Shirt-tail Reinforcements: finishing touches

By Molly Hamilton
on October 11, 2019

Shirt-tail Reinforcements: finishing touches

On old fashioned shirts (such as the 202 Victorian Shirt), as well as many well-made modern ones, the tops of the side openings are often reinforced with small tabs to prevent the shirt-tails from ripping.  As in so many of our patterns, Folkwear teaches a technique used in the era and that is still relevant and interesting today in the 202 Victorian Shirt pattern.  There are three versions shown and taught for making these tabs in the pattern.  Each version is one that we found on antique shirts in the Folkwear collection.  Here is one on a sheer blouse. 

These tabs are great for reinforcing shirt-tails or side slits on shirts or dresses.  I will show you how to make one of the versions below.  

This simplest reinforcement consists of a triangle stitched on the inside of the shirt.  Cut a rectangle 1" (2.5cm) by 1 1/2" (4cm), tuck the edges under, and topstitch the folded edges to the top of the side slit.

First, cut the rectangle from the fabric you want to use - 1" (2.5cm) by 1 1/2" (4cm).  I am using the main fabric for the tab, but you could use something bold to add fun detail.  Most of these tabs are on the inside of the garment, so they generally won't be seen.

Then, using an iron, press the first fold:

Press the second fold, folding over the top point of the first fold:

Press third fold, folding the corner of the second fold into it:

Press the forth fold, folding the corner of the first fold into it:

Press the fifth fold, enclosing the lower edges of the first and second fold:

The tab is now finished.  Press it well and make sure all raw edges are neatly tucked to the wrong side.  I made this sample a little asymmetrical, but symmetry for the tab is probably better!

Place this tab, with the pointed side toward the top of the garment, and with the long flat side at the top of the slit - inside the shirt with wrong sides facing.  Then topstitch around the folded edges of the tab. I used a contrasting thread here so you could see it better, but, if you want it to blend in and not be noticeable, use a matching thread.  




Handmade cording and knotted buttons - how to

By Molly Hamilton
on August 28, 2019

Handmade cording and knotted buttons - how to

Our 104 Egyptian Shirt pattern comes with detailed information on applying applique to the shirt front, back, and sleeves.  It also has instructions for applying soutache (narrow braid used for trim), creating your own cording to apply as trim, and how to make knotted buttons from soutache or your own cording.  Here, I am going to briefly cover how to make your own flat cording and then use it to make a knotted button.

To make self-cording, cut bias pieces at least 1" (2.5cm) wider than the cord you are using, and at least 12"-15" (30.5 to 38cm) long.  Cut cords about 5" (12.5cm) longer than your bias strips. 

Fold the bias strip in half lengthwise, rights sides together, over the cord.  Pin cord in place, butted up against fold, and using a zipper foot, stitch down the length of the strip, making a 1/4" (6mm) seam. 

Backstitch at beginning and end to secure.  Secure one end of the cord by stitching several times through cord and fabric about 1/2" (13mm) from end of fabric at one end.

Now grasp the fabric near the secured end with thumb and index finger while bulling the loose end of the cord with the other.  Ease the fabric over the secured end and continue pulling, turning the tubing so the raw edges are on the inside.  When it is all turned, you will have a piece of flat tubing.  Trim the cord off of the handmade cording.

The small knotted round button is a three-dimensional Josephine knot, tied with one piece of cord.  Soutache or a small flexible braid or fabric tubing are recommend.  In Middle Eastern clothes, soutache made of metallic thread is commonly used.

Make a loop with the cord.

Bring cord around and make another loop on top of the first.

Bring the same cord end around, underneath the first loop cord.

Bring that end over the first cord in the loops, under the second, 

over the third cord in the loops, and under the forth cord in the loops.  Creating the shape you see below.

Now pull the center loops slightly tighter, then pull gently on the cord ends to tighten.  Continue to do this until you have a fairly tight knot.

The finished button size will depend on the size of the cording and how tight you pull the knot.  You can use the "tails" of the knots to create the button hole loops.

You can print this by using this link

Here is a video of how to make flat cording and tie the knotted button.




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