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Category Archives: Men’s Dress Shirt

Vogue 8759 Man’s Shirt

Back of man's shirt

I cut the original pattern with no adjustments in size 46 in a light blue cambric pinpoint and we had a try on.  I hated it!  It looked like a school boy’s shirt but maybe that was because of the traditional fabric. And it was not appealing because it didn’t look like a proper “work shirt”,  I could see this style  cut with the mandarin collar but not with the collar and stand as I need to make.


The yoke is drafted to seam at .5″ below the shoulder point, not dropped like a proper yoke, the sleeve has enough ease in it that there might be gathers when inserted.  But oddly enough the collar might just fit my husband’s 18.25 inch neck.  I wish Vogue would print the collar length on the pattern somewhere so that those of us who are serious about making a fitted man’s shirt could chose the proper size.  But they don’t.

I don’t trust my measuring ability to accurately tell me just exactly how long that collar is. Between the pattern’s tissue paper that is inaccurate by it’s very nature, and the exact placement of a measuring tape, millimeters can be lost or gained.  Ah, well.  No shirts are built by stressing over the small details, right?  But I did have my day of pouting.

I lowered the shoulder seam line and by like subtraction I extended the shoulder yoke, shortened the shoulder seam, cut the armscye lower and wider, added fabric over the torso, and added 3″ to the length of the garment. I did not alter the sleeve pattern. And I did not alter for my husbands dropped shoulder and leaning stature. These details of sewing for him have completely stopped my suit making. One day I will overcome. Pray for me.


I cut the cloth and basted the shell together.
front of man's shirt

Button Stand left open

Side of man's shirt

It looks like the sleeve could be rotated in the armscye a touch towards the back. How odd. This sleeve has a high cap, again that’s odd considering that most men’s shirt patterns have a flat sleeve cap.

But that’s why I like this patten: it has a taste of side shaping, and high and tight armscye, a long collar band and some shape and finesse to the sleeve.

So Onward I go, now to cut 4 more shirts as accurately as possible from a tissue. I don’t know of a garment that needs the most accurate and nuanced cutting as a man’s shirt. And for a picky man, the bottom line is how comfortable it feels, who can blame them?


New Clothes for Her and Him

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New Dress Vogue 1224

A New Dress! Such a simple thing and it makes me feel so good.

It’s the oft reviewed Vogue 1224. I cut and sewed most of it yesterday and finished the hems and tie ends this morning.

I just turned the tips of the tie ends inside and took a few stitches to close them. I buried the thread knot inside the long seam, quilting style.


I am a 12 or 14 through the shoulders and upper chest so I cut a 14 and did an FBA, or my version of an FBA, I should say, since I don’t look these things up, I just kind of sew by instinct and who knows, maybe I’ve seen this somewhere, maybe not.

But here’s what I did to accommodate my DD bust and “wider than pattern sizing 14” middle


I added 3/4″ to the length of the front and back bodice and 5/8″ to the underarm side seams. Cut the front and back skirts and extra 5/8″ on the fold, too. I also lengthened the dress and lining by 1″.

Vogue 1224 Back

I have had this fabric in the stash for years and never liked it. Made up it is actually cute. The lining is not the recommended stretch mesh but a nylon lycra in nude from the lingerie stash.

A few thoughts about the pattern:

  • When I do it again I will finish the lining so that the finished side is next to my body, not next to the skirt as the pattern has you do. Or maybe I got that wrong
  • I will add 1/2″ extra width through the back skirt (unless I lose weight again).
  • I will tack the elastic in the bodice neckline so that the shoulder seams will stay on the shoulders and the tie can be untied for the laundry.

A few other musings: Do pattern companies take into consideration the “fun” you have when you sew? Like do they have you take a narrow hem and have you trim off the 5/8″ turn up and think that’s fun? I don’t know, just wondering….

And for HIM: A New Shirt (a mix of Vogue 8759 and the OOP Vogue 8096 (image no longer available). The new version has princess seams down the back but not a full yoke like the old pattern so I started out thinking I wouldn’t use the new pattern at all.

