A New Shirt for Michael

August 20, 2017   /   byPeter Lappin  / Categories :  Feeds

Friends, for me shirtmaking never gets old -- I love it!

Last week I sewed a shirt for Michael out of some fabric he chose at Mood a few weeks ago.  It's a beautiful cotton ribbon print, not your run-of-the-mill shirting.  Someone on Instagram said it was a Liberty of London design but I haven't been able to substantiate her claim. (Anybody know?)  It certainly wasn't sold as Liberty nor was it priced as Liberty.  Here in NYC,  Liberty for London Tana Lawn sells for more than $35 per yard. 

I wanted to add a contrasting inside collar and cuffs but I wasn't sure what fabric to use for my contrast.  I actually went to the Salvation Army in search of an old shirt I could cut up!



In the end, I used a remnant from my stash, a creamy yellow polished cotton.  It's not a perfect match to the pale yellow in the ribbon print but close enough.   A solid provides a resting place for the eyes when a fabric print is as busy as this one is.




I made Michael's shirt with a vintage men's shirt pattern, Butterick 5579 in a Size 38-40.  I often am asked why I prefer vintage men's shirt patterns and it's basically because they're easy to find on Etsy and eBay, are generally very cheap to purchase, usually single-sized, and are very well drafted.  They also tend to have much less wearing ease than many contemporary shirt patterns -- at least the ones that were in print when I started sewing in 2009.  (An exception is Vogue 8889, which is quite fitted.)


I made just a few changes to the pattern.  For some reason the sleeve calls for a continuous lap placket instead of the standard one, so I changed it.  You usually see continuous lap plackets on women's blouses but they do turn up in men's shirt patterns from time to time.


The pattern is drafted with a straight hem but I wanted a slightly shaped one (good for tucking in but still nice-looking worn out).  Finally, I lengthened the sleeve roughly an inch.

Here's a little sewing tip.  When you make your collar, before turning right sides-out, make sure you trim as close as you can to the corners.  You want to remove seam allowance fabric that, when the collar is turned, won't have anywhere to go and will create lumps.  I hope that makes sense!


I shape the corner with a bamboo point turner but if I need to sharpen the point more, I take a straight pin to the corner and gently -- GENTLY -- pull out a bit of the point fabric (without breaking the seam open of course).   This method works great -- I learned it from my tailoring professor at FIT -- but it takes some practice.


I really like the shirt on Michael: the soft pastel colors flatter him.


There are a lot more photos from our shirt shoot over on the Mood Sewing Network, if you care to take a look.

One of these moons I need to do another men's shirt sew-along but I'm not sure when that will be.  You'll find many tips on my original sew-along (which you can link to over on the right side of the blog) as well as in the archives under "Fashion Institute Classes."  I learned a lot about shirt making when I took a class at FIT called Menswear Sewing.  The info is all there but you might have to read a few extra blog posts to find it.


Some of you may also be interested to know that I sewed this on my Janome Hello Kitty machine.  It does a very solid job.


 And that's it.

Have a great day, everybody!

My mom at our local greenmarket yesterday.  She's well and still cooking up a storm!

This is a syndicated post. Please visit the original author at male pattern boldness

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