Man’s check shirt from Paul Smith fabric

I was very late making this birthday present for Alex (6 weeks) and now I’m even later blogging about it.

alex shirt front 1

It’s a man’s shirt (duh), sewn from the pattern I traced from one of his existing shirts.

The fabric is Paul Smith flannel which I got from Croft Mill about a year ago. It’s super-soft but the trade-off is that it’s pilling already. Oh well.

The buttons are from I had the worst time trying to find grey shirt buttons locally. Nowhere seemed to sell them in the right size. That was part of the reason for the delay (also because making buttonholes and hemming are v tedious).

alex shirt front 2

Making men’s shirts is a bit tedious in general, depending on what kind of mood you’re in. Everything is incredibly fiddly.

Of course I made things harder for myself by using a check fabric, but at least I did a good job matching it across the front. I also matched the side seams but I’m not sure how noticeable this is if you’re not a sewer. None of his other shirts seem to have done it. Probably won’t bother next time.

I used these excellent tutorials for some of the fiddly bits:

Sewing a collar from Four Square Walls

Placket tutorial from Off the Cuff

Burrito yoke tutorial from Grainline

alex shirt back 3

I over-eased the back yoke a bit, next time I’ll just make the pleats deeper. The sleeves also are still too wide, I need to remember to narrow them up a bit next time.

Once again I couldn’t have sewed this shirt without my Bernina straight stitch foot. Truly it’s the best sewing purchase I’ve made this year.

shirt placket

Here’s a close-up of that sleeve placket, accessorised with Lindor.

I cut it on the bias so I didn’t have to match anything.

These are so satisfying to sew! It was my first time making them. I did do a practice one first. It’s like magic when they work.

sleeve placket

I reckon I put 10-15 hours of work in this thing, not counting all the time it took me to me make the pattern in the first place. I flat-felled every single seam and spent ages working out where to put the pocket.

I also hand-sewed on all the buttons, with the pocket and top button in red thread, as requested.

Still it was worth it in the end, as he wears it a lot. Here he is wearing the shirt while drinking beer and waiting for a burger.

shirt photo

I think one shirt a year is about my limit though.

11 thoughts on “Man’s check shirt from Paul Smith fabric

  1. Dianne September 18, 2015 / 8:29 AM

    That is a really great shirt! I’m sure it will get loads of wear. I like the Paul Smith fabric my latest garment was a shirt for me in Paul Smith fabric and shirts are so fiddly. I really ought to make some for my husband but like you say so many hours go into them I would be gutted if they didn’t get worn.

    • Janine May 16, 2017 / 12:37 PM

      I love all of the outfits, but especially the first one. You look so much more innieestrtg than any AA employee I've ever seen!Also, you've inspired me to crack out my own pair of disco pants more often. I've been neglecting them.

  2. Cecilia June 19, 2015 / 5:23 PM

    Wow, you have a great talent, looks awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  3. gingermakes December 20, 2014 / 3:08 PM

    Dang, this looks great! Your topstitching is beautiful and the plackets are amazing! Thanks for sharing the tutorial you used… my sleeve plackets have been pretty sad in the past.

  4. Sarah - Fabric Tragic December 18, 2014 / 10:47 AM

    Nice work. Bless his little design request of the red thread! I’m with you on the hard work – I’m mid negroni (it’s summer here so thank goodness I can get away with short sleeves) and oh lord the tediousness of flat fell seams for someone else…..

  5. Helen // Grosgrain Green December 18, 2014 / 10:38 AM

    Great shirt! It looks brilliant. Love the detail of the red thread. One shirt per year is one better than me, so well done.

  6. ivygirl2112 December 18, 2014 / 9:10 AM

    I don’t find making shirts tedious at all. I love striving for perfection!

  7. Jane December 18, 2014 / 7:53 AM

    That’s one shirt a year more than I make for my poor husband! I’m in awe of your patience and unselfishness! Great looking shirt. Kathryn. x

  8. Christy December 18, 2014 / 6:57 AM

    Great work! I’ve made myself maybe 4 shirts this year and my husband is still waiting for his. I love that super neat edge stitching.

  9. Stephanie December 18, 2014 / 4:16 AM

    This is very nice! You’re making me feel guilty though as I had plans to make a shirt for my boyfriend and didn’t get to it this fall. January. 🙂 I like the sleeve plackets!

  10. Clarinda Kaleidoscope December 17, 2014 / 11:11 PM

    Talk us through the red thread – certainly an interesting detail. I think the shirt looks lovely. It’s funny how when you sew you notice things no-one else would e.g. the wide sleeves. Have read somewhere in the last week that there is going to be a challenge for 2015 of one manly outfit per month – you up for that?!

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