April 15, 2014

The shirt

And this is the shirt I made for E.

As you can see, he immediately felt comfortable in it.
I used my usual sloper: the 'tailored shirt block' from Winifred Aldrich's Metric Pattern Cutting for Menswear.

And here you can see the shirt properly. It's very simple: no pockets, short sleeves and a camp collar. I think I've told this before, but E has a fairly short neck and really doesn't like tight, high collars. So, when I started sewing for him, I tried to find a solution. Camp collars are where that ended up.
The fabric is the same white and black cotton plaid I used for his robe last year. For this shirt, I made the front facings and the under collar in thin black cotton and stitched everything in black. 
Of course, I made an effort to match the plaid, at least at the horizontal lines in the body. I made it work pretty well.

And here's a little detail I didn't show in my previous post: how to cut the back yoke.
I can't take any credit for this neat little trick. It's from David Page Coffin's Shirtmaking.
The idea is simple: When you're wearing a shirt, people are going to pay more attention to its fit and design from the front than from the back. If you choose a fabric with stripes or checks and you cut the back yoke on the fold (as usual in most patterns), you'll end up with angled, broken lines at the front edge of the yoke. Which is where people will see them. Quite often, you'll also get some odd line action at the back because most shirt yokes are slightly curved at the bottom.
So, instead, you cut the yoke in two pieces and aline each front edge with the lines in the fabric. Of course, this will result in a center back seam and a slight 'A' shape at the back but I think that's a small price to pay for the nice look at the front. Certainly with E's hairstyle.
If the fabric you are using changes shape easily when use off grain, it's important to make a double yoke with the inside cut on the fold. In this fabric, that wasn't needed.
And I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but I went one step further yet and also cut the front edges of the collar along the stripes of the plaid.

And of course, I used the two tricks I showed you in the previous post, to get a nice finish at those hems.


  1. How difficult was the sloper to make using this pattern book? I've been on a plaid making kick and would like to have a personalized sloper. I don't use pattern directions for shirts, because I also am a David Coffin fan. Best shirtmaking advice ever!

  2. A very nice shirt, and well done on the plaid matching :)

  3. Perfect matching, perfect fit, perfect shirt.

  4. What a lovely shirt. The fabric is great and the pattern matching is fantastic.