Hello Sewists,

I’ve made another shirt! Burda 6931. This pattern has a simplified cuff placket, with only the tower for the outside of the opening. It’s pretty foolproof, although you have to watch your fingers when pressing! But before I get into how I do it, let’s have a little chat first…!

As its now half way through June, you may have realised I didn’t get in to Me Made May this year, but some of the spirit must have rubbed off as I’m really having fun digging through my wardrobe at the moment. I’m finding things I made when I started sewing (… in 2014 – it’s not a long history – or a big wardrobe, for that matter!) and really enjoying the fit of some of my early makes.

These trousers are from the GBSB book Sew Your Own Wardrobe – it was the first trouser pattern I ever used… I must have made at least 4 or 5 pairs. I like the way the leg is shaped, not skinny, not wide, just classic. And this pair was one of my first. Made during evenings after work (something they share with the shirt I just finished!) just in time to go to a wedding in Romania, there’s a waistcoat to match too.

The old and the new – Trousers and shirt

Back then, not wanting to invest too much in what I thought would be a disaster, the fabric is a £1.50 a metre polyester ‘wool’ from Dave The Drapers in the Shepherds Bush Market. Dave’s has been there forever, they have a great range of fabrics, as well as some at a very reasonable price – perfect for when you’re starting out or for ‘wearable-muslins’ (if that’s not an oxymoron?) when the risk of screwing it right-up is at its highest!

Luckily though, they turned out really well. I was surprised when I dug them out of the back of the wardrobe, to see that I had prick-stitched the fly by hand; and I remembered that when I made them I didn’t have any matching thread (although you could describe the fabric as green, grey or brown, none of my threads in those colours would blend!) so I had to think on my feet! … maybe that’s where my initial dread of handsewing came from…? In fact, I’m so pleased with these trousers that I’m worried that I’m getting worse with experience!!

Early trousers!

Now On To The Shirt!

The shirt however is a much newer edition, although still a blast from the ‘past’ (… Burda 6931 was the first ‘proper’ shirt pattern I ever made). For my first year or so of sewing, it was the only shirt pattern I had!

They were pretty-much all work shirts, they have been worn to death and splattered with hair colour and vanished almost without a trace from my wardrobe! I’ve never forgotten how well it fit me though, so thought I’d dig the pattern out to make another.

I’d made plenty of adaptations & options to the pattern; tweaked the collar & sleeves, added a yoke and a t-shirt version… I used it so much I’d traced all the options on to card – so when I came to cutting out, I drew around the card with a Frixion pen, removed the card, pinned the fabric and cut it out. It sounds silly, but as I usually cut around pinned-tissue patterns, this was a bit of a novelty for me!

Pattern matching the pocket

Fabric Choice

I bought this fabric from LikeSewAmazing (at the same time I got MrA’s Strongman jersey) it’s such a soft cotton, it feels almost brushed. I’ve literally worn and washed and worn and washed it since it’s been made! The pattern is little blue Scotty dogs with red collars, it has the look and feel of those expensive shirts in the nice shops (… or at least, that’s what I imagine, not having been in a clothing shop for over 4 years – how is it that I’ve always hated clothes shopping but love fabric shopping?!)

The pattern got cut out one morning. After a few busy days (…the freelancing is going well, thank you!) I sewed up the front, yoke & back one evening, that’s the photo above. I didn’t take many photos as I’ve written (extensively!) on shirts before and don’t want to bore you, but if you’re interested, here’s a few blog links:

5 Essential Shirtmaking Techniques.

How to sew the ‘Half-Tower’ Placket.

The placket goes right side down on the inside of the shirt. Right side to wrong side, feels weird… it should also be positioned on the side of the opening with the most fabric

  • Stitch the placket at 5mm & snip the opening.
  • On the other side, make a really narrow fold, tapering to a point at the top. Press it and fold again – you don’t want the gap any wider than 1cm. Sew it down.
Narrow double turned hem on the underside placket
  • Next, I turn the placket through and press it from the right side, with the placket covering the opening and the seams toward the placket.
  • Fold in the seam allowance and fold the placket over to cover its stitching line. Shape the point by folding over the top corners.
Fold fold fold fold fold!
  • Press it all in place. Pin it – or I use a wash away glue stick – and edgestitch it in place.

Sew across the placket first, heading towards the open side. Then up and over the point of the placket, finishing up with the long side down to the wrist.

As this doesn’t give you the option for a contrast under-placket, I made a contrast upper-placket instead. The check fabric is from Crescent Trading And is left over from this shirt (which is one of my favourites – but don’t seem to have blogged?!)

Another checked shirt!
  • And it should finish up looking something like this…
The finished placket

Bonus Technique: ‘Easestitch-Plus’

The only other construction shot I took was of the sleeve heads after I’d easestitched them… I’ve gone on about this technique numerous times, but it really is great for getting a nice sleeve shape.


In Summary:

Just as I expected, I’m really happy with the fit of the finished shirt, and the fabric feels amazing. I’ve worn it loads too… to the swanky party I made it for, casual with rolled up linen trousers, out in the park and even when I met up with Blogger & Instagrammer, sewist extraordinare Sue Stoney for an afternoon of fabric shopping, chatting, coffee & chips! It’s definitely a welcome and necessary addition to my wadrobe.

… and I wore it to the pub last sunday!

It’s funny when you think how many different shirt patterns I’ve made, and after all that time I’ve ended up full-circle back to the one I started with! I’m still yet to make the Thread Theory Fairfield shirt, but now I’ve got my good-fit going, maybe I’ll make it for MrA.

Until next time,

Happy sewing!

Notes to self;

  • Stop mucking about, stick to the pattern that fits!
  • Make a couple more variations, you know you need them.