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.
Please rest assured, this hasn’t (permanently) turned into a women’s sewing blog. I have a shirtmaking project in the works that I plan a big blog series about – if you want to see the sneak preview I’ve been posting pictures on my Instagram feed, @lineofselvage.
In the meantime, here’s an update on my progress in the Fashion Draping course I’m taking at City College of San Francisco. Since the midterm, we’ve done projects including draping flared skirts, dartless torsos, fitted torsos, and draping with knits. But two projects stand out.
A bustier is a strapless bodice top that fits very closely to the body (though you can add a strap to it once draped). It is different from a corset in that the bustier sits right on the body, while a corset is actually smaller than the body.
Ideally, the shaping in a bustier is accomplished by seams. Each seam provides a place where the fabric can be sculpted and shaped over the body. One requirement is that a seam of some sort crosses the bust point, or the apex of the bust. This allows for shaping of the bust area.
We use draping tape to mark the style lines of the design. Each line becomes a seam in the bustier, and is also part of the design. Everyone was encouraged to make their own original design; mine had many style lines and curves.