Shirts for everyone!

It was Kelvin’s birthday (and Harry’s birthday, and a heap of other people’s birthdays) last month so I thought it was about time I made him something. A while back he requested a short sleeved shirt and even though it’s getting a bit chilly round here I decided that was a good start (I would love to make him an albion coat but I didn’t want to spend too much on this first make as I wasn’t sure how well received it really would be). I had a unisex pattern (New Look 6232) that I had made for myself a few weeks before and I thought it wouldn’t be too hard to shorten and cuff the sleeves.




As I had put the shirt together already, construction was pretty straightforward. The only real problem I had was that my cuffs might be a little narrow so they don’t sit quite right and I sewed the buttons on ‘the girl way’. You know, on the wrong placket. Oops.


Also, I didn’t try to place the check properly for the button placket so it doesn’t look at tidy as it could. Maybe diagonal would have worked better. I did take the shoulders in slightly because they looked a bit blousey and low.. honestly I have no idea where shoulder seams are meant to go on a man’s shirt but they look OK to me now.


Kelvin loves it and he also loved posing for the photos. Much better than I am at it!


OK, now onto my version. Well.. before this shirt existed it had so much potential. The pattern looked nice, the fabric looked nice, I had a vision of a cute little shirt that I could wear in summer with shorts, sleeves rolled up – super casual. Obviously the accuracy of my imagination has, once again, been called into question. I really hate to complain about the things I’ve made, mainly because I feel like the sewing community is such a positive place but also because making a shirt is time consuming! But this shirt, I don’t like it…

The fabric is a printed cotton. Everything went together well, but the top stitching I did was a bit funny with some little stitches sneaking in. Usually cotton doesn’t cause many problems so I’m wondering if there was a little bit of something else blended in.


The sleeves are a bit puffy for my liking. There are two pleats at the cuff so there’s obviously a lot of ease built in and I wonder if I can remove some of it by taking out one or both of them. I’m curious to know whether other popular shirt patterns, such as the archer, have pleats? Maybe they would be a better option. I’m not really sure how much ‘slimming down’ I can get away with, but might try to add darts in the shirt front also. I ran out of fabric so faced the collar stand and cuffs in some fabric I had lying around that I thought would look fine. But it looks so bad.


The main problem I think I have is the print – it’s just way too much. Also the weight of the fabric is wrong. It would be fine to have a crisp cotton for a plain white shirt, but the shirt I wanted was more drapey than this turned out. There are two pockets on the front which are barely noticeable despite not being print-matched at all – it’s just so busy! This was also my first time doing sleeve plackets and they were fine. Even though I knew I hated this, I bought buttons and sewed them on by hand – go me! I just wanted to finish it so I had a reference if I ever make it again.

Will I make it again? Not sure, but probably. I’m sure a fabric change will make a huge difference and perhaps I can slim those sleeves down a bit (or chop them off!). I have been considering a sleeveless version, although I’m not sure if that would cause any problems at the armhole?


5 thoughts on “Shirts for everyone!

  1. Kelvin looks great and so happy in his new shirt. Sorry that you don’t like yours, though – of course we can’t see all the problems with it you can. Though I can see that this beautiful print might be a little overwhelming on you. Would it work to remove the sleeves and bind the armholes? Just having a bit less of the print might make it more to your taste (and you wouldn’t have to worry about slimming down the sleeves!

    • Haha – I clearly did not read your final paragraph properly before commenting!… yes, I think that trying a sleeveless version might work (though the armholes might be a bit large – I can’t really tell from the pics how big they are) x

  2. Aw thanks! I don’t think i’ll bother trying to fix this one, sometimes it’s nice to keep the fails as a reference for next time (which is why I have a bag full of ‘muslins’ that I’ve never sewn up again!). But I might try to make a plain white sleeveless top. I don’t know about binding armholes either.. I guess I will have to try to find out.

  3. I guess it’s a little busy but it’s definitely lovely print and with the sleeves rolled up its not as overwhelming. And I always forget which side the buttons should go on too. Two lovely shirts if you ask me 😊

    • Thanks! I am hoping that the right coordinating piece comes along that makes it work. (Hehe.. I am watching Gok Wan as I write this)

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