Saturday, March 23, 2013

Plain. White. Shirt.

I finished Hubby's shirt last night at about 5:00 p.m.  Big sigh of relief!  Seems like this project has taken up all my mental energy lately!  (Not to mention blog space.)

Because we were headed out to dinner and a concert, I didn't get to wash and iron it until this morning.  I admit to being a little afraid - not for any real reason, but just because it took me so much work to make this shirt.  Things mostly turned out OK though.  The little bit of sewing machine oil that got on the sleeve while I was felling it washed out (whew!).  All the pink marking pencil also washed out.

The bad news was that the fantastic interfacing I was boasting about in the last post unfused in some areas.  Here's how the cuff looked straight out of the dryer:

Bummer!  Fortunately, I was able to re-fuse all those areas.  I hope I don't have to do this each and every time I wash this shirt.  Being all cotton, it already took me longer to iron this one than his other shirts.

I'm really happy with my work on this shirt, and I think overall I did a very good job.  But for those of you who claim I do everything perfectly, here are some boo-boos.  These are things I chose not to re-do because they will never be seen:  they'll either be tucked inside the pants or under a tie.

Rolled hem.  These are so hard!

Not-quite-edge stitching!

I learned so many new techniques with this project.  Sleeve plackets:

I kept my sleeve plackets short because I shortened the sleeve so much, which made attaching the cuff rather difficult.  I might lengthen it next time, depending on how far up his arm this one goes.

Flat-felling the sleeve to the body:

Using the felling foot for the sleeve and side seams:

I lost a bunch of time with that one, because the first thing I did was to fell the two sides of the back to each other.  D'oh!  That was a drag to pick out!

I added a few things to my base pattern.  Back shoulder pleats:

Stay channels under the collar:

And I changed the collar from the one I'd done on the muslin to one with slightly longer points.  It turns out I'd used the button-down collar before.

And here's the whole thing, front and back:

Looks just like a plain white shirt, doesn't it?!  Because I iron all of Hubby's shirts every week, it was really interesting for me to go from pieces of fabric and sections of shirt on my ironing board to a completed shirt that's constructed just like the ones I buy him at the store.

So, the next question is:  does it fit the way we want it to?  Sadly, he had to work today and left before I got up, so he hasn't tried it on yet!  I'm dying to see if it fits, but also a little afraid.  I'm going to try my hardest to get him to model it for you - but if you have a man at home you know my chances of this are about 50% at best!

And now I can finally get back to working with something with COLOR and PATTERN!!  Yay!

ETA:  He tried it on, and the fit is perfect!  Double yay!!


  1. Gail, congratulations! It looks so professionally done (even with the invisible imperfections :)) You've done a fantastic job, I hope it fits perfectly.

  2. It looks perfect, I'll bet he is pretty pleased. I hope you can get him to model! Good luck!

  3. Gail, it looks awesome! You are right about the little mistakes: no one will see them (plus they are tiny). I really hope it fits well and that Hubby will be a good sport and pose for us ;)

  4. It looks so awesome! And I love the close shots of the beautiful imperfections. :) I really hope we get to see it on him!

  5. That is really amazing. Tell him that he simply must model.


  6. Fantastic! I hope to make one for myself. BTW, I too have experienced the issues with the man not wanting to try on clothes after I've spent (in one case) 80 hours making a pair of shorts (like pants - just no leg!).

    1. Eighty hours! Ouch! You're a better woman than me!

  7. Wow! That looks fantastic. You have more patience than I do - if I was making something that detailed, I'd want it to be for me!

  8. woo-hoo!!! nice job! i had no idea how difficult it would be to make a white shirt look perfect when i first set out also. so nerve wracking! all the details look great, hope it fits!

  9. I bet your hubby will seriously never notice any of the tiny issues you point out. If it fits then he'll be as happy as a clam and that's it. I once made a (casual short sleeved) button-up shirt for my husband and there were some tiny errors... he has no clue! But it fit is comfy, that's all he wanted to really know.

    Nice work with this shirt, it looks so crisp and fresh!

  10. Oh, this is so nice! You did a wonderful job!

  11. This is super amazing! It seems like a complicated puzzle. Reading about this project reminds of The Huxtables episode where Theo wanted some $50 designer shirt but paid Denise to make him a copy. Your outcome of course is way tre chic and perfecto compared to that hilarious episode.

  12. Having just finished my first shirt myself I really appreciate all the work that has gone into making this beautiful shirt. Tell Hubby he HAS to model it...

  13. Brilliant work!!! There is nothing smarter on a man than a crisp white shirt, particularly with all the care and details you have used in this shirt - fingers crossed for the perfect fit on hubby...J

  14. It looks terrific. There are so many tricky details in a man shirt. Good luck with your model!

  15. Thank you so much for all your lovely comments, ladies! I am very pleased with this shirt, and even more pleased now that he's tried it on and pronounced it perfect :-) I'll be making more of these (not all white!) but I'll spare you all the details on future ones!

  16. You have to make him model it! It's so great! :D

  17. Gail, this looks amazing and congratulations on the perfect fit. And remember, we never make sewing "mistakes", just design enhancements :)

  18. It looks great, and very professional. He's one lucky guy!

  19. Gail, i enjoy reading all about your ventures

    I learn something new each time

    Again, Congrats on your dress shirt

    He's gonna be looking spiffy


  20. take one from neck down? surely he'll be fine with that:) Looks great


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.