Category Archives: Clients

The BF Oxford Shirt, Part 1

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.

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The Other Tuxedo Shirt

Greetings after a long absence.  My personal life has been rather hectic lately, and after completing the shirt for my client’s wedding I took a break from sewing for a while.

Readers who have followed the Tuxedo Shirt saga to this point will know I actually made two shirts.  The first was from a fabric that looked beautiful but was prone to wrinkling.  Since the wrinkly shirt was largely complete, I took time over the past week to finish this shirt for the client.  I personally put a lot of effort into it, so I did not want to see it go to waste.

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Sewing for Others: A Retrospective

For the third article in my Tuxedo Shirt series, I wanted to reflect on the project, as well as the prospects of turning a hobby into a cottage industry of sewing for others.

Some Lessons Learned

Though the project was ultimately successful, I had my share of setbacks along the way, and there were a few things that didn’t go the way I had hoped. Continue reading

Fitting the Tuxedo Shirt

For the second post in my series on the Tuxedo Shirt, I delve into fitting.  As I had mentioned previously, fitting took longer than I had expected, even with a headstart in the form of an existing garment.

First Fitting

For the first fitting, I traced a pattern from a RTW shirt provided by the client. I produced a bodice muslin, lacking sleeves, collar and other details.

Overall, the RTW shirt already fit well. The client said the collar was slightly too tight on the RTW shirt.

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I Made it Work

My “Make it Work” moment worked!

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, in a cozy Northern California country club with idyllic views everywhere you looked, my client Kevin beamed with pleasure as he married his beautiful bride.  Also not coincidentally, he was the best-dressed man at the event. 

A gorgeous pair of golden cufflinks handed down to him from his grandfather, together with a black satin bowtie and suspenders, finished the look of his bespoke, one-of-a-kind tuxedo shirt.  Both bride and groom were thrilled with the way our project turned out – the shirt added a personal touch to a formal outfit.  And I was thrilled too.

I won’t include wedding photos here, out of respect for the bride and groom, but I’ll illustrate how the project turned out.  I’m planning four installments to this series:

  • construction,
  • fitting,
  • reflections on the experience,
  • and finally some shirt-making tips.

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