It’s been 3 years since I have made work shirts, in part because I cannot find the denim-look chambray fabric I want to use. So I’ve made one from a new material and we’ll test how well it holds up to weekly washings and the hard work in the shop.

Mr Stitchery seriously likes his new shirt

Seriously Likes

We like how big the pocket is. I have some redesign plans for the pocket in the making. We want things to stay in the pockets but have no time for buttons or snaps. I’ll blog about my trials in a couple of weeks.

But I forgot how far away the pattern places the pocket! Oh DUH, I’ve monogrammed enough pockets to know that they should be about 1.5″ to 2″ away from the edge of the front placket. I had made no notes on the pattern. Gees, Mary Beth, Make Notes! Or at least read your old blog post….


He has an extra long back that requires a shirt longer than any I’ve found in RTW so we add about 4″ to the length. Next time I’ll make the sleeves an inch shorter, and raise the shoulder seam and sleeve cap, too. I’m thinking that there too much width across the upper chest as well. Hmmmmmm.

Full Length

Mr Stitch has not been around very much to take measurements so I had to cut this shirt from a sort of “memory”, maybe you’d call it a physical memory? I knew the collar would be too short for his neck but he doesn’t button the top button ever, so altering for teat seemed a waste of time.

However I did remember the billowing fullness of his last set of shirts and taking an idea from the new Vogue Man’s pattern I cut the back into 3 sections and contoured them like this: (there’s a parralax (if that’s the right term) in this shot, the bottom edge is actually straight)

Contour Back

Somehow that turned out perfectly. I don’t really know how, it was just from visualizing his shape and how much ease I wanted in the shoulders. Yipppeeee!!!

Side Back

I haven’t washed the shirt yet. We do not like work shirts that need ironing when they come out of the dryer. So we’ll see if this fabric is OK for another.

But we DO LOVE the new PRO-WOVEN Shirt Crisp FUSIBLE Interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply. I interfaced both sides of the collar and stand and used one strip in the left front button placket. Wonderful stuff. Thanks so much, Pam!

Happy to be sewing!

Musing in the Cold “They Did Not!” Category

Today is hopefully the beginning of the end to the cold snap that has kept me indoors and away from back porch photography. The porch is under the snow and I’m just not that kind of girl. Oh, the dogs demand that indeed I shall march through the frozen fields with them but modeling is just not a job I do out of doors in this kind of weather. There’s just not enough money in it, te-he!

So finished coat pix are coming…later this week.

In the meantime “They Did Not!”. Pendleton did not put all their current and classic styles on sale…oh noooo, just when my budget is completely snuffed by medical and insurance bills and the economy in general.

Oh but they did: Pendleton online catalog It’s a given that I’d snatch up any of the women’s garments in a heart beat. But, but, I’m not sputtering only for my own selfish interest, Dear Lord, the men’s sale is fabulous too! Please windfall me some cash really soon, like today?

I have lusted after iconic the wool robe for the Huspartner forever! His Sir Pendleton, Lodge and Board shirts have been staples of The Stitchery Christmas giving for the past number of years. These shirts are so gorgeous and they stay gorgeous for a very long time!

And now they are on sale.


I’ll live through this lack of cash somehow…I’ve survived a severe curtailment of fabric money for the past year so I can survive this. But, but, sniff.

On the Good News side of cold musings is that in visiting Annika’s Atelier and Esty Shop and generally catching up with this productive and lovely lady I’ve rediscovered a blog I used to love: Beauty Tips for Ministers PeaceBang is back and beauty blogging again. She’s been back for a while so I’ve got lots of reading to do. I love her writing style and thrift consciousness. And she talks about Proper Fit. LOVE….

Could Spring be just a few months away?

Denim Work Shirts – Vogue Mens 8096

Production sewing, yes, but this time for personal use:

Here’s the pattern I used Vogue men’s pattern 8096. Great pattern (but read on for a warning), well drafted, decent collar shape.

You can cut down the seam allowances where 5/8″ is not needed (collar and stand, pockets top and bottom of yoke and the pieces it joins to) or you’ll be cutting down after you’ve sewn them.

I didn’t bother with fine details like cutting a smaller under collar, the pattern doesn’t have one either. These shirts are meant for working, not standing around looking pretty. But, thanks to good denim, they turned out pretty anyway.


