For the longest time, I’ve been afraid of sewing shirts. I mean, plackets, cuffs, yokes, collars, collar-stands, and a lot of flat-felled seams all in one garment? Well, with a little time and patience, it turned out to not be so intimidating after all.
It is still a nitpicky thing to make, and perhaps more than with most garments, it looks the best with extreme precision both in the pattern, and in the sewing. I don’t mind being accurate in sewing – in fact, there are few things I enjoy more than perfectly topstitched seams (I can’t live without my magic sewing foot that makes that kind a stitching super easy). The flat-felled seams also came out beautifully, and I am really quite happy at how tidy the seams on the shirt looks.
The pattern I used was the Jacob shirt, from Burdastyle. It’s nice to have a basic shirt pattern to work with, but I’ll be making some alterations to the pattern itself. The only person I plan to sew shirts for is this guy, so after this first prototype, why not alter the pattern to fit him to perfection?
This next paragraph will get a little pattern-making-geekey, so if you are into that, here you are! If not, go ahead and skip to the pretty picture! 😉
My issues with the pattern:
- It’s a bit big. I cut out the smallest size, and it’s still quite roomy. The shoulders and collar seems to be placed alright, so I can’t just cut out a chunk out of the pattern from the shoulder area. I think the excess will come partly from the front sides (perhaps cutting out a wedge-shape?), narrowing the shoulder ever so slightly, and partly from the sides, which will mean I’ll narrow the sleeves a bit as well to make it all line up.
- there are actually several pattern-pieces that don’t match up in length. I don’t see any reason to have 1+ inch of ease for the sleeves in a shirt-style like this, so I’ll take that out. I think there were a couple of other small discrepancies in lengths of pattern-pieces, which there is no reason for, so I plan to go over and fix them. It should make the next shirt easier to sew together, with no need to ease or gather or pull!
- The sleeve-vent is just a slit, with a bias-binding style finishing. I want to add a more solid and proper vent, the kind that has the little top-stitched triangle at the top.
I think there is something exciting about sewing a garment that is such a wardrobe staple. Even more exciting is the prospect of making shirts that can pass as store-bought! That, to me, is the ultimate compliment. Not that the garment looks like it could have been bought anywhere, but that it is sewn and finished in a way that just looks professional.