work series (refer to the tutorials index). Since this method has been proven, I’ve titled this entry as 5.1 of the latter series. I’ll show you an abbreviated run through based on Danielle and Jess’s illustrations, followed by some discussion. If you need more photographic detail, see Beth’s tutorial. The only difference is I’ve cut out the rectangle while she has not. It doesn’t matter, both ways work nicely.

Below I’ve cut out the rectangle as per the dimensions of Jess’s illustration, specifically 1/4″ wide. I’ve also nipped the corners.

Below you can see I’ve aligned the placket to the slit and started sewing.

Below I’m coming up to the first corner, preparing to pivot.

Below the piece is done and I’m processing the folds. You should find this step intuitive.

Below I have the piece shaped accordingly.

And lastly, the piece is finished. Simple enough.

Now for some discussion.

One of the things I find fascinating is method variations. Which is a “parent” or original method? Why do methods change and how do they change? What are the problems with a given method that necessitate the development of a subsequent method? Still further, why do some methods progress to the extent that they become disfunctional and inaccurate? Where does the dilution occur and why? Call me anal but I find this topic fascinating. I tend to think of these differences as being analogous to a linguist’s study of cognate derivations.

In this case, I think we’d agree that this one piece method is the parent method. As such, it must have presented some problems that the two piece placket method was designed to solve. Having done it -and others have said as much- I think the first downside is the many layers of fabric at the tip, no less than eight. The two piece method only has four. Another difficulty with the first method that occurs to me is the required cutting of the rectangular cut out. This isn’t an easy cut to make on a large scale and I don’t know how it’s being done. It’s not easy to do this with a standard knife and it’d take a cutter with better than average skills. I don’t think the slits are being die cut, that’s just too much work regarding set up of required equipment. Consequently, I’d think that Beth’s method would be the most common as it takes one simple slit.

On a related note, Carol’s been asking for pictures of a folder that’d be used on an industrial machine to form this seam. Atlanta Attachment Company is the place to go for that sort of thing. New York Sewing Machines is the other major supplier (their catalog is very quaint and vintage, quite lovely). Oh, and I should mention that while “folder” and “binder” are not necessarily the same thing, we often use the terms interchangeably (even suppliers do). For example, these attachments are known as binders rather than folders but ATT’s file name for the photo I snagged is folder-199-E. I don’t know why we worry so much about you not knowing the names of things if we can’t figure it out ourselves. Below are two photos (courtesy of Atlanta Attachment). The first is a schematic of the seam and the second is the binder.

Related:
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