I’m slowly getting better at making business shirts. I’m proud to say that this is my best shirt ever. It’s still not perfect, but I’m heading in the right direction. The last couple (here and here) of Kwik Sew shirts I made seemed okay at the time, but the fit wasn’t as good as it could be, and my experimental flat felled seams fell a little short of the mark. This one is much improved.
I didn’t make the tie, but hubby felt it was necessary to include it in the photos, not because my stripes weren’t perfectly lined up down the front (they were!) but probably because this is the first shirt that actually fits his neck perfectly. He was a wee bit excited! Too excited to don trouser pants in fact.
The shirt is a slimmer fit due to the two fish eye darts I added to the back. The darts weren’t in the original pattern, but they were easy to add. I like the collar shape better as well. Hubby went on a bit of a RTW shirt buying spree after we landed in the US (he was desperate!). As much as this pained me, he did bring home a couple of beautifully made shirts which I have been able to compare and analyse to improve my own shirt making.
The pattern I used is Simplicity 6138. It’s a Henry Grethel pattern. Since I hadn’t sewn this pattern before, I compared the pieces to his very new and very favourite RTW shirt. I also used the RTW shirt to figure out how to make the contrast part of the inner cuff placket. It wasn’t difficult, but of course I didn’t photograph how I did it. It’s not that I forget to take the photographs. I usually just lack the confidence that my experiments will work out in the first place! I shouldn’t doubt myself so much.
I’ve never been completely happy with the interfacing of my collars and cuffs. Hubby’s best shirts only have interfacing on the outside fabric piece of the collar, not on the inside. I realise now, that this allows the collar corners to be made so much sharper than I’ve been able to do in the past. The interfacing they use in the RTW shirt is also so incredibly stiff, like nothing I’ve ever encountered before. I wasn’t quite sure what to do about it, but then it dawned on me that I could double up my usual interfacing and fuse them together as one to the one collar piece. I used Prowoven shirt-crisp fusible interfacing, doubled up, from Fashion Sewing Supply. It worked beautifully. It is my stiffest, sharpest collar yet.
I only used one layer of the same interfacing for the collar stand so it was much less stiff. Next time I would use two here as well, or possibly one layer of shirt-crisp and another ever so slightly less stiff one. I think the collar stand needs to be very close in stiffness to the collar or the collar doesn’t roll back quite as nicely as it could.
For the first time ever, the pattern actually included French cuff pieces. I usually draft my own for other shirt patterns because this is what hubby prefers. I only fused one layer of the same interfacing to the outer cuff, but because a French cuff is folded over, this was firm enough. I’m not sure those cuff links match hubby!