Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Shirtmaking: Developing Skills for Fine Sewing

Yesterday my house was hit by lightning. And not the metaphorical, I-had-a-great-idea kind of lightning. The literal, white-hot, loud-doesn't-begin-to-describe it kind of lightning. We're all okay, but I can't say the say for many of our electronics, including our wireless router. So please forgive a slow response on comments and possible technical glitches for a few days as we put our technical lives back together!

I can't decide if sewing for men is easy or hard. It's easy, because their fit issues are more simple. It's hard, because there aren't a lot of resources for learning how to do it well. Need information on a full bust adjustment? Boom, 80 zillion Google results. Need help fitting a tall man? Crickets.

Thank goodness for David Page Coffin! This book is exactly what I needed while sewing my husband's Negroni shirt. I definitely can't complain about the pattern directions, they were spot-on, but the book provided some extra diagrams and explanations to help a Nervous Nellie like me feel confident in what I was doing.

The book covers construction techniques of nicer men's shirts (i.e. not a t-shirt) including flat-felled seams, collars with and without stands, plackets, etc. There is a section on fit, as well as drafting a pattern with draping. I doubt I'll ever convince my husband to stand still long enough to drape fabric all over him...but it's a nice thought!

As an added bonus, there are pages and pages of templates to use for collars, pockets, and plackets. And they're even full-size! No running off to a copy shop to enlarge them (has anyone ever actually done that?).

If you plan on making a dressy shirt like these (for a man or woman) I highly recommend this book. Someday I want to make a pair of pants for my husband, and when that day comes (in 20 years...) I'll be looking into Making Trousers, which is by the same author.

Do you have any good resources for sewing for men?

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