The party’s over, and the party dress was a smashing success. Back to the men’s shirt project! In the last couple of days, I finished off the men’s shirt muslin. I sweet-talked Mr Sewaholic into holding still long enough to fit the muslin, and even got him to model for us!
Before we get into fitting, let me show you the ‘finished’ muslin:
It’s starting to look like a real shirt! I have the collar interfaced and attached, one sleeve set in with the cuff attached. The front band is on and the hem is marked. Last night’s bedtime reading was Shirtmaking by David Page Coffin, so I’m ready to go!
I made a checklist of all the areas to check, in preparation for the fitting:
- Check is the neck. Can we do up the collar? Where does it sit on the neck – is it too high or too low? Is it reasonably comfortable? Can he wear a tie?
- Check the shoulders. The sleeve seam should rest just on the shoulder point, not creeping up the shoulder or down towards the arm.
- Pin the shirt together at centre front. Do the edges meet? How does the body fit?
- Check the sleeve lengths. Sleeves should hit at the wrist, according to the book it’s a matter of taste and personal preference. Sleeve width is also personal, so let’s check to make sure the sleeve is not too blousy or too snug. Can Mr Sewaholic lift and bend his arms?
- Body length. Can Mr Sewaholic tuck in his shirt? When it’s tucked in, can he sit down without the shirt-tails pulling out? Can he sit down and raise his arms above his head? If it’s untucked, do we like how it looks?
Here’s the results of the fitting!
The shoulders fit, there’s just a little bit I need to pinch in to make sure the sleeves start on the shoulder point. I’ll have to reduce the back and front pieces as well to match the yoke.
On Mr Sewaholic, the only real problem was the neck. It didn’t meet at the front, even though the shirt fit in the body. The length was just right! He could tuck it in comfortably and move around without the shirt coming un-tucked.Sleeve length was just right, too! (Go figure, the easy things to fix didn’t need fixing!) The shirt length looked good untucked too.
It’s strange fitting someone other than yourself! For one, it’s weird to not know how it feels on. Fitting on myself is easier, I have a general idea what I like my clothes to feel like. On someone else, you’re relying on them to let you know how they feel. (I think Patty mentioned this in a comment as well..) Not to mention that men’s bodies are completely different.
Mr Sewaholic’s work is done, but mine is just beginning…
What’s the best way to correct the neck size? I was thinking of dropping the neck at the front by half an inch and re-drawing the neck curve. Then, I’d add half an inch to the collar and collar stand at centre front, 1/4″ on each side. Does that sound about right? It would make the neckline more comfortable as well, as it was quite snug.
What would you do? I’m hoping you guys can help me out here and share your dress-shirt expertise. Thanks in advance!
PS. Interested in more of the men’s shirt process? Read the rest of the posts on Mr Sewaholic’s Christmas shirt here: