One of the reasons I am keen to make these as they can be constructed using insertion stitch to join the seams. I have always wanted to learn how to sew insertions, so this was a fantastic opportunity. It also linked in well with the Holes Challenge for the Historical Sewing Monthly. Insertion stitch can be a delicate, intricate and ornate way to join join seams. It is far more eye catching than any other type of seam joining as it looks like lace.
As I am learning this type of stitch I decided to keep it simple and basic for these items. I will try more complicated designs in future items that will be more visible such as chemisettes, under sleeves and caps.
Elite Shirt (fits 000-00)
Before I could start learning insertion stitch, I had to draft up the pattern, cut out the pieces and narrow hem the pieces all around. The only piece that is not hemmed all around is the collar. I left one side I hemmed as I plan to whip gather it to the neckline once the shirt is complete.
I had instructions in a sewing guide. It suggested basting the fabric to graph paper to help ensure the stitches are even. I used some of my husbands 2mm graph paper which I cut into strips that are not too bulky. Instead of basting, I found that pinning it in place also works. For thread I chose to us buttonhole thread as it is strong and of a good thickness. My book also recommends that you can use embroidery floss.
First I had to attach the cute little mini gussets.
Next I closed up the sleeve along the other side of the gusset. The insertion stitch was not as difficult as I expected and became easier as I got into a rhythm.
The insertion stitch I used involved sewing a small inwards stitch through a few threads of the linen before making a small knot in the thread. Then repeat in reverse on the other side.
The shoulders were then joined together.
The last step in sewing the shirt was to attach the collar. The instructions were a little vague, so I decided to just whip gather it on like I do with cap ruffles.
Elite Biggin (fits 000-00)
Sorry I did not take any construction photos. The construction was exactly the same as for the other items. I did choose to attach the crown with insertion stitch. It only took about 4 hours to sew.
Forehead Cloth (fits 000-00)
This is very simple to construct and only took half an hour to sew. It is very good as a starter item to get used to narrow hemming.