My boyfriend has many wonderful qualities. He’s kind, etc., takes all the photos for this blog (except these, which is why they were all initially leaning 30 degrees before editing), and to cap it all off – he’s a medium! Just a straight-size medium, no grading or anything! The first trousers and button-up shirts I ever sewed were for him, because I could focus on construction, knowing fit would take care of itself. This is probably shirt #8 or #10, but a men’s shirt pattern is still something I’m excited to dig in and sew. Especially this one!
Of course when I say he’s a medium I mean he’s a Thread Theory medium, since this is the Thread Theory Fairfield. I love this shirt on him – the slim design elements like the collar and cuffs really suit his build, and after messing around with both views we’ve decided V2, with the back darts, is just right.
They’re hard to see in this small-scale gingham, and that’s the way I like them!
I’m not sure if other men’s shirt patterns use this technique, but the Fairfield instructions ask you to fold over the seam allowance on the top of sleeve before sewing the construction seam, which makes flat-felling the armscye much, much easier (all the seam allowances are actually pre-offset for easy flat-felling, though it means you have to read carefully). The one change I’ve made to this pattern was to make the armscye and shoulders seams flatter/less curvy, however – the sleeve cap was really tall, which meant the sleeve was very stylish and narrow, but my stitching was always messy around the tight curves and it was causing me stress. Effectively I made an unnecessary full bicep adjustment, so the sleeve is a little loose now.
But the shoulder is much neater! I’m re-adjusting the pattern to be more like the original, little by little, as my sewing confidence grows. You’d think this many shirts in I would laugh in the face of a flat-felled armscye, but nah.
Can you spot my other silly mistake? I hemmed the shirt the wrong way! Eek! Professor boyfriend generously allowed this to be a feature, not a bug. We’re calling it a reverse hem and it’s a highly desirable design element, ahem.
The fabric was a gift from my mother and it’s some sort of dreamy cotton, crisp and sturdy but not that wrinkly. The interfacing was a gift too – fusible, but cotton. I started treating myself to the $5 interfacing instead of $2 interfacing about 5 years into sewing, and I’m never going back. It’s that kind of attention to detail that makes my mom a deadly gifting assassin. You can’t compete.
I think you’ll see more of these shirts before we’re through! And more of this guy, too, if I can figure out how to hold the camera straight.
Pattern: Thread Theory Fairfield shirt
Pattern cost: NA
Supplies: 3 yards small blue and ivory gingham cotton, gift; $1.49, thread, Michaels; $6.00, buttons, Gather Here
Total time: 7 hours
Total cost: $7.49