I’ve cracked it!
At least, I think I have. I’ll let you decide. Here’s what I’m talking about:
I’ve finally managed to make a shirt for my husband that fits.
You might remember my first attempt was not a success. After another failed muslin of Burda 7045 I decided to give it up as a bad job and trace one of his existing shirts.
This was a solution suggested by the shirt guru David Coffin who actually commented on my original post, but I have to admit I was dubious I could make it work. I just didn’t trust my own tracing skills. I also suspected it would be deeply tedious and fiddly, so I put it off for a couple of months before giving it a go.
I used the method David explains in this video tutorial.but with cardboard instead of foamboard because it’s all I had lying around.
Do you know what’s weird though? I really enjoyed the tracing process. It was like taking an omelette and turning it back into a fresh egg. I’ve always seen the process the other way round and couldn’t quite believe it worked in reverse.
The fabric I used is a lovely denim that Rosie from DIY Couture kindly sent me when she was having a fabric clear-out. The buttons were 10p each from Ultimate Craft. And the pattern was, obviously, free. So this was a thrifty project.
This was intended to be a muslin but the fabric was so nice I couldn’t resist doing it properly, although some bits are slightly wonky.
I saved time by using this method to do the plackets, although really this fabric is far too bulky for it. It worked out okay, but for the next shirt I’m going to tackle a proper placket.
I did do a lovely clean finish on the yoke, using the ‘burrito’ method. It’s hard to describe but very easy to do, and it looks so neat.
I probably should have ironed the shirt before forcing Alex into a photoshoot. Anyway, I think the fit is okay, but I’m not sure if I should bring the shoulders in a bit? There’s some alarming wrinkling round the armscye area but I don’t know if this is normal for men’s shirts. What do you reckon?
The sleeves are the only bit I’m not sure I traced correctly. I should have marked the shoulder point, as the yoke is coming too far back. The top button on the stand is also straining a bit, so I think it might need more room added to the armhole.
This uneven two-button pocket was my only artistic flourish. Predictably, Alex doesn’t like it, but that’s tough. If you’re getting a shirt for free, the shirtmaker decides on the design, that’s my thinking.
Overall, I think this counts as a DOUBLE THUMBS UP SUCCESS! I also enjoyed being on the other side of the camera for a change and bossing Alex about.
The only issue is that Alex really doesn’t need any more denim or chambray shirts. I just counted and he’s already got 5. At least he’s a man who knows his own taste. The next one is going to be a plaid, so I’m limbering up my check matching skills.
I need a short break from shirtland first though. This one was made in an epic weekend sewing session, and I don’t want to see another buttonhole again for a while.