Shirtmaking #1: pattern drafting craziness

Hey! Long time, no blog. Sorry about that. It’s good to be back!

What have I been working on for all this time, you ask? Well, remember this?

And this?

About 6 weeks ago I told The Boyfriend that I would make him a shirt for his birthday. After making a muslin of the Burda pattern above, and finding out that significant alterations would be needed to get the fit just right (since The Boyfriend is slimmer than the smallest size the pattern comes in), I decided to strike out on my own and draft my own pattern from scratch. It seemed like it might actually be easier, in the long run.

I’m not sure whether drafting my own pattern actually ended up being easier than altering the commercial pattern would have been, but I think it turned out pretty well! Plus, it was fun. And definitely a learning experience.

I used the “drape” method in the book pictured above by David Page Coffin for the main body pieces (front, back, and yoke). Basically, you trace the back yoke of a shirt you already have that fits, and then drape the front and back pieces directly on the person’s body. This worked perfectly, although I had to alter the yoke a bit after tracing it, since The Boyfriend doesn’t actually own a shirt that fits him perfectly in the shoulders (they’re all just a little too big).

I drafted the sleeve and the armhole almost entirely from scratch (a long and iterative process). I traced the collar, collar stand, and cuff from patterns included in Coffin’s book. I also referenced the shirtmaking sewalong posts from Male Pattern Boldness pretty regularly, and found them extremely helpful for figuring out things like how to make the front band for the buttonholes.

So, anyway. Basically, the point of this post is to say I DRAFTED A PATTERN. All by myself! Mostly from scratch! See?

I’m not gonna lie–I’m pretty proud of myself. I’ve never really drafted a pattern before–the closest I’ve come is kind of making things up as I go or heavily altering commercial patterns, but neither of those is really the same thing.

Now I just need to cut it out! Here are my fabric choices (I’m planning to make two shirts). I think I’ll start with the darker colored one. (Both of these are shirting weight cottons from Mood Fabrics, by the way.)

I’ll keep you posted on the sewing process. I’m going to be using a combination of the methods outlined in Coffin’s book, the instructions from the Burda pattern, and the shirtmaking sewalong posts on MPB. We’ll see how it goes!


One thought on “Shirtmaking #1: pattern drafting craziness

  1. Pingback: Blue Plaid Shirt | Umbellularia Designs

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