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Tips & Techniques > Easy and accurate shirt button bands

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Posted by: Handshake

About Handshake star
Member since: 7/19/13
Reviews: 22 (tips: 3)
Skill level:Advanced
Favored by: 7 people
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Posted on: 10/2/13 7:48 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 6 people   Very Helpful by 11 people   
I'm currently in a shirt-making phase. The last four patterns I've looked at/made, all have the button bands sewn on to the front first, then folded over and slip stitched to the back. Slip stitched.

There is no need for this. Here's what I do and will always do. Fold the button band in half lengthways and press flat. Now sew the button band to the back, first. Press seam towards button band and trim off a bit of seam allowance (to make room for buttonholes, later). Flip over to the front. Fold front seam allowance under, but not 5/8", make it a tad less. Press flat - you're on the front of the shirt now. Open up again and insert a single layer of fusible web tape. Close and iron shut.

Now the free edge is on the front, where everyone will see it, closed with fusible tape so it won't move under the machine. The edge is 1/8" away from the back seam, good. No one can see the under seam on the top of the shirt.

Edge stitch both sides. Perfect.
No Slip Stitching.
Ta Daa!

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PureJoy said... (1/27/14 2:57 PM) Reply
Thank you for reminding me to think outside the box and not just follow the directions mindlessly, which I have done most of my sewing career. I also love the second tip, posted by Sheila m below. I'm going to grab some scraps and try both techniques today, so I will remember them when the technique will come in handy. I may not remember this review, but I will certainly remember this technique if I've actually worked with it.
Sheila M said... (1/15/14 6:51 PM) Reply
Or, fast and clean - cut the button band in one with the shirt front as an extension. Turn half of it to the back and press it. Make a "tuck" fold enclosing the raw edge and sew the tuck. Unfold band and press the "tuck" away from front edge of the shirt. Top stitch the the other side of the band to match the width of the "tuck". Now you have a band that is finished and perfectly matched. Top stitch the folded edge at a width to match the "tuck" width. A Vogue pattern in the 1970s taught me this method. It works.
Annie- oh said... (10/3/13 11:06 AM) Reply
What a nice tip for these gorgeous shirts we make - thanks.
Adaire said... (10/3/13 7:40 AM) Reply
Thanks so much for this. Totally makes sense and I shall try it soon.
SandiMacD said... (10/3/13 5:25 AM) Reply
Thanks for taking the time to write this. I have no idea why patterns changed their technique to a slip stitch. Good to point out a faster method.
Nancy Mac said... (10/2/13 1:39 PM) Reply
Makes perfect sense, thanks for tip!
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