I made the short sleeved version in a heavy weight (for a shirt that is) denim and did mock flat felling: stitched the seam on the sewing machine, serged together the edges of the seam allowance to 3/8″, turned and topstitched at 1/4″. The armscye seam is turned toward the body of the shirt and the side seams are turned toward the back of the shirt. Nothing fancy.

Taking a cue from a RTW shirt I adjusted the width of my automatic buttonhole stitch to a more narrow setting and used a finer thread than I used in the stitching on the band. I didn’t want too much off-white in the shirt’s details, just enough to play nice with the off-white buttons that were available in the stash.


One thing: the pattern’s pocket placement seemed all wrong. It was 10″ down from the forward edge of the yoke, which of course is dropped from the shoulder by 1.25″ or so and 5 or 6 inches away from the center front. I didn’t measure it. But it was almost under the arm. I moved it to 8″ below the point where the yoke meets the collar stand and 4″ from the far edge of the front band. It just looked right in that position.

Why did I do this bit of production sewing? Overlooked ink pens in the laundry. Need I say more? Thanks goodness only the light blue work shirts got hit hard.

So (darn) there goes that denim I had stashed for the Hot Patterns Denim Diva Camden Coat. Oh, the sacrifices that must be made in times of great need and suffering…. Hope I can find some more of this denim, it was a pleasure to sew up and had great body.

It’s good to have a stash!!!

Separate Collars and Cuffs: Separate Reality

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Found at Manolo for the Men  

What a fantasy shirt!  It’s available from the Thomas Pink website and I so want to order one.

Oh, I know intellectually how to sew a detachable collar:  David Page Coffin discusses it in his book, Shirtmaking: Developing Skills for Fine Sewing .  He’s even discussed it with me personally on a sewing board.  But still, I want to hold this shirt in my hands, inspect how Thomas Pink of Jermyn Street London performed the construction and soak in the precision. 

With the collar and cuffs removed you have “grandfather” shirt.  I assume that there would be a small band at the wrists to contain the sleeves and a short mandarian style collar.  The interchangeable collars and cuffs would have matching buttonholes.  The two pieces would be attached together by small, flat buttons sewn loosely together.  I have a shirt that uses this type of button arrangement as cufflinks on the french cuffs and I am constantly searching for my button links.  See?  I can’t find them to take a photo to show you (uh-oh)

But back to the fantasy shirt:  I want to see the shirt on a live, standing right in front of me, man.  I want to see the collar and cuffs exchanged and watch how magnificently the tone of the shirt is changed.  I want to study how the changes affect the wearer.  Surely the white collar and cuff set will be more dressy, more uptown smart, while the blue and white stripe will be more casual and approachable uninterrupted by a change in color.

 And what about the kind of man who would order this shirt?  He would be looking for quality in fabric and ease in care, as a perusal of the Thomas Pink website reveals that the fabrics they use will provide both.  He would also be looking for versatility in his investment of $175 so he would have the spare change available and he would have the need to look great.  He would be the type to take care of his body as the fit is cut for a slim fit and he would be attracted to the crisp blue and white strip.  He would want to look alert but laid back, ready for business, but not pushing it.  

He would also have to take good care of the shirt.  He’d have to be able to plan ahead and try to not have to change a tire in a torential rain nor fix a loose connection under the hood.   He would have to be very careful when dining on sauced pasta and unlike James Bond, he would have to forego leaping into a fray to save the day. 

Reality often hits hard above the belt as well as below.

The body of the shirt is not sold separately.  Are custom shirt makers to hear in the future:  “I have the collars and cuffs, make me a shirt that will match”? 

Collar Band Obsession

In contrast to the Overstock’s shirt, here’s my collar band. Note that I cut the band so that the plaid is on grain at the shirt fronts.

Now, that’s obsession.

RTW Shirt Collars and Stand

Here is a collar shape similar to the shape I used for a tie made with a Windsor Knot but the stripes on the collar band drives me nuts! BCBG Shirt for $19.99 At I don’t like the width of the collar. I like my proportions better. You will have to decide what is best for the tie for which you are designing.