Friday, February 13, 2009

And so it begins...

Over the last year or so my sewing hobby has become slightly more obsessive. I imagine this is due to two major factors. The first factor is that I became hooked on sewing blogs, starting with A Dress A Day- check out the blogroll to see the list of sewists I am currently following. I can’t get enough! Of course, watching everyone else sew up these dreamy outfits and projects made me realize that I too can improve my skills so my creations can graduate from home-made mediocrity to custom tailored excellence.

The second factor is that I met my hubby while I was working for a major custom tailor company that will go unnamed. Because of this he has an insane addiction to $400 dress shirts that we cannot maintain by any stretch of the imagination without that incredible employee discount.

Ready for the solution?

After making a simple Hawaiian shirt for Hubby and stalking for ideas and practice patterns which lead to the purchase of David Page Coffin’s indespensible book Shirtmaking: Developing Skills for Fine Sewing I finally convinced Hubby to let me try my hand at the real thing. This guy is extraordinarily picky when it comes to his shirts. They must be white collar and cuff, monogrammed, french cuff and in a fabric that probably couldn’t be purchased in a store. And the collar and cuff MUST have the stiffness of cardboard (this bit took me a while, have you ever tried turning a perfect collar point in cardboard? Rediculous!).

The good news is- I ended up with a shirt that got me the best compliment ever. After wearing it he remarked “Ok, now all I want for birthdays and Christmases from here on out is fabric!” Sweet! So now how do I convince him that I should get to spend the remaining $350 we would've spent on his shirts on fabric for me? Ha! I’ll let you know if that one ever works. In the meantime, here are the photos. There’s another shirt in the works in a fabric that’s a little more fun, so keep on the lookout.

Here's the collar- the collar stay pockets gave me fits- and I had to re-draft the collar twice, but all's well that ends well, right!

French cuffs were such a pain, but so worth it!

The split yoke is an important detail when working with stripes on a shirt like this. When you match the stripes like this the front stripe is exactly lined up parallel to the front stripes so it looks pretty neat all around. It's a pain to match, but hey- it looks good and makes Hubby SUPER happy.

A big big in the back, he's been the magical shrinking Hubby lately so I'm guessing all of his shirts will need to be taken in before too long.

The pattern is a modification of Burda Style's Jakob. I changed the fit somewhat according to DPC's directions in his book. And I drafted the collar and cuffs based on one of Hubby's favorite shirts. Speak up if you'd like the cuff pattern, it took a long time to get it just right so the cuffs layer correctly when being worn (top slightly larger than bottom).

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