A shirt for the man

shirt_01This selfless sewing thing, it really not that easy when sewing time is so limited and most of the self-less sewing time is used up for baby presents. Still a shirt for my boyfriend had been on my list for ages. He’s been so supportive of my sewing adventures (he takes all the pictures for my blog) and the only thing that I ever sewed for him was a wonky, oversized T-shirt.

After having dabbled in shirt-making (the birthday shirt for my brother and blouses for myself) I knew that I wanted to make him a shirt next. At one of the Minerva Crafts Sales I got the Burda Style 6874 men’s shirt pattern, which looked like a good basic shirt that could work for proper work shirts as well as something more casual. While I really liked the Colette Negroni shirt, as an introduction to men’s shirts, I wanted something less retro and this fit the bill perfectly. When I was looking for a suitable fabric I came across this blue and black double-gauze plaid from Ditto Fabrics (unfortunately I don’t think they sell it anymore), which I first saw on Flossie Teacakes blog, made up into a beautiful shirt. It’s not the most usual fabric for a shirt, but I liked the idea of using both sides of the fabric with the larger and the smaller check.

After discussing the design options with my boyfriend, we decided to go for subtle contrasts, using the smaller check for the collar stand, the lower collar piece, the lower button band, the sleeve plackets and the gussets. We also decided on one invisible front pocket and a single box pleat in the back.

Having never sewn a shirt for him before, I checked his measurements against the chart and then the pattern pieces against one of his shirts. Amazingly I didn’t have to make any adjustments, except for shortening the hem by maybe 3 centimetres.

The construction itself was quite straightforward. The double-gauze made it a little bit difficult to sew super-accurately but with the texture of the fabric, slightly wonky seams are not noticeable anyways. The only changes I made to the construction, compared to the pattern, were to use the Negroni Shirt sleeve placket and fold the lower button band over instead of under, to show the back side of the fabric. For the collar, I used the Granville shirt instructions (though I am not convinced by the neatness of this method, I still might have to try other methods to find the ideal one). I also finished all the seams with flat-felled seams for a neat and sturdy finish. Again I realised how much I enjoy sewing technical details. Shirt-making is so much fun and sleeve plackets might actually be my favourite thing to sew.

The fit of the shirt is actually pretty good, considering that this is the first shirt I made for him. Next time I will shorten the sleeves a smidge and maybe bring the collar in slightly as the gap in the middle seems quite wide.

Overall, I absolutely love this shirt on him! It’s a lovely casual shirt which, thanks to the contrasting details, is not too boring. It was also amazing to have him in front of the camera for a change. Doesn’t he make a dapper model? In real life he also does smile a little bit more, we took these pictures just on a very cold and gloomy day. Let’s see how well this shirt will integrate in my boyfriend’s minimalist wardrobe. Maybe there will be some more of these shirts in the future.

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