Somewhere last week, I said I was off to make a shirt for my boyfriend. And after that, I posted about other things, like making a watteau pleat dress. However, I didn't forget about him, or put my own sewing first. Not this time, at least. He had a job interview coming up (we will now the result early next week, so fingers crossed...) and I thought he could use a new shirt for that. I almost finished it (didn't have buttons yet) before starting on the dress, and he wore it yesterday.
The picture (which isn't very nice, my apologies for that) shows the new shirt at the front, and behind it, its family. This shirt is the seventh one I've made using a shirt block I've drafted for him. I tend to be a bit limited in my fabric choices as he prefers dark colours and good men's fabrics are hard to find. However, on each version, I change details in the styling, like pockets, plackets and topstitching. My boyfriend hasn't bought a single RTW shirt since he can have these.
I originally drafted this pattern using Winifred Aldrich's metric pattern cutting for menswear. I would really recommend this book to any seamstress who enjoys making things for the man/men in her life, and can sew without instructions.
The book provides you, among many other things, with no less than four different shirt blocks, as well as information on how to draft collars, plackets and pockets.
The block I settled for after trying all, is the tailored shirt block. I consider it best suited for E.'s athletic shape. The beauty of using a personalized block is in the fact that you'll never have to deal with fitting issues again. On every commercial pattern, I would have to take one size for chest circumference, and another one, up to three sizes larger, for the neckline (we like to say he's got a bull's neck).
A men's shirt is a simple shape which is supposed to be loosely fitted, and drafting it, with the right help, is fairly easy as a result of that. Pattern making may not be for everyone, but you can hardly go wrong with this.