Simplicity 4718 (1943): Part II

This counts as an official Part II!  I managed to fritter away most of my weekend--my "things accomplished" list included allowing Mispickel to sleep on me for two hours--but then finally did settle in and get some sewing done.  Honestly, I had gotten to the point of having to finish the sleeves, and I was procrastinating because I was intimidated.

I had to do sleeve plackets.  I had never done real sleeve plackets before, and they scared me.

I've done continuous-lap plackets a bunch of times, and they work, but I've never really liked them because I don't trust methods in which so little fabric is caught in a seam.  It just seems like disintegration waiting to happen, especially on relatively coarsely-woven fabrics such as homespun and chambray.  I was very close, though, to chickening out and doing them again on 4718.  Comfort zones are powerful things, no?

Then I put on my big-girl sewing pants, got out the copy of David Page Coffin's Shirtmaking that I found at Half-Price Books, and jumped headlong into making real, live, shirt-sleeve plackets.  (If you don't have this book, though, consider it.  Seriously.)

I may never go back.

If you don't have the book, the method can be seen here.  Beginners: I know your immediate reaction will be to panic and back-click, but don't.  It looks like a horrorshow of folding and ironing and potential disaster, but I swear it works.  It's exactly the kind of thing I could manage to completely mangle--I am, after all, the girl who cannot install a decent zipper to save her life--but my results, on my first attempt ever (I didn't even practice with scrap fabric, I swear) looked like this:

That's right, ladies: I owned those sleeve plackets!

They're even beautiful on the inside: No raw edges!

I got the sleeves sewn on and will spend lunchtime today--it's raining, anyway--finishing the armscye seams and sewing the cuff buttons by hand.

This dress actually has  four different types of buttons on it.  The cuff buttons are plain white 3/4 inch buttons I found in my stash; the sleeve keepers have small white buttons with a chevron pattern, also from my stash; the breast pocket has a small white button with a squarish excavation in the middle, from my stash; and the buttons down the front and on the skirt pockets are going to be these adorable-but-not-too-girl-for-a-chambray-shirt-dress round buttons with streamline square design, from Joann Fabric (that's a sleeve keeper button next to them):

The La Mode buttons didn't come any smaller than that; they were too big for the cuffs, keepers, and breast pocket.