Old dog, no new trick

I’m here to tell you that thirty-plus years of tailoring experience does not inoculate one from occasional goof-ups of Titanic scale.

I am making a shirt from some nice white crisp bamboo-based fabric. The shirt has nice subtle design touches: inner collar stand and inner back yoke of a black/gray/white brocade. I line the cuffs with the same brocade. The buttons are hidden by a placket, lined by the same brocade. An understated dark gray ribbon trims the front edge where the buttons are and the under-layer of the sleeve vent plackets. As is usually the case these days, I am really enjoying the tailoring process. That is, until I try on the shirt, prior to sewing up the side seams.

At first it seems I have merely twisted the sleeve when putting the shirt on, because the right sleeve’s vent is on the front i.e. thumb, side of my arm. That’s obviously not Kosher. A couple of quick tucks confirm that I have bork’ed up but good: I have sewn the right sleeve to the body wrong side out! Not merely sewn with a simple seam, mind you: it’s a graded and completed flat felled seam. That’s right, two lines of stitching! Double the work of undoing the seam!

To make matter worse, I immediately remember what I had told an inexperienced member of our meetup.com sewing group just last Saturday when he remarked that I sure was pinning a seam in a lot of places. I told him that 1. pinning a seam in lots of places is like having many hands keeping the layers aligned while stitching it and 2. by having the pieces virtually in place, it’s easier to spot assembly errors such as (here’s the kicker) sewing the incorrect sides together. If only he can see me now!