boyfriend shirt (… for boyfriend)

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.

The boy pondering what color shirt to ask for next.

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.

5 responses to “boyfriend shirt (… for boyfriend)

  1. I can’t believe you matched up the lines across the front! Talk about perfection! =) My husband had a shirt similar to this that was falling to pieces. I took it apart to make a pattern out of it and made a test shirt – out of some old curtain material laying around (very Sound of Music of me). It worked well, so he picked out some more material for me to make another shirt. The second one…I don’t even know what to call it. It was cotton that had been wrinkled up and then steamed flat. So it was green and you could pull apart the wrinkles and it was white inside. That was hard to work with in making a shirt. I see your shirt and I think: no repeating patterns at all if I make another shirt like this! =)

    • Let’s put it this way: I’m not planning to make another plaid shirt! I agree with you whole-heartedly, only solids from now on. I had the fabric lying around as well, so I kind of ignored the issue of matching up until I was cutting out the pieces. The front pieces I did make sure that they would line up (and…. I had to resew all the buttons 1/4 inch down to make the stripes match up!), but some others, like the yoke piece, just magically half-matched up. And hurrah for us, for making shirts for our men! (a little pat on our backs is in order, don’t you think? ;) )

  2. Nice shirt, nice guy, nice girl-friend making it for him :-)
    How did your exams go? When are you coming home?

  3. I still have not tackled a shirt outside of uni requirements! Too hard! Big props for making such an awesome one, and so neatly!

  4. I’m totally scared of this kind of sewing… and patterns. You did an amazing job!

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