Thursday, 22 August 2013

Mastering some XY sewing

My XX chromosomes are out numbered three to one by XY chromosomes in my household, so learning how to sew a tailored mens shirt seemed the logical conclusion.  May I present Vogue V8759, my first mens shirt and probably not the last.  It involved all these scary things like a collar, collar stand, cuffs and sleeve plackets.  But let me assure you, these things are not as scary as they seem.  I go to a sewing class approximately once a fortnight and I thought this was a good project to work on under the watchful eye of a teacher.  I did start this project whilst pregnant and it kind of has taken this long to complete as the smallest XY has been a smidge time consuming.
Biggest XY picked out this pattern (not that there's a huge mens shirt selection) based on the shaping seams down the back.  You can see the seams a little more clearly in the photo below.
I would have preferred to make it in a different fabric, but third-trimester-pregnancy-apathy prevented me from being organised with appropriate fabric for the sewing class, so I had to choose from the stores limited shirt fabric choice.  It's a nice natural colour, but a little thick (medium weight?) and it has a 3% spandex content, not required for the pattern btw.  It did mean that I couldn't try flat felled armscye seams or french side seams as it was just too thick.  I just used a straight stitch and the overlocker.  I would have liked a lighter, cheaper shirting cotton for my first make but perhaps next time.
May I draw your attention to the collar and collar stand.  A first for me and not as hard as I first suspected.  Again the thickness of the cotton prevented the collar stand from being perfect dammit.  But only noticable if you look really close.
I learned to sew sleeve plackets.  Did you read that? I learned to sew sleeve plackets!  I'm a little pround of myself.  Plackets are one of those things I used to stare at wondering how the hell they were made.  And now I know.  Yay for me.  Actually, the sleeve in this pattern has two pieces with the seam forming an opening, a cheats placket if you will.  I did not make it according to the pattern.  My teacher showed me how to sew a placket the real way.  So, I'm afraid I cannot give a proper review for this pattern because I didn't actually follow the pattern.  Like the collar, the plackets were not as hard as I first suspected.  And they deserve another look.
There is something wrong with this picture. Why I shouldn't sew late at nigh.
Other than changing the sleeve plackets, I did not make any other alterations to this shirt.  It appears my husband is a textbook size 36 which is lucky as he was not available at my sewing lesson for fitting.  If you haven't noticed, I'm a little stoked about completing this project (will be more stoked if the shirt is actually worn).  I'm wondering if I could use this mens pattern for a shirt for myself.  Any tips on converting it to womens?

I feel I have to give a shout out to Carolyn, Judith and Bernice for their mens shirt awesomeness that inspired me to give this a go.  Thanks ladies!

11 comments:

  1. WOWEE Rosi! Fantastic job! I do hope your hubby gets good use out of the shirt. I want to make mine Thread Theory's jedidiah pants and the Henley. They look awesome... but these things must wait for a while ;) Hope all is well with you and the little men.

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    1. Thanks Jacinta. I have not heard of these patterns so I will check them out!

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  2. You have definitely nailed sewing shirts for the XY's in your life! Those plackets are brilliant - I just encourage short-sleeve versions in my household. Glad you had such great success with this pattern...J

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    1. Thanks Judith! Yes - short sleeved versions would be much quicker to sew.

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  3. Wow! the shirt turned out absolutely awesome! Beautifully made. Like Judith I'm glad we have such warm weather here as shorts sleeves are sooo quick when compared to having to tackle the placket! thank you so much for mentioning me too :)

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    1. Thanks Carolyn! Given that my husband will probably always roll the sleeves up they possibly not worth tackling anyway!

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  4. Oh you have done a fantastic job... no wonder you are pleased with yourself! I am really amazed that a) you have made a shirt with your 2nd baby and b) you go to sewing classes fortnightly with a 2nd baby! Good for you. Your husband will get spoiled for sure.

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    1. Thanks Sohpie, but yes perhaps I am trying to juggle too many balls. But the sewing ball is so fun!

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  5. I can't believe this is your first men's shirt. It looks so professional.

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    1. Thanks Jean (but don't look too closely at the stitching on the collar stand :)

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  6. I can't believe this is your first men's shirt. It looks so professional.

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