Mr Sewaholic’s Christmas Shirt: Pattern Picked!

Yay! I’ve picked up a pattern for Mr Sewaholic’s Christmas shirt. In case you’re just catching up, I’m planning to make Christmas gifts this year, starting with a very special handmade shirt for my guy. (Click here to read my post about gifts and the great comments in response!)

It’s not a surprise, he does know what I’m making! I’m making a shirt with French cuffs (for a touch of Don Draper sophistication) and I’m on the hunt for vintage silver cufflinks to go with it.

Here’s the pattern I picked – McCalls 9351, vintage 1984:

I bought it on Etsy from Sew Mrs P, and it turned out to be a fantastic pattern! Look, it’s Every Man’s Classic Shirt.

Once I opened up the pattern, I was even more thrilled with it.

Can you spot the difference between View A and View B?

View A is the Quick Classic Shirt – meant for beginners and called the 3 Hour Shirt. Look at the wonderfully written directions below: “sew this shirt in only 4 trips to the sewing machine!” Efficiency – I love it!

View B is the Conventional Classic Shirt – no shortcuts. That’s the one I’ll be making! For a gift, I’d like to make the extra-special shirt with all of the tricky construction details. I can always make the Quick Shirt later on but if the shirt will be worn with cufflinks, I feel like I can’t cut corners.

There are full 1″ seam allowances everywhere for fitting – more room to let out or take in! I’ve been skimming through Fit for Real People and they are big fans of the 1″ seam allowance. So is Couture Sewing Techniques. (Did you know in factory patternmaking the seam allowances are only 1/4″? No room for mistakes or sloppy sewing there!)

And the best part of the pattern – these cute little ‘Pro Tips’ sprinkled throughout the instructions sheets! Blue Ribbon sewing tips.

There are SIX PAGES of instructions too – wow! Very thorough.

Mr Sewaholic is totally pumped about his present. How often does a guy get a custom-fitted shirt made? Guys’ bodies are just as unique as ours, with their own set of figure issues.

Of course I made him promise asked him sweetly to model the work-in-progress and finished shirt! And he resisted agreed!

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16 Responses to Mr Sewaholic’s Christmas Shirt: Pattern Picked!

  1. Diane October 14, 2010 at 7:04 am #

    What a great idea. I can’t wait to see your progress and please pass along your advice for this as I’d love to do the same for my guy someday.

  2. A Sewn Wardrobe October 14, 2010 at 7:13 am #

    I am so excited to see how this comes out. But I’m not showing your posts to my husband – he is dying for me to make him a shirt (and a suit!).

  3. Venus de Hilo October 14, 2010 at 7:16 am #

    What a special gift for a great guy! Look forward to seeing how it turns out.

  4. Greta October 14, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    I use French seams when making my guy’s shirts. Have you considered making a muslin and then French-seaming once you have the fit right? Or is there another way besides serging to keep the inside clean?

  5. Funnygrrl October 14, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    This is great. My guy loves French cuffs. Can’t wait to see it.
    A present for all of us!

  6. Angela October 14, 2010 at 7:35 am #

    How cool is that pattern! I eventually want to make a shirt for my husband, too. I’ll be following your progress on this shirt. :)

  7. Ms.Cleaver October 14, 2010 at 8:43 am #

    I’m making my Mr. a Christmas shirt too!! Mine’s a modern pattern – McCall’s M6044, in a lovely Pendleton wool ( . As soon as I finish the Lady Grey coat, it’s next on my list. :)

  8. The Cupcake Goddess October 14, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    Fabulous idea! I’m sure he will love it. I don’t know if you already have it, but David Coffin’s book on Shirtmaking is to die for. He gives fabulous tips and takes you from fabric picking to creating and sewing the most beautiful shirt. I bought it just a little while ago and absolutely love it. And for a sewing book, its rather a delightful read. You might like it as a companion to your shirtmaking adventure. Can’t wait to see the final product.

  9. Liz October 14, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    Great idea, my DH would love one. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this pattern sold on Etsy today! Your ideas are well worth following and then making them our own…for us or for our family. Thanks for your great site. I’m looking forward to seeing the progress too.

  10. Scruffy Badger October 14, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    I am looking forward to following your progress, & have really appreciated your muslin tutorials (thank you!). I recently rekindled an old habit of men’s shirt sewing for my son & loved it (brought back memories!). Even better it was OK for him to wear a shirt made by his Mum! Anyway – it’s a much quicker sew than it looks – like Greta I use french seams. Interested in the posh cuffs & your fabric choice. I think I’ll be making some as Christmas pressies this year too

  11. Darci October 14, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    That a fantastic gift, Tasia! I’m sure your fella will LOVE it. Looking forward to watching it all come together.

  12. little betty October 14, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    What great patterns. I think vintage patterns and books have the best instructions. Whenever I can’t figure out a stage from a modern pattern I pull out my books from the 70’s and things are always clearer.

  13. Irene October 14, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    You’ll do a beautiful job, as always. Just don’t get him hooked to such luxuries!

  14. Tamsin October 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    I am also planning to make a shirt for my husband. He was feeling a bit left out after I had refashioned a couple of tops for my kids. I am going to use the McCalls 6044 too and he has already chosen the material. Just got to finish 2 nighties for my girls, a top or 2 for me and a Hotpatterns coat dress that I’m planning to do a muslin for….

  15. Tasia October 14, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    Oh yay! So glad you guys are interested in seeing his present come together :) Imagine trying to keep it a surprise!

    @Greta: I’m thinking of flat-felling the sleeves for a nice clean finish. I have a book out from the library on shirtmaking so I’ll see what they recommend! French seams would also be nice and tidy inside.

    @A Sewn Wardrobe: Oh my gosh, a whole suit! That would be quite the undertaking.. but think of how much you’d learn!

    @Ms.Cleaver: A wool shirt, that sounds so cosy and warm! What a great winter gift. Will Mr Cleaver model it? :)

    @The Cupcake Goddess: I have this book out from the library! I’ve skimmed through it and so far, it seems like a wonderful resource. I love how he starts it off saying he knows it’s not cheaper than shopping, and yet it’s the joy of shirtmaking that inspires him to sew!

    @Irene: Don’t worry, I’ll make sure he doesn’t get too spoiled! He knows it’s a luxury to have a custom-made shirt – which is why he’s so thrilled!

    Next up – Mr Sewaholic goes to the fabric store with me, how fun is that going to be?!

  16. Amber October 23, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

    Mr. Sewaholic is a very lucky guy! I can’t wait to see it all made up!