Hello again. Less than a week to go and I’m here with another instalment of #SuitableIntentions – my handmade outfit for my nephews wedding. This time it’s all about the shirt.
Thank you if you’ve been following along- and if you want a catch-up, check out these posts:
(I was hoping to make a top-coat to match but that will have to wait until after the wedding. Time is pressing on!)
As a change from my go-to shirt pattern, I thought I’d stick with my #simplicitymenswear theme and use another of the patterns from my Simplicity Pattern Haul – enter the ever-cool Norris Danta-Ford in MimiG’s men’s shirt for Simplicity… 8427.
I like the curved (‘Club’) collar especially but was interested to see how the cut would look on me (what with me having a dramatically different body shape to Norris on the pattern cover… in case you hadn’t noticed). So I eyeballed the pattern pieces against my go-to pattern before tracing out.
I measured to a size 38 and there doesn’t seem to be too much ease, so that’s the size I cut out.
To give this shirt a cleaner finish I decided to use French seams and tried to avoid topstitching where I could. First things first, cutting out.
The pattern was clearly printed and easy to trace. I’d decided to use some plain white cotton (I had picked up on a previous trip to C&H fabrics) so marking all the dots and lines was easy with my iron-away pen.
The instructions were really clear too. There’s also a sew along on YouTube which is well worth a look.
I used basting stitches to gather up the curved pocket, then turned the hem in again. Sewing curves isn’t my strongest point – and I’ve had a bit of practice with this suit! – so I’m happy enough with this for now.
This is a deeper yoke than I’ve sewn on previous shirts and it’s much easier to get that burrito roll tucked in…
I love this technique and it is detailed pretty clearly in the instructions. Probably more clearly than this crazy sketch, but here it is anyway…
Cuff Plackets & Sleeves.
I changed the order slightly and went for the cuff plackets next. These are cut in one piece and sewn with the placket-right-side against the shirt-wrong-side then slashed, poked through and folded. I used the recommended interfacing piece on the tower, also I used plenty of spray starch and burned my fingers a few times on the iron, but they came out really neatly..
The sleeves go in flat, before the sides are sewn up. There was only a little easing over the sleeve cap so I just used pins to hold them in place. Here’s how I French Seamed them…
- Pin the sleeve to the shirt, wrong sides together, pin accurately and sew a 5mm seam.
- Carefully trim away any frayed edges (& the notches!) press flat.
- Then press along the shoulder seam with the shirt inside out.
- Sew your seam again with a 10mm seam allowance enclosing the raw edges in the seam.
The sides and sleeve seams were sewn in the same way for a nice clean finish inside.
Collar & Cuffs.
So far the pattern uses 1.5 cm seams. Now it switches to 1cm, so I did the collars and cuffs in tandem (… tricycle, I suppose…?) and sewed the outer collar stand to the right side of the neck edge. And the outer cuffs to the right side of the wrist. Then pressed all the seams up.
Then I made the collar…
Pin the collar to the collar stand. Then, fold & press and the allowances up on the inside edge of the inner-collar-stand and inner-cuffs. Pin the stand over the collar – and the cuffs over the cuffs…
Sew them down, starting and stopping at the junction with the main shirt at both ends. Trim the seams, turn through and press. Then pin from the wrong side, catching the seam allowance underneath.
Sew from the right side ‘in-the-ditch’ – there’s a fancy foot for it, which is one of my favourites.
As I’m not topstitching, a good press & I’m nearly done.
Hem & Buttons
Using lots of starch again on the hem, I pressed up 1cm, then another before stitching it in place. The curve is a little bit sharp over the hip but it’s not too tricky to get it to lay smooth.
I had the buttonholes done at DMButtons (more on that later) and trusted my faithful Janome to attach the buttons.
I couldn’t be happier with the finished shirt, the fit is great, the collar does up nicely, the sleeves are a good length and width. I even love the little pleat at the back (which I’ve not been such a fan of in the past). So all in all, I think I might have found my new-favourite-shirt-pattern!
MrA loved it so much he wanted the same pattern for his shirt (which I hadn’t actually factored into my #suitableintentions time frame!). But I wasn’t going to say no!
He chose this beautiful butterfly print from C&H Fabrics and asked for ‘Butterfly Sleeves’ and under collar, so that he could look smart in his suit at the church, then, when the tie & jacket come off, the party can get started!
I posted a picture on Instagram of the collar and had lots of lovely comments admiring the hidden detail… well, that detail isn’t quite as hidden as you’d thought…!
Mine looks pretty plain by comparison…!
So (apart from the top coat) I’m almost there! The next post will cover my trip to DMButtons and a few last minute surprises, I should have the whole look together. Then, I suppose I’ll finish up after the wedding with a round-up once I’ve got some ‘action’ shots.
The wedding is March 16th so there’s not too-long to wait!
Notes to self;
- Take that pocket off my shirt… do it again or take it off.
- Don’t make the mistake of slowing down as I approach the finish line!