I am by no means an expert dressmaker and I know men’s shirts can be particularly daunting for some people. However, I find them strangely satisfyingly to sew. There is something about the precise moment the collar stand and points meet at the front(hopefully) Not to mention the feeling of pride you get seeing your loved ones wearing something you have made for them. As long as you cut carefully and press press press as you go they are not that hard to make. Honest Guv!
I’m becoming increasingly interested in the history of garments that I’m making. Learning how they came about helps me feel closer to understanding their construction. After all, knowledge is power. While researching men’s shirts I found out these intriguing facts, did you know?
1. The saying ‘To look down your nose at somebody’ came from the fashion of high collars of the elite classes. The lower classes required a lower collar to allow for movement of their heads while working.
2. The oldest garment in the world is a shirt, made of linen and dating back to 3000BC. It was found in a Egyptian tomb.
3. The button down collar was introduced by Polo players trying to stop their collar flapping about as they rode. Whoa, it’s a tough life!
4. In the Eighteenth century it was illegal for men to not wear a waistcoat over their shirts. This act of indecency was punishable by imprisonment. What would they have made of the guys who spend summer in their shorts with their T shirts tucked into their waistbands?
5. The patch pocket was added in the 1960s to cover men’s nipples as vests were going out of fashion. And for this we may be eternally grateful.
I have made a couple of shirts for the Fabric Godfather and always smile when I see him select one to wear out of the wardrobe. I like to believe this is not just because they’re the only thing clean or was the first thing he found.
The blue one is a hack of the Negroni pattern from Walden by Colette. I added a covered button placket and an extra button so it does up more like a standard shirt. The white shirt with the red print is a Burda 7045. A bit more of a standard shirt pattern that he prefers.
Shop the Negroni here.
This blue Smith shirting fabric has a little bit of stretch to make it extra comfy to wear.
George is the cotton I used to make the Burda shirt. It has a really subtle small hexagonal design all over in a red print giving it a little bit of unusual detail.
I would love to make a Negroni using our 4oz denim in Indigo, it would have a wonderful utility feel to it.
Happy sewing xxx