Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Real Man's Shirt

I love making shirts.

I even have a shirts tab on this blog, though I've not updated it in a while. I find all the details fascinating from the button plackets on the sleeves to the double row of top-stitching on the cuff. The latter is especially fun since the double row shows on the outside, but not the inside!

I guess I qualify as a sewing nerd when it comes to shirts.

Though I've made many a shirt for myself and a few for the grandboys, I had never made a regular man's shirt until last month. My guy wanted a shirt to match one the 2 year old grandson wears. We all looked high and low for a similar shirt with no luck. The obvious solution was for me to make one for each of them.

Now I knew DH would discourage me from this project, so I kept it under wraps until Christmas. This was both good and bad. The down side to such a surprise is that I could not take his measurements. The next best thing was to use one of his many existing RTW shirts. The man loves shirts and has more than a few.

Men's patterns are not plentiful so that was a challenge too. I wanted a shirt pattern with ALL of the conventional men's details. Vogue 9220 comes pretty darned close. It has the button plackets on the sleeves and the instructions are quite clear. It has a yoke and forward shoulders. It comes in three views - standard, slim fit and formal wear.

The sizing is not conventional for men's shirts from RTW. I was really hoping it would be sized by neck size and sleeve length like DH's shirts. But I guess it makes sense that the sizes are listed by chest size, as that is a good place to start fitting.

Comparing his RTW shirt with the pattern tissue, I chose size 40, standard fit. Sleeve length was easy to adjust. The neck size seemed about right.

The fabric is a lovely cotton shirting from Gail K. With a plaid or stripe, I like cutting the top yoke in two pieces with a center back seam. This allows me to create a solid line where the yoke joins each front. It also creates a chevron in the back.

Plaids are such fun, especially on a man's shirt, because there are great places for bias.

The little guy's shirt was made with an OOP Ottobre pattern.

It was child's play compared to my guy's shirt. Some of the conventional details were missing from the pattern including the yoke and the sleeve placket. I think that's OK for a  two-year-old.

In the end my guy's shirt is too tight and the little guy's shirt is a bit large. But they were sweet to pose for the picture anyway.

By the time I remake DH's shirt, the little guy will have grown into his. Fingers crossed.


  1. How sweet that the big guy wanted a shirt like the little guy. Too bad it doesn't fit but that just means you get to nerd out some more with another make. I love making mens shirts as well.