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Colin Knits and I Sew Shirt Muslins

I spent many hours last night reading the blog started over a year ago by a gentle man whose knitting wisdom I came to treasure in the two years I lurked on yahoo knitting lists. I quit lurking a few years ago, I just didn’t have the time so I am delighted to find his blog. We share many things in the facts of our separate existences.

Colin is a new hero, not just for his knitting and design ability but also for his sensitivity, humanity and love of his dogs and partner. I must share with you what this man has shared on the internet: KnitMan I hope when you become enchanted with his blog and his beautiful knitted creations you will not spend 3+ hours there as I did last night but stretch out your time with Colin and savour his posts. Oh, I’m tired today! But I do love a good man (shameless grin)

Now on to my own good man more well known and closer to home. I have been messing around with alterations to Islander’s Men’s Classic Dress Shirt . I want to custom fit a basic pattern for my husband. That’s the plan.

I do not like “pattern reviews”! This is a basic, well drafted dress shirt. That’s the pattern’s review.

Now on to “make it work!” Because of my fitting process I can not give you the exact measurement changes I have made to the pattern.

Husband presents difficult fitting issues. He has a wide thick neck and very short arms, loooong torso, very broad shoulders, big round stomach (we don’t talk about this), very narrow hips and a conservative outlook on dressing. Any collar made for him must withstand the toughtest, fastest growing beard in the world. He can abrade a collar in 12 hours. Once I asked how to handle making shirts for him on a sewing message board and the consensus was: Kelvar!

He is very muscled throughout his broad shoulders so I have made the yoke much deeper, done a high round back adjustment, lowered the front neckline, sloped the shoulder slope, shortened the shoulder length and sleeves. He is very asymmetrical so I essentially fit for two different bodies, writing “left” and “right” on each piece as I shave off a cm here, add 1 cm there and refit. I lengthened the body of the shirt, increased the waist girth, and narrowed the chest. Now I have to redraft the collar and sleeves. It would be so much easier to just drape the pieces to him but he won’t give me the time to do this so I measure, cut and sew the muslin with collar stand and collar, fit, mark, make notes and rip, recut, sew, etc.

His stance is lopsided due to an old injury and a hip replacement where the leg length was not matched correctly. When I journey on to making suit and sports jackets I will have to know his alterations well and greatly level and balance the shoulder line.

I want to transfer his basic patterns to oak tag so that I can concentrate on finer details. He isn’t protesting the baby pink cotton poly fitting shirts all that much. I expected worse protests from his highness: the king of awful dressing can be mightly particular when I dress him. But I do love a good man (very big shameless grin)

October cometh!

About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

5 responses »

  1. Hi esmeralda, I didn’t see anything about sewing, fashion or knitting and hadn’t visited your blog until you posted your comment here. I guess this is a form of phishing for hits and I will probably delete your comment. But thanks for stopping by. Maybe you’ll get into creating your own fashions for your loved ones someday?

    Diva Mary Beth

  2. Tried to post this yesterday, but something didn’t work. I had noticed this pattern, but I don’t think I need another men’s shirt pattern!

    It sounds as if my FIL needs some of the same alterations as your husband. Would you explain how you did the high round back alteration? It would be nice if they would stand still a bit longer while they’re being fitted, wouldn’t it?

  3. Hi Tessa: Blogger has been a booger lately and so has the internet in general. Eeesch. I’ll post a blog entry on my version, OK?

  4. Wow, MB, you’re the best wife ever! I’d be “Bad Wife”, and tell him to go to a tailor. I can’t wait to see the finished result!

  5. I am not into knitting but I enjoyed seeing the beautiful knitted sweaters from Colin on his website. He must have the largest collection of self knitted sweaters in the world.
    MaryBeth, your husband will receive the best shirt after your fitting process, a real custom fitted shirt pattern is worth to trace onto oak tag for the many, many uses it will get in the future.


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