The Yellow Shirt (Breakfast Club Wardrobe, the Final Chapter)

My yellow summer shirt is finally complete. Finished in late October, after a series of setbacks, I wear it as the beneficiary of still-warm weather in San Francisco.

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Some Construction Notes

For most projects, including dress shirts, I generally use Crayola Washable Fabric markers for fabric marking.  I got this idea from’s 1001 Hints and Tips book, and they’ve generally worked well for me.

One thing I’ve started doing when stitching shirt pockets, is to outline the pocket with the Crayola marker. I’ve found I lose track of where the pocket edge is otherwise, so the marker line keeps me “on-edge”, so to speak.



In the photo, you can also see the alignment marks for the buttonholes and a purple dot in the center of each buttonhole where I poked through for button placement on the other placket.

I’ve had a very good history with the washable markers; they come right out of cotton fabrics in the wash, and heat (such as an iron) doesn’t seem to set a stain.  Except for this time.

I had to run the shirt through the laundry twice to get the markers out, and this time there’s a mark that doesn’t seem to want to come out, right where the right collar edge meets the collar stand.  You can see it as a greenish tinge in the photo below.



I’ve soaked it overnight, which hasn’t seemed to help, but I haven’t given up yet.  I’m guessing that perhaps the glue in the fusible interfacing has taken on the dye when heat was applied.  Or else maybe the fabric markers were sitting on the shirt for too long (over a month, in this case).  It’s not super-noticeable, but it is a bit irritating.

Next Time

To keep this project from drawing on forever, I’m declaring partial victory with the completion of the three shirts and moving on.

I’m currently contemplating a holiday sewing project; perhaps if I start now I can finish by next July!



Sewing Machine Pr0n: The Juki F600

After a busy work week, and a work emergency on the weekend, I finally managed to unbox my new Juki and get acquainted with its features.

I also finally finished my yellow shirt, which seemingly had every imaginable obstacle trying to keep me from completing it – including the lack of a button sewing foot as a standard accessory with the F600.  It has an elaborate, electronic buttonhole foot (see the video below) but no way to attach a button out of the box.  So I used my Brother to do the button attachment – one of the things it’s still capable of doing.

The shirt will feature in a future article.  For now, I’ve shot some videos of my favorite features of  the F600, starting with an unboxing video. Enjoy.

All of the videos were shot with the GoPro HERO4 action camera, and the GoPro 3-Way mount, and were (lightly) edited in GoPro Studio software.  It turns out an extreme sports action camera works well for shooting sewing videos.


People can have unboxing videos for their iPads and smartwatches, so why not an unboxing video for a sewing machine?  Why not, indeed.

Straight Stitches, Zigzag and the Knee Lift

Basic sewing, and some of the machine controls.

The Bobbin Winder

Wherein I demonstrate, and troubleshoot, the bobbin winder feature. After shooting this video, I learned the machine does come with a smaller thread spool cap, so I needn’t have borrowed the cap from my Brother machine.

The Wide Table Accessory

Which is even bigger than the one I have for my Brother. One thing I failed to mention in the video is that the table doesn’t have any sort of latch mechanism to physically attach the table to the machine – it just fits next to it on your work surface.


I start working on the buttonholes I couldn’t complete with my old machine. The buttonhole foot on this machine is pretty special. I didn’t even demonstrate the 16 different buttonhole styles the machine supports, including a 2-step manual buttonhole I haven’t figured out how to do yet.

Next Time

Let’s take this bad boy out for a spin. And I’ll show you the yellow summer shirt.