This article begins a series on a recently completed dress shirt for my partner, Jim (hereafter referred to as “the Client”).
As with many of my projects, this one is a side quest: the original plan was to design a chambray work shirt for him. Since I last made shirts for him based of Kwik Sew 2000, I realized his body proportions have changed due to many hours at the gym. The shirts are now a touch too small, particularly in length. Plus, I’ve developed my fitting skills since I made those shirts and I thought the overall fit could be improved.
Six fitting sessions, over a period of several months, got me to the point where I was happy enough to go ahead with this shirt – which I think of as a wearable muslin. In a reversal from my usual presentation, I’m opening with the finished project. Future articles will talk more about how I got here, starting with the original Kwik Sew 2000 pattern.
Wow, what a long road this has been!
Several days of persistent work has eventually led to the completion of the Blue Plaid Shacket.
As usual, here are my overly-detailed notes on how I put this thing together.
Sorry to keep everyone in suspense with the shacket project!
I’ve been busy with some other non-sewing related projects. One of them is to assemble an application for dual Italy/America citizenship. To be recognized as an Italian citizen, I have to put together an astounding array of documents, including birth, marriage, death and naturalization certificates for my ancestors up through my grandparents. I’ve been working with my sister on this project, and although it is fun, it is a lot of effort.
Plus, I’ve been doing some other sewing stuff not related to this project (more below). Anyway, here’s a status update.
Between personal life, the holidays, and other hobbies, work on my Shacket project has progressed at a rather stately pace. But I have made a new muslin that represents some real forward progress on the project.
With Muslin B, I wanted to check and validate the fitting changes from the first shacket draft, this time with linings and interlinings in place so I can take into accout the volume they add to the finished garment. But this muslin was equally useful to practice lining insertion, and to help make style decisions.
I am using fuschia bull denim for the outer fabric, black polyester fleece for interlining, and yellow polyester charmeuese for the lining as described in my previous article in the series. To me, the colors look garish, but others at the sewing studio commented the fuschia denim and yellow lining actually went together. Who knew!
In the first installment of this series, I drafted a pattern block for the shacket based upon a dress-shirt pattern I had fit to myself. I enlarged the garment and drafted a new sleeve based on a draft from a textbook.
I stitched up a trial garment from actual muslin fabric and posed for these high-fashion fitting photos. The grainlines are marked by vertical lines, and cross-grain lines (used to evaluate horizontal balance) are also marked. I got this technique from Sarah Veblen’s fitting courses, but it’s also basically the same thing that Don McCunn’s pattern-drafting book does with gingham fabric for his trial muslins. It gives you visual cues so you can see how the grainline of the fabric hangs on the body.