Strike Up the Band (Collar)

I started working on a new shirt pattern a few weeks ago…V8759. It’s similar to the dress shirts I’ve been making for Robert, using V8889, only it’s got a regular front placket, instead of the covered placket (also called a fly front) that V8889 calls for.

[Side note: anytime Robert wears the green chambray version of V8889 to work, his co-workers remark about him being dressed up…despite chambray not really being something one things of as “dressy.” Also, for more information than you probably want on shirt plackets, check out this brief overview on Proper Cloth.]

Since it’s getting warmer — in theory, despite the 50-degree temps we’re still experiencing with regularity — I thought it would be a good idea to make a short-sleeved version. That, and I only purchased 2 yards of fabric with this shirt in mind. I probably could have moved things around to get everything cut out of what I had, but…I didn’t want to.

The main fabric is a beautiful yarn-dyed cotton in cobalt blue that I picked up from Stitch Sew Shop the other day. I had so much fun working with it that I’m pretty sure I’m going to swing back over there on a lunch break and pick up some more in different colors.

I had worked through the front pieces and stitched together the center and side back sections, and was just about to grab the back yoke when I realized…I had only cut one of that piece. This turned out to be a fortuitous oversight. I had enough of the blue cotton to cut out the missing piece, but I decided I wanted to do something a little different for the inside of the yoke.

I had purchased a constellation print fat quarter from Modern Domestic during one of my Portland trips last year. I didn’t have a specific plan for it when I picked it up. I just knew I liked it. Which, to be honest, defines more than half of what is in my stash. I had enough to cut the yoke, and still have enough fabric to cut a couple of strips on the bias, for binding.

The directions for this pattern call for using French seams, as opposed to the flat-felled seams of the dressier V8889. It’s been a while since I’ve used French seams, though I used to use them for everything (It’s just such an easy-ish way to finish seams when you don’t have a serger and don’t want to just zigzag the edges). I still think I might like the flat-felled seams for this pattern. Especially since the short sleeve will make it easier to stitch the flat-felled seam without the fear of catching the fabric, like when I sew the long-sleeved dress shirts.

I used the bias binding hem trick for this shirt, like I did on the green chambray shirt — you might remember that one had little velociraptors on it. I also cut two thinner bias strips, folded them in half lengthwise, and used them for an added little design pop on the sleeve hems. Sort of like piping, only not quite.

Robert requested a shirt with a band collar on it, which made constructing this shirt even easier. You don’t have to bother cutting out a different pattern piece…you just leave the top of the collar off and just use the collar band. Thus, getting a band collar. Simplicity!

A little peek of stars

I searched through my bins of vintage and random buttons and managed to find enough coordinating blue ones for the front of the shirt, and VOILA!

A new shirt.

I have to say, I really like the coordinating yoke lining and bias binding on the hem, and have already decided to make that a recurring design feature of Robert’s other shirts.

I’m also really pleased with the way the Vogue menswear patterns are

I told him he was allowed to smile for these.

working out so far. The directions for both V8889 and V8759 have been clear (with the exception of a wee bit of confusion on my part regarding the tower plackets for the long-sleeves on V8889), and I haven’t needed to do any adjustments to make the patterns work for Robert’s size. This is, honestly, a wonder to me, as the difference between Robert’s shoulder and waist measurements are pretty significant. If a ready-to-made shirt fits his shoulders, the rest of him is generally swimming in it. Not so with the Vogue patterns. They have fit perfectly, with no adjustments needed.That’s a nice plus.

I’ve already gone ahead and cut out two more of the same pattern, using similar yarn-dyed cotton in two different colors. I haven’t yet found a coordinating “fun” fat quarter for the inner yoke of the fourth shirt (which is a teal/white plaid), so that one is on hold at the moment, in terms of cutting.

By now, I’ve finished the second shirt (in a colorway called “Peacock”), and I am halfway finished with the third one. As you can see, Alvin decided to help.

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