Reverse engineering standard work pt.5

Picking up where I left off

In the photo below, I’m coming to the end of the slit at the top. You can see that I’m not catching the cut triangle into the seam. I’ll be stopping right at the chalk mark (or as it happened, really close to it).

Below I’ve finished sewing that side of the job.

This is what the reverse side (the face side of the fabric) looks like.

Below I’m preparing to sew off the top of the slit, catching the triangle. Please note that I have flipped the work and I am now sewing on the face side of the fabric. When you do this yourself, you’ll notice that the triangle is actually larger than the yellow piece. Don’t worry, everything is as it should be.

Below I’ve finished sewing off the top of the slit.

Laying the piece flat, this is what the sleeve slit should look like from the face side up.

Below I’ve started the other side. Align the pressed piece to catch 1/4″ of the sleeve slit.

Below I’ve nearly finished this side. Again, notice how the triangle is not caught in this seam. Actually, I guess I couldn’t have caught it here anyway since I already sewed it to the smaller side of the slit.

Okay, below is a photo I showed yesterday. Getting those folds of the top piece to sit correctly took longer than one would want. It took too much finagling. I think one should consider pre-pressing that shape into place before one started sewing. This is a change I plan to implement myself. As I said, whenever you’re figuring out standard work via reverse engineering, you’ll always find yourself making modifications.

Below I’ve sewn around the top and am coming back down.

Below, I’ve stopped in preparation to turn the piece in order to sew across. Ideally you stop in accordance with that chalk mark you see off to the left. In fact, from here, it looks like I’ve done just that. However, as you’ll see a bit later, I was off the length of one stitch. Bummer.

Below you’ll see that I’m done. Doesn’t look too shabby at all and if you ask me, I think it looks pretty good. And a heckuva lot less work than how all the sewing books show you, no?

Below you can see what the back of the piece looks like.

Below I’m just holding the piece open so you can see how all of the pieces and stitches align. See? Everything’s all nice and neat. Cool, huh?

If this tutorial has been helpful, please consider leaving a donation. Otherwise, I’ll have to make this site for-pay only. I can’t believe how many visitors are so unkind as to fail to compensate me for my generosity. I help you, you help me. It’s only fair.

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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  1. Lol B says:

    Kathleen ,

    I found this tutorial very useful, as I do all of your tutorials.

    I have purchased your book and your Dvd.

    I sincerely hope you don’t have to start charging for these posts as I find your intellectual generosity a wonderful thing.

    I understand your reasons though, this post must have been very time consuming.

    Perhaps you could charge a nominal fee for this stuff and have it as a members only area.I would not object to that.

    I am hoping that you will write another book one day on pattern making for production , you could count me as one of your first customers !

  2. says:

    I’d donate, but its going to take more than this random thoughts thrown onto digital paper tutorial to make me do so. Formulate your ideas a bit better, put together a video explaining your steps, give more than one example. If your threatening to charge for your ‘service’, you may want to think about making your service worth charging for. As for your current tutorial, it seems like little more than you trying to solidify your technique in your own head.

    “Compensate me for my generosity.” ….. how generous of you. Terrible lady…

  3. kathleen says:

    Hi Kermit, this is but one tutorial in this particular nine part series. It’s too bad you decided to get personal about it rather than sticking to the points at issue.

    This particular entry is generally recognized as the best tutorial on the web for this operation (which is not to say it couldn’t be improved). I invite you to find a better one, in print or on video on the web or real life for ANY price (free or otherwise) and educate the rest of us but I doubt that will happen. See Unskilled and Unaware of it; How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments (pdf). Having an opinion does not imply (that if one is unskilled or in a position to recognize competence), that the opinion is valid.

    And as far as your statement

    it seems like little more than you trying to solidify your technique in your own head

    Did you read any of this? I’ll settle for your just having read the title. The title is “Reverse engineering …” So yes, oops, you caught me. You are absolutely right, I am pulling step by step from the example because it is not solidified in my head. The purpose of this entire tutorial series is to teach people how to teach themselves (and to not need me) by doing what I did step by step via reverse engineering -which again, is not just in the title of this tutorial series but in the first two words of the title. If there were a way to make it any more blatantly obvious, I do not know it.

    If I were intellectually stingy or dishonest and worthy of your disrespect and personal attacks, I wouldn’t teach people how to do this for themselves and instead, would force them to rely upon me for a set fee. To call me a terrible person for suggesting a donation from visitors for constructing an in depth ten part series requiring a great deal of effort and application on my part, is disingenuous because it presumes you think it’s okay for you to realize a profit or gain from my generosity but I am not.

  4. Eric H says:

    Kermit’s comment is hilarious. Reminds me of something one of my college professors had on his door, in which the Disciples kept interrupting the Sermon on the Mount with questions like, “Will this be on the exam?”, “Could you do another example?” and so on (something like the article 2/3 of the way down this site). Students want a limitless number of worked examples so that they don’t have to learn the thought process, they just have a Book of All Possible Combinations and Permutations of Worked Problems. Unfortunately, that means they would have to develop the professor would have to supply them with an amazing indexing and cross-referencing system.

    By my quick count, there are over 40 photographs in this tutorial. Perhaps you could print them all out and make a flip-chart out of them? That way, it would be more like video, or you could try Ritalin. Wanna ride bikes?

  5. Sheryl says:

    I do mine just like this, except bind manually because I am too lazy to go to the ironing board, which I always end up cursing because it would have been quicker by the time I unpick my asymmetrical peak!
    Also I make the width of the binding underneath 2mm narrower than the upper. I know it’s just a styling thing and there is no right or wrong but I thought I would mention it, as then it is the same width as the triangle when you stitch across the top. (That must have been what the sample I unpicked was like!)

  6. Mother Myrophora says:

    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but why do you take the extra step of stitching down the triangle when it will be caught in the “box” later?
    This is really interesting to me, I make tunics with this kind of placket (at the neck) all the time.

  7. Avatar photo

    Not a dumb question. I don’t do many of these and would want to be sure it wouldn’t fall apart on the off chance I didn’t catch it precisely at the back side. Maybe if I had a lot of practice, I would skip that. I’d be interested in knowing how you do it.

  8. Mother Myrophora says:

    Well, actually I shouldn’t say “I” make them–“we” make them–mostly my stitcher makes them, in a way I don’t really like because she leaves the edges unfinished and then someone else has to serge around them. (I saw her method described in a sewing book as the “economy method”. But I’m not about to ask her to change.)

    So I’ve been racking my little brain to figure out the best way to do it when I do it myself (hopefully easier)–and it seems like this is it. Sorry to give the wrong impression.

    But–it looks to me from the photographs like the triangle ends up being folded towards the tip–is that correct? Or I am just missing something?
    Many thanks!

  9. Mother Myrophora says:

    Well, I followed your instructions exactly, and it came it just right! Sewing the triangle down like that makes a clean finish on the inside.
    So now I can say, I do it just like you! Easiest and fastest way I’ve tried and looks good, even sewn by a relatively inexperienced stitcher like me.
    I do think it would be OK to stitch the under-side binding from the top, though, then the stitching is right on the edge. (It can show a bit if it’s on a neck.)
    Many thanks Kathleen!

  10. Kathleen says:

    For whatever reason, I wasn’t notified by email of your follow up comments, sorry to leave you hanging. I’m glad it worked out for you. The next time I do one of these, I’ll try it without sewing the triangle of the first pass to see how it works out for me. Saving a step would be great.

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