Simplicity 1327: Plaid on request

I’ve noticed something about my husband’s wardrobe and it has a lot to do with who he sees each day and where we live. When he first started working with veterinarians and farmers in Australia, I noticed plaid shirts creep into his wardrobe for the first time ever. Rodd and Gunn took over from Hugo Boss and Ermenegildo Zegna as his brand of choice. 

 
 
So it stands to reason that there would also be some wardrobe updates after moving to the Midwest. It began with cowboy boots. Not just ordinary cowboy boots. They had to be the real deal, genuine caiman.
 
 
They go surprisingly well with the Drizabone he’s been wearing for the past 18mths. So why would I be surprised that he would put in an order in for a “western-style” plaid shirt. He was quite specific on this one. Plaid was not enough. It needed to have the Western yokes and pockets too. *Sigh*. I’m really not into sewing costumes or matching plaid.

 

 

I wasn’t planning on rushing into this make, but I somehow managed to stumble across the most amazing brushed cotton, Italian shirting  during a recent trip away, when I was lucky enough to visit Britex Fabrics in San Fransisco, in person. The fabric is beautifully smooth on one side and brushed soft on the underside. I wasn’t very excited about sewing a “Western” shirt until I found this fabric. Fabric makes all the difference.

 
 

The pattern I used was Simplicity 1327. The sizing on this pattern is more general than other shirt patterns, which makes for less precise sizing. I cut this shirt in a size L, which was specified for a 42-44″ chest. My husband is a 42″ (or possibly a smidgen more after Christmas) which made me wary of ending up with an unattractively oversized shirt. To accomodate my laziness in lack of muslin making, I made the shirt up according to the instructions but only basted the side seams together initially. This enabled me to check the fit around the torso. It was a little roomy to begin with so I graded the seam allowance from 5/8″ at the cuff (which was already a good fit) to 1″ at the shirt hem. This brought the side and underarm seams in by just the right amount.

All the yokes, placket, cuffs, and pockets were cut on the bias. Apart from the yokes, which were stitched on the shirt as overlays, I fused interfacing to all of the other bias cut pieces to avoid them stretching out of shape while I worked with them. I used very light interfacing for the pockets and prepared them in the same way as this tutorial. I also used a little bit of Liberty of London as contrast in the collar band. And I came so close to matching up those bias stripes on the cuffs.


Despite my extreme lack of excitement in this project, I quite like the outcome. The bias cut plaid made for lovely contrast details in the shirt and I’m pleased with how the sizing worked out in the end. But more importantly, the shirt looks great with those cowboy boots!

22 thoughts on “Simplicity 1327: Plaid on request

  1. It looks great! Nice work on the plaid matching. I’m making my hubby a plaid shirt for his b’day and am not even remotely excited by the prospect. I did promise him though as I haven’t made him anything since we had our daughter nearly four years ago!!

  2. That does look like gorgeous fabric – like a herringbone twill within the gingham! You’ve done such a beautiful job with all the matching! Haha I did laugh thinking about the Australian Countryman Business Suit – you forgot moleskin pants and brown RM Williams boots! My husband is the same – last job involved a lot of country travel and that’s what started to creep in. This job – all city based and now it’s all about slim fitting Ben Sherman suits. Honestly I’m just glad to have a man who takes pride in, and enjoys his clothes! He’d be so jealous of the cowboy boots.

    1. Haha! I DID forget the moleskins and RM Williams. He had them too! The RM’s were just put out to pasture. He also came home from one trip wearing a classic RM Williams panama hat – which I pinched…it looked much better on me 😉

  3. I love the shirt. It was nice of your husband to pose so amiably for the photos. Among the blogs I read, which are numerous, most husbands and boyfriends are not so good about pictures, no matter how much they appreciate the home sewn garment. You make a lovely couple.

  4. What an awesome shirt! You are a better wife than me. I’ve never seen Corey anything. What a lucky husband you have! He looks very pleased.

  5. “Western shirt” had me worried but you’ve managed to fill the requirements without it being costume-y. The fabric is gorgeous.
    He looks very pleased in the pics – does he like the shirt?

    Spud.

    1. I was worried too! He is very pleased with the top. Although the photo of him smiling is somewhat exaggerated as I’d just told him to smile, and he suddenly turned all Broadway on me.

  6. That fabric looks lovely and you’ve done a great job of using it on the bias for the contrasted sections. I’m only new to your blog but have been enjoying checking out your past makes – so talented! So will he be signing up to line dancing anytime soon???

  7. The shirt is beautiful. Well done. I love the Liberty with the plaid. I laughed at your country fashion comments. My husband grew up on a sheep station in western Queensland and it was all checked shirts for years. I nearly fell off my chair when he said yes to Liberty!! He’s slowly becoming Brunswick hipster after 9 years. But there will always be collared shirts, no t-shirts!

  8. If there is one thing that I’ve learned since I moved to Texas it is that boots and western wear are SERIOUS business!! Like, even the people you’d think would NEVER own cowboy boots will surprise you by stepping out in their ‘dress boots’ every now and again! And I have to say, I kind of love the look on men 🙂 Your husbands boots are really spectacular, and he DEFINITELY needed a western shirt to go with it! You did a lovely lovely job on this! The topstitching and plaid matching is so on point, and the fabric is perfection. Fabric really does make the difference about whether or not I can get excited about a project, too!

    1. Haha, and thank you! Boots are such serious business aren’t they. I find it so funny – like you said, adults …and kids….have their special dress boots. On occasion though, my husband even has a Texan accent to go with his boots 😉

  9. Riiiiiiggggght, so hubby won’t let you wear yellow neoprene, but you’ll allow him cowboy boots? What on earth has the world come to? I banned my hubby’s cowboy boots the minute we started dating… poor guy. But seriously, we live in urban Sydney! Your hubby is hilarious. Go the plaid cowboy shirt. Very nicely done, even if it didn’t float your boat. The bias cut parts look great as well – a nice contrast

    1. I know! I did laugh at his idea to get himself cowboy boots, but he seemed so intent on the idea that it was kind of endearing…and of course, we are living in the Midwest. I’ve found it very easy to resist though – he wanted to buy me some – maybe if it was 2002….

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