I think shirtmaking is very gratifying. Lately I’ve made two new shirts for my husband from the same pattern, the Thread Theory Fairfield shirt. I love this pattern, it has so many possibilities. The combination of details and fabric turns out different each time and determines the final result. It comes with seam allowance ready for flat felled seams, it has a double yoke and tower plackets. You can choose between a number of different collars. The inside looks as good as the inside when you are done, very neat and clean. The instructions are just fabulous. I’ve haven’t tried another menswear shirt pattern in years, but then I don’t need to as this one has everything I want, and the recipient loves it, too.
This pattern fits my husband almost without alterations, but you have to take my word for it – he’s not up for modeling on the interwebs! I highly appreciate his enthusiasm for these shirts, and it keeps me motivated to make more.
Shirts keep me interested all the way from start to finish. So many different techniques in one garment keep me focused for much longer, and I enjoy every step of the way. As a comparison, I used to knit sweaters. The can be very interesting to make, too, but nothing could kill my enthusiasm more than long hours of repetetive stitches and the slow progress. I need variety and some speed in my making to enjoy it.
I still find collars challenging, even after making quite a few. It helps to go slow, but I always aim for a more even topstitching on the collar stand. It annoys me that I don’t seem to be able to finish the inside as nicely as I would like. Any secret tips are highly welcome. This one went pretty well, though.
So far I’ve made four of these shirts over the past two years. The two first ones are almost worn out already, they are constantly in the washing machine between their many outings. The last two are fairly new, made in March and July this year. The light blue one has a cutaway collar and no pleats or darts in the back. It is semi fitted. The grey one is made with a classic collar and a small pleat in the back for a little more ease. They are already worn many times, too.
The light blue shirt is made in a cotton shirting I bought in London last year. It’s a crisp, but not too crisp quality. The button placket is interfaced, too. The grey shirt is made in a lightweight linen from Metermeter. I used double interfacing in the collar stand, single in the collar and cuffs. I think one of the many fascinating aspects of sewing garments is to explore how the fabric choice influences the resulting piece of clothing. A pattern is only the beginning. Some love to make new patterns all the time, and I definitely like that novelty, too. On the other hand – making many versions from the same pattern brings me even more joy. These two shirts are almost identical, but they read very different because of the fabric choices. The cotton is smooth and light to the touch whereas the linen shirt is a little bit coarser. It is very soft, too, and look just a little more rumpled after some wear.
I’m definitely not done with shirt making. Next up are a few new shirts for myself, and very soon I think another Fairfield will be in the making, too. Probably in a dark color for winter. What about you: Do you enjoy shirtmaking? Why/why not?
I am with you on shirt making! Appreciate your writing–so consise, but your spirit/heart comes through. Beautiful work & lucky husband.
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Thank you, Caroline! That’s very kind of you to say. I always worry about my English, being a non-native writer, so I highly appreciate your comment. At the moment I’m making several shirts (not Fairfields) for my self, too, as a challenge of sorts. I use a pattern with standard 1 cm seam allowances. The Fairfield shirt pattern has, as I mentioned in the post, precise seam allowances for the flat-felled seams etc., and that really helps a lot. I don’t know of any other shirt patterns that have this feature. Next time I’ll take the time to add the exact seam allowances pre cutting to other shirt patterns, too.