Mittwoch, 27. August 2014

male sewing: a classic shirt Pt. 1

For me one of the pleasures of sewing is to learn classic techniques. Those things that make a garment a tailored piece. 

I'm in my 10th year of sewing now (whaaaat??) and when I started, my goal was to produce something that could be identified as a dress or a skirt or whatever. I did not think so much about finishing or alterations back then.

During the years, my standards reached a higher level. I can be a terrible perfectionist. I want to make my garments on tailoring standards (high goal).
I started reading books about couture sewing techniques for example. I do a lot of sewing by hand and I like to use old school finishing techniques. Because I'm so in love with past eras, this almost comes natural. 

One of those items is the classic mens shirt. You can find some traditional details, that are a must for a classic shirt, like the stand-up collar, the sleeve plackets, the doubled yoke. 

I just finished the first mens shirt I've ever done and I'm really happy with the result. As I told you, I am a perfectionist, so of course there is room for improvements though.

I used a burdastyle pattern and after making a muslin, I took out some width at the side seams. Beside this the pattern fits very well.

This shirt was a kind of wearable muslin. The fabric was from the sale section and if all had gone wrong, it would have been sad but not to sad. I used plaid fabric, which wasn't the best decision for making the first shirt ;)
Plaid is nice but the cutting and sewing process is a bit exhausting. I tried to match the checks as good as possible, but it wasn't easy. The fabric is very nice and actually easy to handle, but it tends to stretch a bit and that is why I couldn't match all the squares perfectly. 

Of course I had my team around me. They helped a lot during the cutting process.

I bought the German version of the pattern, but you can also get it at There is only one page of instructions, which I really liked ;) If you need more help you can take a look at this nice forum (it is in German). There is also a class at craftsy that is on my wish list as well. I also had one of my vintage sewing books near the sewing table.

I like to see the pile of pieces become smaller and smaller while I sew. Even if I'm not finished with the whole garment at the end of a sewing session, I feel good if I see that I have assembled all pieces in a way. For the shirt, I started to prepare the collar first.

It is a two-piece collar with a collar-stand. I think this was my first one ever, I only made one-piece collars before. It wasn't so difficult, good marking and basting helps a lot here. 

After putting the collar and the stand together, I arranged it on my tailors ham and gave it a good press.

I also did a fell seam for the first time. I really like it for it is sturdy and nice on the in and outside. There will be a tutorial on how to do a fell seam soon.

When I switched off my Bernina this night, the shirt looked like that.

The next time we meet I will show you the second part of making the shirt including the finished result. If you are just to curious to wait you may find a sneak peak on one of my social media channels....



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