Wednesday, February 6, 2013

In the Jar

I'm sure a lot of you know about Karen's Sewlutions Jar.  Well, I'm in there too!  My 2013 Sewlution was to make at least one business shirt and one pair of wool pants for Hubby.

I hadn't mentioned it yet because I had a romantic notion of making these things on the sly and then presenting them to my boy with a flourish.  He does read my blog (awww! kisses, Honey!) so I decided I just wouldn't write about it until after the fact.  But last week I realized that if I want to get a really good fit, I'm going to have to take a bunch of measurements, which would pretty much let the cat out of the bag.

And getting a good fit is the whole reason for wanting to make the shirts.  (I want to make the pants just because my local fabric shop has some really lovely suiting wools, and I want to work with them!)  We ladies often bemoan the fitting struggles we have with sewing, and say, "Those boys have it so easy!"  Well, my poor boy has never had a shirt that fits him well.  He has a thick neck and broad shoulders compared to his chest and waist, and short arms - even the shortest arm lengths in RTW shirts are about an inch too long.  I swear if you met him on the street, he'd look like a normal guy ;-)

I've made him several casual shirts over the years, but have never altered the patterns for his requirements, as they were meant to be worn without a tie and with a loose fit.  I enjoy making shirts and don't find things like collars and cuffs to be especially difficult.  So my challenge here will be getting a great custom fit for him, along with adding in more details like sleeve plackets and collar stay channels.  To that end, I've ordered a book recommended by LisaShirtmaking by David Page Coffin.  I got the book on Saturday and have already read a lot of it - like Lisa, I highly recommend it if you want to make men's shirts with all the bells and whistles.

This pink fabric is the lining for my coat, which I've started on!

I've acquired a lot of sewing books over the last several months, and this is one of the best I have.  Very readable.  I'll be honest:  a lot of sewing books, while containing great information, are a little on the dry side and often put me to sleep, which is why it takes me so long to get through them!  But this one is positively riveting!  Mr. Coffin has some very definite ideas about what a men's shirt should be, but the technical information is presented in an engaging way, almost as if you're sitting down with a friend and having a discussion on the topic.  I really appreciate that he explains the reasons for why things are done the way they are.

So there you have it.  My plan is to read the entire book before getting started.  There's no rush on this project, but I am really, really looking forward to making some custom shirts for my honey, so I'm hoping to get started sooner rather than later.

Oh yeah - and I ordered a felling foot too :-)

22 comments:

  1. I was just saying to my husband I'd love to make him a suit! Someday! My skills are not there just yet. Can you imagine being able to make a suit for our guys? It would be so special. Good luck!

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    1. Me too! In fact, when I told him about the shirts and pants, he said, "Do you think you could make suits too?" I'm glad he's totally into the idea, and not just humoring me!

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  2. I've heard nothing but wonderful things about this book, both from the blogosphere and IRL peeps. Looking forward to seeing what you glean from it! I really need to learn how to read all these "selfless sewing for hubby" posts without feeling massively guilty... ;-)

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    1. I hear you! I've felt guilty for the last two years! This year I'm doing something about it!

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  3. can't wait to see how the fitting goes! i've started shirt #3, this time with david coffin's information, and i can already tell it's coming along better. there is a companion dvd that i checked out from the library; it's worth watching to see exactly how to get that really crisp finish. pants (and possibly more...) are already on my husband's request list!

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    1. Good to know about the DVD - I was looking at it on Amazon and wondering if I needed both. I did put it on my wishlist just in case :-)

      I'm very interested to see what changes you are making to your hubby's shirts as you go along!

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  4. I have that book and it came with a great DVD. Good luck!

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    1. Thank you! Sounds like I might be the last person to be getting this book, LOL!

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  5. Sounds like you are on a path to success for the perfect fit. Once you nail that fit, hubby is going to have you employed full time as his personal shirt maker!

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    1. I would so love to fill his closet with custom shirts! And once I get a TNT pattern set up, it won't be a big deal to make one!

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  6. Oh wow! That is an area of sewing I've never thought of! Perhaps b/c if I'm looking for a pattern, it's always women's or child's, LOL!

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    1. The men's patterns are hard to find. There are so few of them! I'm not sure the pattern I chose is going to be a good shape for my boy either. I may have to try to find another one.

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  7. I'm just embarking on my first shirt for my husband...poor neglected soul. This is so much fun!

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    1. It's interesting how so many of us are all doing this at the same time!

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  8. I cannot believe you can actually make a men's shirt and pants! It seems like maybe it would be easier to do almost anything else in the world. Lucky guy!

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    1. I used to get intimidated by things like this, but I realized: someone makes these things we buy in the stores! If they can learn to do it, so can I!

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  9. Can't wait to see how this goes! I will live vicariously though your mens sewing adventures - I do socks and hats for Mr Myrtle - but nothing bigger yet....

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    1. I've done some knitting for my guy too, but since he spends 90% of his time at work, these are the items that are really practical for him.

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  10. So the adventure continues.
    You're a very curious minded seamstress, gal.
    That you give attention to detail is wonderful.

    I adore your inquisitive nature.

    hugs

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    1. Hehehe - I am indeed curious. It's what keeps the hobby fresh for me!

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  11. Oh, yay, I'm excited to see how your shirtmaking adventure goes! The boys that put up with our crazy hobbies definitely deserve to be spoiled with custom-fit clothes!

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    1. Yes, my honey deserves the best of everything :-) I'm hoping I can achieve that!

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