I had a friend tell me that whenever she asks me what I’m working on, it always seems to be a new shirt for Ian. It’s simple really, my love for shirt making runs deep. And after finding how well this pattern works, I am filled with determination to make him a closet full of things he will love. Vogue 9220 fits Ian like a glove, and all the fine shirt-making details make it relaxing to sew. Combined with my love of this linen, which presses beautifully and allows for precise sewing, this was a lovely shirt to sew up!
My alterations have continued, and I’ve found my ideal dimensions for the box pleat in the back. When cutting the back on the fold, I move the top of the pattern piece over 1 inch, but allow the hem to line up at the normal point. I mark the center of the fabric for both the yoke and the back, and when attaching the yoke I add a box pleat with 1/2 inch folds on each side. By expanding only the top of the pattern piece, it adds room for shoulder movement without adding too much to the hips and maintains that RTW look I’ve been after.
One of the construction details that gives me joy is flat felling. I take the cheaters route to flat fell by serging the seams together, ironing down, and top stitching. It adds stability and the beautiful flat felled appearance, but greatly reduces the amount of time spent with an iron. And lets be honest, I’m happy to take a short cut to reduce my quality time slaving at an ironing board.
I think this is going to be the last of Ian’s shirts for a while. I’ve made about 4 in the past few months, it’s time to move on to new projects! That is, until I find a fantastic fabric that would suit Ian and I can’t resist.
Bonus pictures of our helpers that interrupted while we took photos!
I’ve had a mad hankering to sew up some clothes that require detailed work, like sleeve plackets and collars. My husband was willing to let me fiddle with numerous long sleeved shirt patterns and use him as a mannequin, for the greater good of well made men’s shirts.
Luckily, right when I was looking into sewing men’s shirts, Vogue released a new line with Vogue 9220. It includes 3 different button up variations, including a slim fit (version C). I initially made up version C as a working muslin, but didn’t like how it fit on him. So it went into the WIP bucket, and I started on version A in a nice, scarecrow-looking flannel I picked up at S.R. Harris in Minneapolis.
This version sewed up with ease, and I was proud of my pattern matching and placket construction. And, it fits him wonderful! He’s on the short side, so I shortened the sleeves and torso by 2 inches and that corrected the length issue I saw from the version A muslin. I also added 1.5 inches to the back of the shirt, so that I could do the center box pleat and make it look more RTW. I enjoy the small details in this shirt, like the triangles that insert between the curved hem, and the two sets of buttons on the cuffs.
I followed the directions and did fully flat-felled seams throughout the garment, but in the future will likely just serge the seams together and sew them down, as a pseudo-flat-felling finish. When flat-felling the whole garment, intersection of seams under the armpit becomes bulky and difficult to evenly stitch through. To manage this, I used a Jean-a-ma-jig to evenly feed the fabric through and it worked like a charm! Definitely an improvement from my jagged, skipped stitches when I previously had tried to force it through the machine.
I’m very happy with this shirt, and so is Ian. It’s in his regular button up rotation now, has been asking me to make more in various novelty fabrics (he really wants a Cthulhu shirt), which I plan on! There’s something therapeutic about diving into a detailed pattern and having all the hard work pay off in the end, by having a well-made garment that will last longer than most RTW.