My first shirt

My first shirt

Some weeks ago I decided to take up a new challenge in my sewing career (ok, I admit the word “career” is a slightly over the top… but being already a Sewing Princess, I thought it was cool to have a career!): sewing a shirt.

I love the crisp look of a shirt and the elegant touch a shirt gives whenever I wear it over a pair of jeans.

Thanks to my instructor I made up a pattern that fit me well…so I didn’t even have to do a muslin… yeah, I know I have several drafting books, but it’s a lot easier when you can turn to a professional teacher.

Putting the shirt together wasn’t as difficult as I initially thought.

At the end of the day,I am sure most of you are likely to have all the ingredients at hand. A shirt consists of:

  • basic bodice pattern (with darts or without is up to you)
  • the sleeves
  • My first shirt

  • the shirt cuff –  a rectangle the size of your wrist by your preferred height
  • and finally the collar (possibly the most difficult part… but see below)

So if you have a bodice pattern that fits you, go ahead and try adding the cuff and collar…and you are nearly done.

My first shirt
Thanks to this project I also learned a new dart technique. Basically as you can see in the picture, the front darts run to the bottom of the shirt. To achieve it, you cut a straight line up to the bottom dart point, then around the dart. So you will have a hole in the middle. Then you add your seam allowances directly on the fabric. When you assemble it you sew the hole back together (does it make any sense?). What you achieve is a closer fitting shirt that enhances your figure.

I also used my new serger for the finishing… next time I might try flat felled seams.
Going back to the collar, I looked up a couple of tutorials that you may find useful in case you want to take up your own shirt challenge.
My first shirt

How to draft a collar with stand
Collar on stand part 1
Collar on stand part 2
How To Sew A Dress Shirt Collar (video)

The fabric was also quite a bargain…it’s from the same fabric crop I used to make two (yes, two) Coffee date dresses.

Now that I have learned how to make a shirt, I think I might sew another one… I already have some fabric for it…But that will certainly be after having sewn two dresses… I will go to a friends wedding in June so I am trying out a couple of patterns before deciding which one to make… which if I wait any longer will force me to go out and buy a dress… Now I am really starting to feel the pressure!

My first shirt

On a totally sewing unrelated topic…do you like classical/new age music? Or simply the piano?
Last weekend I went to see Ludovico Einaudi in concert (he is well known in the UK, perhaps not as much in the US). It was my third time… I am simply in love…it’s such a dreamy music. I wish I could play the piano to try reproducing that beautiful sound.
Well, I thought I’d share a couple of videos with you. I hope you will like them.
These are some of my favorites… playing in the background while I write…
Una mattina (One morning)
Lady Labirinth

Have a fantastic week.

2 thoughts on “My first shirt

  1. Impressive — collars and cuffs and plackets always seem so tricky to me, and I love that your version has those darts 🙂 Are you taking a sewing class, in drafting? That sounds wonderful.

    I notice the dart goes into the bust, and one my 50s patterns has that as well. They surprise me because I’m accustomed to seeing contemporary clothes with darts below the bust — curious why that was the right choice for your shirt? Does it help with shaping?


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