20 February 2011

Men's Shirt Sewn-Along!

I am pleased to declare that I have completed my muslin for Peter's Male Pattern BoldnessMen's Shirt Sew-Along. Astonishingly, it seems to fit my DH, except that the shoulders are a bit too wide and the sleeves too long. But the latter is not a problem because I made so many mistakes on the cuffs that they are best rolled up and hidden.

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The shirt only looks like it's made from a paper bag--it's actually made from a thrifted bed sheet, with buttons I snipped off some other shirt I found in a closet. ("Hey," says DS, "Isn't that my shirt?" Of course not!)

I took a few construction photos but not many--I keep forgetting! Here's a couple, showing how I did the hem on my Singer 15-91 Elizabeth:

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Elizabeth is so satisfying to sew with--er, after I got the bobbin shuttle put together right after breaking a needle on it, that is. I decided to switch machines thinking it would be easier to stitch a narrow rolled hem on the straight stitch machine where the hole in the throat plate is only as wide as the needle. Also, my Brother XR-9000 pulls a little to the left. I switched back to the Brother to sew the button holes and buttons, which was major entertainment! I broke another needle on a button hole, which made two today (one per machine) and also two for my lifetime!

I learned a lot making this muslin. I'll get more practice making the same shirt out of the fashion fabric (with short sleeves), but first I have to make something to wear in Me-Made-March '11! One thing I learned, however, is that it's worth a few bucks to get someone else (like, JC Penney) to make DH's shirts!


  1. I think the muslin looks great! I so agree, this whole business makes me very, very appreciative of a well-made RTW men's shirt! For such a 'plain' garment there's so much detail. Your sewing machine is beautiful too :-)

  2. I think the shirt looks great. Congratulations! I know there are so many 'fiddley' details to a tailored shirt. Making a quality shirt that fits well is truly a labor of love.

  3. I think your muslin is great. Once you have perfected the fit and did made a couple of shirts, you will enjoy making these shirts. I am not sure what pattern you used but my favourite shirt is Simplicity 5366. It is the bases for the western shirts we make and I find it goes together very nicely.
    Feel free to ask questions on my blog (Everything Sewing) and I will try to answer them for you and may even get in a tutorial for you.

  4. The shirt looks great!
    Making mens' shirts may seem fiddly and not worth the effort at first, but once you've made a few they do get easier and easier, I promise! And you can tailor them to fit perfectly too, so your husband will appreciate that.

  5. Oh! the singer machine is an old model. The muslin shirt you have made from this machine is looking good, well done KC. Ya everyone is facing some problems at the initial stage of sewing but as getting more experienced, it's getting easier. I don't know which pattern is this but, yes you can make some good ones in the future, keep going..