Vintage Sewing

Expanding into Menswear

June 20, 2009

This should inspire everyone to enter Myra’s Free Pattern Giveaway contest for the vintage men’s shirt pattern.
I was feeling selfish spending all of my sewing time on myself, so I made the boy a shirt. I picked out this pattern ($5 on eBay).

When I asked him what size shirt he wore, he said 15″/40″. This was a 15.5″/40″. Good. Then I got it and he stated that “well, the shirts in my closet are all size Medium/15, but that was when I was lifting weights a lot and had a thick neck and I was bigger. I’ve lost 15lbs of muscle since then and now I am more like a 14″/38”.

Fortunately I was able to copy the measurements off of his favorite Banana Republic shirt to get the fit right.
I did make one modification to this class pattern – it called for gathers where the yoke meets the back. The boy does not like gathers, and given a choice prefers a flat seam to pleats. So I drafted the yoke and back pattern slightly different in size from the original proportions (by copying the widths directly from his RTW shirt) and it worked perfectly.

I thought this would be harder than sewing women’s garments but it many ways it was easier. I did make a muslin out of an old sheet to make sure I could pull this off. That was a big help. I love how despite this being an early 1960s pattern it looks like he bought it new this week. I am trying to convince him to let me make him another one using the cotton version of my Target Tennis Dress fabric (it’s available in both a poly stretch AND cotton stretch shirting) but he is not too keen on the idea of a mod retro print shirt.


More pics on the blog.

  1. I love the shirt, but most of all I love how you made it for a young person! We have to pass on the love of this great world of sewing to the next generation. For many years homesewn garments were frowned upon no matter how professionally done. Your shirt is a masterpiece and looks great on him. Congratulations!

  2. Back again, I should have visited your blog before commenting. Now I have the full picture! Your cool is that? I misunderstood "boy" to mean you were older!! Sorry. But everything else still stands…great job and a good model to sew for.

  3. Maggie,
    his 18 year old nephew said he thought the shirt was perfect and "would buy one just like it" so perhaps a younger person will get one and appreciate it.

  4. Great job! This looks great on him. Good luck in trying to convince him in trying the "Target" material. 🙂

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