The Sewing Place

Men's shirts


Men's shirts
« on: September 15, 2020, 18:39:46 PM »
I decided to make my very fussy husband some shirts.  Armed with David Coffin's excellent book and my new weapon of choice (newly acquired and serviced Singer 201K 1954 model - great year by the way!) I started by making a toile using Burda 6874.  Then I made a linen long sleeve with a "grandad" collar in a white linen.  I hoped to practice techniques before I started the real thing.  The linen was lovely to work with and I was pleased with the results.  I used the patterns for a tower placket and a collar band from David Coffin's book but otherwise used the pattern straight out of the packet.  My husband is a cycling nut and, like many cyclists is very slim and a standard size in ready to wear.
This fabric from Spoonflower with a nod to the Tour de France had his name on it but was quite expensive and I was terrified of the pattern matching.  In the end I matched the pocket and the button placket with the right front.  With hindsight I should have cut the buttonhole band as a separate piece and then I might have been able to match both fronts and the buttonhole band.
I learnt a lot  by making this, using glue pen on the sleeve fell seam and on the collar, using a buttonhole chisel for the first time.  But all credit goes to my lovely old Singer, what a star for topstitching!
The only thing I am not happy about is the fit of the shoulders.  Can anyone help?  I suspect the culprit is sloping shoulders and/or a forward shoulder so should I alter the bodice fronts and back rather than the yoke as David Coffin suggests?


Re: Men's shirts
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2020, 18:45:48 PM »
Those shirts look lovely. There is something very satisfying about making a nicely tailored shirt.

Well done.


Re: Men's shirts
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2020, 19:25:25 PM »
That's a really nice shirt and fab fabric, so unusual 👍.


Re: Men's shirts
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2020, 20:17:08 PM »
Beautiful shirts for you husband. I make western shirts for my husband as he likes them long in the body and a bit larger in the cuffs. He also wants shirts with 2 pockets. The shirt pattern I use I bought way back in 2007-08 so it is discontinued.

Sloping shoulders -- Ron Collins (designs for Vogue patterns) helped me. I add to the shoulder seam on the back and take it away from the front one. So just that part of the shirt out of a remnant to try it out. I'm sure if you do some pinching of fabric you'll get close as to how much you need to add to the back and subtract from the front. Hope this helps.

Melly Sews talks about different types of shoulder adjustments. The one I did is a forward shoulder adjustment. I typed in shoulder adjustment for patterns and got lots of hits.

Hope this helps.
Stash Busting 2020
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Re: Men's shirts
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2020, 20:48:51 PM »
Lovely work! My OH gets a shirt for his birthday and, if he's really lucky, one for Christmas. I'd hate him to take them for granted!
I have sloping shoulders and usually do and adjustment. The main part is re-drawing the armhole ince you've dropped the shoulder to keep the armscye the same (more complicated than it sounds).
If you get peaks of fabric radiating out from the base of the armhole, it's probably sloping shoulders. Dropping the shoulder and then the armscye will fix this.


Re: Men's shirts
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2020, 21:26:09 PM »
Lovely work on your shirt.
The shoulders look okay to me but something is telling you to do something about it and you are you.
Agree about Singer 201s...they are hard to beat. ( straight stitch)
I cannot help but would go for what David Coffin writes.
I also have his book and it is excellent.
I will never again wear a dress shirt so I stick to casual old time granpa shirts.
For the ladies that are unaware....the book also includes ladies shirt fittings!!!


Re: Men's shirts
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2020, 22:37:29 PM »
I would imagine that cyclists are prone to rounded backs, looking at the way they are on the bike. Look at the armhole seam at the back.  Those shirts definitely look as good, or better, than bought ones already.
(if you make too many adjustments, they get more and more picky - ask anyone here!)
Yarn down:  150g
Fabric down:  0m


Re: Men's shirts
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2020, 07:31:15 AM »
My go to shirt pattern (tweaked to fit DH) has a yoke and so no shoulder seams.  The yoke seams sit a little way down the fronts.  It is easy to tweak these for a good fit.
DH has sloping shoulders and a very rounded back.
Life's too short for ironing.


Re: Men's shirts
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2020, 08:20:30 AM »
The 'grand dad' shirt is beautifully sewn.


Re: Men's shirts
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2020, 20:06:56 PM »
(if you make too many adjustments, they get more and more picky - ask anyone here!)
Ain't that the truth @toileandtrouble !  I have spent the last few years focussing on fit for myself.  So by the time I've done a narrow back adjustment, high round back, sway back, forward shoulder, narrow shoulder, FBA, shorten waist, shorten length, shorten sleeve, add to waist I'm really fed up - takes ages on a commercial pattern.  The result is usually good but still I'm picking holes.  Don't think I want to go down that road with hubby's shirts. :facepalm:


Re: Men's shirts
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2020, 21:31:34 PM »
Thank god for a husband who favours a relaxed fit :D


Re: Men's shirts
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2021, 17:38:11 PM »
Found this old thread about shirts.  I am about to embark on a brushed cotton shirt for Better Half.  I am using McCalls 2447, which I have used a bunch of times so I know it works for him. 

Curious if other folks are also sewing shirts - men's shirts, women's shirts, kids' shirts?


Re: Men's shirts
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2021, 18:14:56 PM »
I have aspirations to sew my own shirts. The stuff I see in Asda etc is usually loud and obnoxious. I feel too old for t-shirts these days.
I actually bought one (a shirt) last week. First time in...........years.
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Re: Men's shirts
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2021, 18:54:39 PM »
@Bill - If you are looking for a pattern to get started, I found Better Half likes the fit (loose) of the McCalls 2447 - I have made it a gazillon times .  Here are five makes that I did for a SWAP for Better Half.

SWAP for Better Half 1- Shirts

It's not the easiest even though the pattern doesn't include flat felled seams in the instructions - I think it suggests overlocking the side and sleeve seams.   However, it does call for a traditional sleeve placket. 

I have a couple of other Vogue patterns (Vogue 8759 and V8889) that I haven't made up since BH likes the McCalls...  but these may avoid what I think are the tricky bits:

  • separate front button band - (for myself, I actually use a Out of Print Butterick which I have resized for me that has a cut on front band
    Men's Shirt Butterick 4004 OOP - cut down for me

  • burrito technique on the yoke - if one has never done it before
  • sleeve plackets
  • flat felled seams - if one hasn't done it before - either by hand or with a flat felling presser foot
  • Not being a chicken clipper on the neck edge where it attaches to the collar stand

You probably know this, but best to start with a vertical stripe (helps lining things up) as plaids and checks can pose issues on pattern matching and a solid shows every mistake (insert "ask me how I know" emoji)

If it's alright with folks and no one thinks that I am hijacking this thread, I think I might post progress here.  Or I could start another thread, but might be fun to have all things men's shirts related in one place.

ETA: point about clipping the neck edge.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2021, 20:14:05 PM by CCL »


Re: Men's shirts
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2021, 20:06:23 PM »
I think continuing this thread is a great idea, or eventually it could become a "child board". I think that's what called. That's up to the mods of course.

Haven't made a shirt in a couple of years, but really need to get back at it. DPC's book is so very helpful. So is his "Trousers" book BTW.

I need to order some interfacing from Bias Bespoke, curious to see which I'll prefer.
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