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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

How to make a Mans collarless shirt

HOW TO MAKE A  MAN'S collarless Shirt




This is showing you how I make collarless shirts, my next post will show you how to add interest with a contrast yoke and piping, and it will include a collar.
There are many mens shirts patterns, all the major pattern companies have one.The one I am using is an old one which I adapt time and time again.

For this project I am going to be showing you how to make a shirt for a man, of course the same principal applies to making a shirt for a lady. Please do not feel daunted, it is not as difficult as it sounds.
I have made plenty of shirts for my other half and he delights in helping to choose the fabric but the buttons are all his own choice!

So, you will need a pattern.i am using McCalls M6044.
Interfacing,  the weight will probably be a medium unless he intends to wear a tie with it when you would choose a heavy weight sew in. For this project though a medium should be sufficient.I am making it without a collar, but will explain how to do one with a collar on the way.
You will need some buttons too.and matching thread.
If you intend using a contrast fabric for the collar and cuff linings you will need a small piece of fabric which coordinates or clashes with the main fabric in the same weight and same fabric composition.
The reason for using the same type of fabric is that you want it to wash and wear evenly, without going limp or shrinking.
                                   

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The fabric has been ironed and pinned together along the selvedge - this makes sure the grain is correct which is so important.
The pattern has been cut out, so I am all prepared to cut it out later this evening. Please look again later for photographs and updates on my progress. Meanwhile find some spare fabric and make the tie, you will find it easy and rewarding.
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I have just spent a couple of hours cutting out, it is important to get the grain straight and go do this I measured from the selvedge to the grain line on the pattern piece, checking every couple of inches to make sure it is still straight. I also wanted the stripes to match where possible so i folded the fabric just off centre and pinned it in place.



This is matching the stripes up.

Pinning the pattern pieces on, take note of any instructions, for example, does it need to be placed on the fold?



Measure from the selvedge to the grain line. This is one of the most important things you can do when making a garment. It will hang correctly if you do this.


For the cuffs,button bands and collar facing I chose a white self -patterned fabric in the same weight. Cut it out In the same way. There is no collar in this particular design.(adapted from a commercial pattern as shown)

I am not going to cut the pockets out yet because I want them to be invisible and match up with the main body of the shirt.Once I have marked all the pattern pieces I will cut the pockets accordingly.

.We need to first of all choose our interfacing, for this one I chose a medium weight iron on. Because I want the  collars and cuffs to be a little bit stiffer than the front bands I am interfacing all the pieces. (If I were putting a collar on I would probably choose a sew in heavy weight interfacing for it)

Anyway, if you are using iron on interfacing do it now and then proceed to transfer all the pattern markings onto the fabric. I am going to use tailors tacks for this project as I am wary of markings from tracing paper showing through on to the right side.


 I want to talk to you about pockets. Men like pockets, in fact they love pockets, they like putting "things" in pockets, receipts, lighters that don't work,chewing gum, old lottery tickets,  you know the sort of things.
So whatever you do, give pockets a go.
If there is to be just one pocket it usually goes on the left, but just think a minute, if he is left handed he will appreciate it being on the right. I make two usually, because as I said, men like pockets....




 If the fabric is striped it is nice to have the stripes all matched up so that the pocket is almost invisible. In this case, cut the pockets out after you have done the placement markings. If you are using a plain fabric you wont have this problem.
If you are really struggling to match the pattern, then cut it on the cross and have the pocket stripes running diagonally, or use plain fabric on a heavily patterned fabric and match it up by using the same for facings too. Use your imagination and have fun,




The next step is to sew the shoulder seams, again matching the pattern as far as possible. Stitch the side seams and neaten the edges.





Please do not hesitate to ask me any questions, there is no need to struggle.


For the first step we need to put the front bands on. You should have interfaced them already, if not do it now. Fold the bands in half and pin to the front of the shirt.


Stitch the bands on and then iron them. Trim the seam allowance.Fold the edge of the band in by 5/8". Press. Fold the band in as shown, press again


    Below is what you should now have.
    Pin the band in place as shown.





On the right side top stitch along the length of the band next to the seam.

Press again and there you have it. The bands are now in place.



The next step is to do whatever neck you have decided on. Next time I make a shirt, which will be soon, I will show you how to do a  collar, but on this shirt I want it collarless.take the pattern pieces you want and interface both pieces of fabric. 





It seems ages since I last updated this blog.
Tonight I have been working on the cuffs.




Stitch cuff pieces  right sides together, trip and  lip curves. Turn right side out and press
Attach the right side of one cuff to the right side of the sleeve, adding a pleat to the sleeve  where shown on the pattern. Keep the inside of the cuff free.


Turn under a narrow hem on the inside of the cuff, pin, machine.
Top stitch the  cuffs




The machined and top stitched cuffs.



Turn up and press an even narrow hem all around the bottom edge, making sure that the fronts match.



Measure the buttonholes, usually they are about 3 to 3 1/2 inches between them.

Next time we will do the buttonholes and finish the shirt.



We left off previously at the point where we marked the buttonholes.
The next step is to actually make the buttonholes, not so simple as it might first seem, they have to be neat, accurately placed and functional.






You will most likely have a buttonhole foot and setting on your machine. On mine the button goes into a slot and the buttonhole is automatically sewn to the correct size.  Always do a test buttonhole on a spare piece of fabric first then there are no nasty surprises when you  come to put them into the garment. 


Follow the instructions on your sewing machine manual and start to slowly stitch the buttonholes.i always press them when they are all done.

Now comes the bit where we have to cut them. Do  take care! This is the point where you  could ruin the whole thing so take it easy. Do not use a seam ripper, you are asking  for disaster! Either carefully snip away with a sharp pair of pointed scissors or use a specialised tool.



Pin  the bands together and start sewing tbe buttons on. Always use double thread which has been waxed, and do fasten off securely, nothing is worse than buttons that fall  off! 



So, there we have it, a shirt to be proud of, a final press and check for loose threads and it is all  done.


I hope that you have enjoyed this shirt making masterclass. For simplicity I put all the blogs on shirtmaking into one page on my blog.

I would appreciate feedback, comments and questions

Happy sewing, and do let me see your results

Angela


To make a short sleeved shirt, there may be a cutting line on your pattern otherwise shorten the pattern to the required length. Finish the hem by turning up or you can make a turn up edge.



Note the contrasting collar band




Dont think that you have to be left out, here is one I made for myself!



It is in a printed cotton,


And has a contrasting neck band and under collar

Happy shirt sewing

Angela