Many years ago my husband introduced me to a friend who could barely read Hebrew and yet he studied Talmud pretty seriously with his rabbi. My experiences in the world of sewing are pretty comparable. I have some skills that most people would think of as being on the advanced side -- I draft clothing, I know lots of high level embellishment skills.

On the other hand. there are lots of skills that any one who took an old fashioned sewing class in high school would have learned  that I have never attempted (and completely terrify me).

The lopsided nature of my sewing skills is what is putting this kittle together so difficult for me.  I make all nearly all of my clothing, but I have never made a shirt collar. I have never made a button stand. I have never made a buttonhole.

The collar has been a big worry.  I have assigned puzzling it out to a corner of my brain and the problem has been simmering away. Today I attacked it.

The collar does not have a separate stand or band. It is a one piece collar. It is made out of three layers of fabric for stability.

I trimmed the collar with text covered ribbon. My commercial kittle had lace edging and the underside of the collar was junky with untrimmed fabric (feh!). I cut the collar at the stitching line and then bound the edge with gros-grain ribbon. I then added the lace to the underside of the collar.

The collar points look pretty even. The collar has enough internal structure to have body and feel rich.

Most commercial kittles are trimmed with lace.  I find it fascinating that a garment that is so typically male is lace trimmed. This lace is Belgian. I like how modern and manly it looks.

My next big worry is the button stand. Many men's shirts have a facing, creating two ( or more) layers of fabric to support  the buttons. The button holes are also made on a strip of fabric that is a few layers thick. The additional fabric keeps the buttons and the buttonholes from buckling under the weight  of the buttons and looks wavy or droopy.

I had found a bag of these great crystal embellished silver colored buttons at Paron. the nice folks at Paron just tossed them in for free.  I think they are perfect. This button has been buttoned through a hand worked button hole. It was my second.  It is not perfect, but not bad.

I think I now understand how to work a buttonhole and how big to cut the button hole.  I have been making eyelets for  tallitot  for years, a buttonhole is the same as an eyelet, only rectangular.

There is still lots of work to do, but I no longer feel like I am drowning.


  1. You are doing well! You are accomplished with trims, used to corners, and loads of other things. So, like the eyelets/buttonhole thing. It is just applying what you know in a different way.
    I think probably what is giving you the concern is that you have one example to look at. You seem to do better at going for it when you have a range of images in your head and then you can do your 'vaguely this' method, like your cooking, and come up with something that is from you and is special. and with the various trims, your lettering on them, and your unplanned for buttons, I think it is becoming you. Just believe it! ;-)
    Hugs, Sandy

  2. The collar came out great! it's all starting to come together now. I can see you begin to relax.

  3. Sandy, thanks for your wise advice. I think am outsourcing the will just make my life easier.Luckily the garment district is still in the garment making business.


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