Thursday, March 04, 2021

A Plaid Applique Shirt

I chose to make a shirt as my first Janome project because I started 2020 sewing shirts. Sewing shirts gave me joy and creative freedom, things I wanted to bring into my sewing in 2021.  Well we all know how 2020 evolved! Even though it was an incredibly challenging year, I want to bring that same hope and creative energy into my sewing in 2021.  

Now I can make a shirt in my sleep I've made so many! The challenge was how to choose a fabric and style that best showcased the functions of my Janome 9450QCP.  While this machine is typically used by Quilters, I think it's a dream sewing machine for Fashion Sewists too.  Probably for the same reasons that Quilters love it.  A spacious sewing bed of 15.5" so that any garment can be sewn easily without having to bunch it up or push it through the opening.  All of the extra lighting.  The feet that are included with the machine to help make any sewing job easier. Plus all of the additional features built in to assist with creating an amazing garment.

I chose to use my tried 'n true (TNT) princess seamed, back yoke shirt pattern and a plaid fabric from my fabric collection.  I added some appliques to the shirt from my notions collection.  As I started working on the project, I began calling the shirt, "The Plaid Peacock Wonder!" Y'all know I tend to name all of my shirts based on either the fabric or a technique used during construction. This one is of course named after the fabric and the applique.

Supplies ~

3 yards of a cotton print purchased from Chic Fabrics

Appliques purchased from Amazon (just type in appliques and a bunch will come up!)

10 - 5/8" red buttons purchased from Pacific Trimmings

Midweight fusible interfacing from Steinlauf & Stoeller

Some Construction Details ~

The first thing you need to know about working with plaids is that you need to take your time.  Matching is not something you can rush through if you want to get a good match on your finished garment!

The second is carefully cutting the pattern out.  I use the single method - not folding the fabric in half but placing it as one layer on my cutting table. Placing the pattern pieces on singly to match the plaid at key points.  After making sure each pattern piece is placed next to each other so that the plaid matches across all of the seams (matching notches on your pattern if they have it) I carefully cut out the pattern pieces.  

I also add some bias elements to a make. I think it adds visual interest. For this shirt, I cut the shirt front bands and the sleeves on the bias.  The collar and collar stand were cut to emphasis the red stripe of the plaid.

Each piece is carefully pinned matching the plaids before taking it to the sewing machine. During this process, I sew the shirt in sections usually starting with the back and moving towards the front.

For this project, I used several different feet and plates on my 9450 sewing machine.  I used the AccuFeed Dual Feed Foot, my straight stitch plate and the straight stitch foot that I borrowed from my Janome 8900QCP. I'm sure you're wondering why I borrowed the foot? Well, I've made special markings on the foot that I didn't want to duplicate. I love that the feet are interchangeable between the two machines! 

I use my straight stitch foot and the plate whenever I make a shirt. I like the smaller opening on the plate so fabric doesn't slip into the bobbin area AND the control I have when stitching seams. Of course the amazing buttonhole foot with the stabilizer attached was used to make the 12 buttonholes down the front of the shirt. I thought the ease of use for the buttonhole foot on the 8900 was great but on the 9450 it's even easier and simpler to follow!

However, the appliques I applied required the most time and effort. First placement was important. This was accomplished by adding a bit of stitch witchery to the back of the appliques when placing them on the shirt front and back. A good press and then the shirt front and shirt back were taken to the sewing machine for the appliques to be sewn down.

Using the normal plate and foot A, I slowly applied the appliques using a small stitch of 2.6 on my machine. I was grateful for the needle up & down button, as well as, the button that raises and lowers the foot. The fact that the machine is so precise when it stops was vital to getting the appliques on perfectly.

After sewing the appliques on, the rest of the shirt came together easily. As I machine stitched the hem, I was thrilled with the speed of the machine!

So a few more photos of the shirt ~

Finally, making the shirt on the Janome 9450 was easy to accomplish due to the extra feet and sewing plates. I'm looking forward to all of the other garments I'm going to create with this machine.

Note ~

As I stated earlier, this was my first Janome make for the Janome blog.  Thus all of the references to my Janome 9450's capabilities and links to the feet I used to make this garment. This was my first and last make of 2021 in the sewing loft! Everything else that's been shared this year was sewn or completed after this make.

These posts are part of the requirements for being a Janome Maker.  I'm unapologetically happy about repping this machine because I've been sewing on a Janome machine for at least two decades! always more later!


  1. That is so pretty. I really like it and it looks lovely on you.

  2. Love the appliqués and your technique detail tips! And I have to say, you look like you are soaring into 2021 in this shirt. 🦚🦚🦚

  3. I love your plaid peacock shirt! The bias details are so nice, and you included so much helpful information on working with plaids. I will keep Janome in mind.

  4. The appliqué looks so cool! I love it!

  5. What a beautiful shirt! It looks great on, really like the diagonal sleeves and front placket!

  6. Hi Carolyn, it's me, KarenT from the old days... I have not been sewing for some time, lot of life changes, job changes, yada, and I'm just getting the machines and the sewing room back in shape. Starting again, and like you, wondering if I need to make clothes for "the outside", or "just" for in the house. I haven't even looked at sewing sites, or blogs, in a long time, but went to my own to find a photo and found those, like yours, that are still linked and still active. I love the appliqued shirt, and I love that you are still at it. Just wanted to say a hello, and glad you are still here. K

    1. Oh, and love the button pattern weights!

    2. Hey Karen! It's so good to hear from you. Yes, I'm still sewing and will probably be sewing until the very end. I hope you get back to sewing because if I remember correctly your fabric collection included pieces from your mother and grandmother. They need to be used. Good luck with reinvigorating your sewing!

  7. That shirt looks great on you. The fit is spot on
    no wonder you've used it more the once : )

  8. Liz - I love my shirt pattern and will probably use it several more times this year because it works! For inside and outside wear!

  9. Your plaid peacock is perfection! I am wondering where you got that applique, I love to use them in my upcycle projects. All the thoughtful details make this a wonderful shirt adding to the long line of other wonderful shirts we've seen from last year. Keep on being well and happy.

  10. What a great job you did matching your plaid! I was particularly impressed by the matching of the shoulder seams where the sleeves were cut on the bias then matched and stitched to the front and back straight cut pieces. Your imagination is only outdone by your skills!

  11. BEEEuuuutiful. Love me some plaid
    Are those big buttons on your laid out pattern weights?! I have 2 like that. I hung them in my studio>
    Funny I have returned to shirts this year also. Somehow cooler in summer that tees and with a sweater in cooler weather just makes me feel more dressed

  12. Carolyn - I am not much of a plaid person or shirt person, but this shirt is spectacular. The use of the bias on the sleeves, in which you perfectly lined up the plaid as it marched across the bodice into the sleeves is beautiful. Your plaid matching all around the shirt, front and back, really sets off the plaid. The appliques are unexpected and add a special touch. The whole effect is fabulous.

  13. Your backdrop is perfect with the beautiful red shirt. I hope you are feeling as good as your smile suggests. Keep staying safe. Jean

  14. Wow! Your pattern matching of the plaids is wonderful, well worth the time and care it took you. Thank you for sharing such incredible sewing. Take care and stay well, Michelle in Wellington, New Zealand

  15. wow Love that shirt - the careful plaid matching, the different sleeves and the perfect fit. And you look so vibrant in it.

  16. I really love the fit on this shirt. And the bias trim is perfect! I think this one turned out beautifully. g

  17. Great job - really like the bias accent on the sleeves and the great fit- thanks for sharing.

  18. Business in the front, party in the back! I love how each TNT looks so unique! Laquana


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