Sunday 22 May 2016

Shirt Success

Yeah - I finally managed to make a shirt I'm happy with.

I have made only a few shirts. I've never used a pattern - each one has been a rub off of a commercial shirt. I have had a few problems with the fit and styling. One of the biggest problems was making the collar and cuffs firm enough.

So this was the shirt I made for John for his birthday. I still think there are a couple of issues, but its a big improvement on the last one.

A couple of years ago I traced a shirt that fitted him well and used it to make my pattern. It was not too bad, but the collar was a bit tight and the length a little bit short. I fixed these issues for the next version, but I still hadn't sorted out the floppy collar. which was not aided by the soft fabric.

This time I decided to sort out the collar and cuffs and I also included a separate button placket, where the previous versions had a simple folded over CF edge.

I did quite a bit of reading about collar construction techniques and how it should be interfaced. I used a combination of techniques, but I do find the Grainline Archer sewalong really helpful generally for sewing shirts. However I didn't use this technique this time. I made the collar and pressed it into shape, attached the stand and then added the collar to the stand.

To ensure the correct firmness and crisp finish I actually used a double layer of interfacing. I used a medium firm iron on and this seemed to work really well.

The seams were faux flat felled - next time I would like to try doing a proper flat felled seam. The hem was a rolled hem, but done without a rolled hem foot.

My daughter chose the buttons and I initially though they were a little bit too big. I do think they work though, but next time I'd go a bit smaller.

I know I've done a good job when John asks me if I'd made it! He was impressed with the finish and initially though it was a RTW shirt. NO CHANCE!


  1. This is fab, I love the big contrast buttons, they really make it look so modern. Tell your model to look a bit happier about it though won't you!!!

  2. Wow, Claire. Made from scratch without a pattern - that's very impressive. Looks great with the red buttons. John doesn't look overly impressed, although that's perhaps more to do with the photo shoot rather than the shirt... LOL!!!


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