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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Men's shirts

In between other things the last week I managed to get some overdue shirt making done.

I have a thing going with the men around here that for birthdays and events if they pick out a fun fabric from Hawthorne Threads (best service anywhere) I will make up a shirt to specs.

Here is the one I made for my son in NYC including a picture I received from him this morning on him. Yes I know this is out of the package and needs an iron but my boys all went out into the world with good shirt ironing skills - you know I still can't get over what they pay other people to do for them in New York City, but everything you can you should know how to do yourself.

At least that's my world view.

Back to the shirt:

This was the pattern I used, my standard for this guy, although I am going to flatten the sleeve cap a bit next time to make it easier to set in, more shirt like and less blouse like:

I also made a shirt for my husband the family dinner cook, with a fabric pattern that suits him for obvious reasons:

I used a different pattern for him just to try it out, this one from Kwik Sew that as expected fit together very painlessly:

A couple of things about this pattern. First it is not as fitted as the photo might imply. Think more of the business shirts men where in the southern US, a looser fit, what some call a traditional fit as opposed to tapered.

That is exactly what is popular around here and I will be definitely be making this one again in some other tasteful fabric.

When I do though I will add to the seam allowances. This shirt is drafted with 1/4" s.a. which makes putting in the collar so much easier of course, but I really like to do more with the seams in a shirt than a serge and stitch - my only option here. Mostly I do french seams and top-stitch them down (looks the same as a flat felled but much easier) and I wish I had had the option to do that here.


Colleen said...

I really appreciate the hints on shirt making, and I'm feeling chastised about the reference to seam allowance. At Christmas I made the first pattern you show in a flannel with a contrasting plaid for the collar cuffs and back bodice. I dove right in and didn't read through the instructions to find out the seam allowance was less than the expected 5/8". Fortunately, my skinny son could do with a little less fabric but of course the pieces didn't fit in some places so I faced a little frustration until I figured out what I did wrong. I also like to have seam finishes that take a little more fabric. Lesson learned.

Anonymous said...

I think the loose fit has more to do with age than geography. All the young men I know here in the southern part of the US I live in prefer a more tailored fit.

annie said...

Those shirts are very professional. No wonder your men want shirts for their birthdays. And the fabric is really great.

Cathie said...

LOVE the shirts! Also, a bit late on 2 things. We saw you in Nancy Z.'s 501 Hints book. Model-worthy in your skirt. And, yes, the sleeve board is wonderful. I use to quickly press, on my kitchen counter. Marcy Tilton recommends for T sewing. Cathie, in Quebec.

Nana said...

The shirts are very professional looking. Thanks for the hints on the patterns used.

patsijean said...

Love the shirts! Kwik Sew men's patterns are very good and well drafted. I have had excellent results with #2935, a casual, loose fitting, convertible collar shirt which is perfect for interesting pattern designs. Next up with that pattern is a father/son/grandson series in a Dr. Who themed fabric. I've also had excellent results with Kwik Sew #3422, a little slimmer than #2935, which I've used for several years, long sleeved with convertible collar. I make two each February for the young man who runs a convention called ConCave Kentucky, a relaxicon (no programming just lots of visiting, parties, art show, vendors, resting, napping, etc) in appropriately themed fabrics. Hopefully you can see this Facebook photo.

Unknown said...

Your shirts always look perfect and these two are no exception. Your NYC son's shirt looks like a designer shirt and your husbands shirt is way fun!!!!

Sewing Princess said...

I like your attitude...everything you can you should know how to do yourself...that´s my take on life too!
Your shirts are remarkable. I made a few for myself and want to venture in making one for my husband. Will use one of his old shirts to rub-off the pattern. Using french seams instead of flat felled technique is something I never thought of...thanks for the tip!

SuzieB said...

Catching up here - Love the men's shirts, Daisy is so cute, & your rehearsal dinner outfit is beautiful! I like that color on you, too. From awhile back - great tip on changing the sewing machine needle before beginning buttonholes. Hope you show us photos of the raised vegetable beds when they are planted. I have a small one, which is about done for now due to the heat, but it sounds like you guys are growing a serious garden.