Tag Archives: tuxedo-shirt

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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My “Make it Work” Moment

I’ve been devoting so much time to my Tuxedo Shirt project that I haven’t had time to blog as I go.  I’ll fill in more details after the job is done, but here’s an update in the interim.


After several rounds of fitting, the good news is that I’ve arrived at a shirt pattern that fits the client.

I got a trial-by-fire lesson in sleeve fitting, which I had not had a chance to practice on myself before trying out on the client. After draping the muslin and tracing out the client’s armscye directly on the muslin, I drafted a new sleeve to match.

I started by making a new sleeve pattern, using a draft I learned in Paul Gallo’s patternmaking and design course I took in January.  Contrary to the original sleeve that came with the model shirt, and also contrary to many men’s dress shirts, I used a much higher sleeve cap based upon measurements from my client.

Here’s the first sleeve draft that I produced; it was a little tight around the bicep and the wrists because I didn’t get the measurements right.  But you get an idea of the overall shape of the sleeve cap.  The solid pencil is the stitching line, I added both 1/2 inch (dashed) and 5/8 inch (red) seam allowances.

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