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Friday, September 11, 2015

Fussy Cutting and a Video about Collars and Sleeves

I'm pretty excited about today's post. We have two topics we're going to cover and they're both pretty awesome!  Normally I wouldn't combine topics like this, but I used the same shirt for both tutorials so it just makes sense to keep all the cuteness together! 

 First we will talk about "fussy cutting" and then I have made a video showing how to pin on the collar and sleeves for Porter's shirt.  Both tutorials have been requested a bunch so let's get started!  




My kiddo requested a Blue's Clues shirt for his birthday and I couldn't find any fabric for it. But luckily one of our fabulous friends in the CKC patterns group had a bed sheet she was willing to part with, and she hooked me up! (Thank you!) I knew I wanted to make a Porter's Button-Up shirt with it, and not just any shirt. It needed to be distinctly Blue's Clues for the sake of my little guy. And this is where fussy cutting comes in. 

If you haven't heard of "fussy cutting", it simply means that we are careful to cut out certain prints or sections of the fabric, according to what we want to highlight. You might have done it without realizing it, by centering a pattern on your bodice or cutting around a favorite character to applique. That is what seamstresses call fussy cutting. Now we know! 



Here's proof that we started out with just a bedsheet -- and a very excited little boy. 



I would love to explain a long process about how I cut out the shapes, but really all I did was print out the pieces, place them on the fabric where I wanted them, and cut them out. It's not any more complicated than that. I do have a few pointers that might help for your first time:

1- Start with the most important character first. I knew I wanted that big Blue on the right side (instead of the pocket) so I cut that piece first. 

2 - Be sure to leave some seam allowance around all sides of the shapes you want showing! You don't want to accidentally sew somebody's face into the seam. 

3 - Next, cut any pieces that need to line up with the first, such as the other side of the shirt.  I cut the left shirt next so I could line up the checkered prints. On the bedsheet, the salt and pepper were not right next to Blue, but I was careful to cut the squares evenly below them so it would appear that way. It took some fussing, but not too much. Then I did the same for the back shirt piece, finding a character that would still line up with the checks.

4 - Check for any remaining characters you want to highlight.  I put one on each sleeve. I didn't worry about lining up any checks on sleeves, mostly because I couldn't. (You can break any of the above "rules" any time you want!) 

5-  Last of all, if you have a noticeable accent piece such as the collar, be sure to visualize in your mind what you want it to look like. I knew I wanted my collar to be yellow in front, so I carefully cut the pieces. Because of the checks, the collar is actually yellow in front and white in back. Fancy!

After cutting out my pieces, I just sewed up the shirt as written in the pattern! Take a look:  





I would say we came out with a pretty fantastic birthday shirt for the little Blue's Clues fan! 



He couldn't be happier!

Now it's time for the next topic I promised you.  Here is a video showing how to pin the sleeves and collar in place on the shirt. It is not necessary to watch the video in order to sew the pattern, but if you have struggled to get the tailored style of sleeves just right, the video should help answer some of your questions.  It starts out by pinning the sleeves and then later the collar, so it is quite a long video (17 minutes, I think). But by the end of it you should be a sleeve-and-collar pro! 




( https://youtu.be/ULVmMvu7u_I )

That's all for today's double topic blog post!  I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. I might have to start collecting cute bed sheets now, the same way that I collect cute fabrics. It was way too much fun to put together!

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 






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