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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
- reflections on the experience,
- and finally some shirt-making tips.