29 April 2012

Day 3 - Slash-and-spread Shirt


Slashing and spreading is used to add fullness to a piece of cloth by, well, "slashing" the pattern tissue into several panels, and then "spreading" those panels out. It's a neat way to adjust a plain shirt pattern, as I'm doing this week:

slash and spread sewing technique

First off, I wanted my shirt to be made of two pieces per side, so I slit the pattern just a couple inches above the armhole line. This way there's a yoke (the top piece) and then the shirt body. Then I "slashed" the pattern into vertical strips:

slash and spread sewing technique

Once I had the strips cut, I placed them on a large sheet of newspaper. For the upper section - the yoke - I wanted there to be loosely gathered "tucks" running from the shoulder line to the bottom seam, so I simply added about 0.5" of space between each panel. But I wanted the body piece to be fuller at the bottom, so I rotated each strip, allowing the pattern to spread out in a fan shape.

After taping down the strips lightly I traced a new pattern, and that was that!

Well, almost. I did make one adjustment, at the hip line, where I actually cut 1.5 " along the side seam, just so the hemline wasn't too big.

Then, of course, came the actual cutting of the cloth. I used a very light silk for the yoke, and a loosewoven, slightly heavier cloth for the body. Any lightweight fabric that drapes nicely would work well for this technique: silk, light linen, cotton, and single-knits are ones that come to mind.

Time to sew!

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