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.