Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Men's shirt patterns

Last time I mentioned the latest tailoring effort as a slim fit 1960s shirt. Well, after trawling for patterns it seems there isn't really one out there :-(
The closest I got were three 1960s patterns, but none of them seem to be slim fitting. I prefer the slim fit because it looks better on a slim man (now that I'm half the man I used to be - well, maybe 75%). We all need to use clothes to show us in our best light, don't we? The ladies certainly do (not so much these days, of course). In the U.S. two years ago it was really easy to find vintage shirts and suits, but they were all huge. Americans eat a lot more than Aussies, it seems. I'm currently wearing one of my thrift shop bargains though. An Italian suit, probably '90s but it doesn't matter when it fits this well. Classic design, with pin stripes, and very slim fit. The price? Same as a good op shop here: $10. Can't promise to ever learn to make suits, since it would take many years to make something even acceptable, but shirts are a different matter.
I hereby promise to attempt to create and publish an electronic pattern from the paper one I made my shirt from. Here are two pictures of it as it is now - I have yet to sew button holes on:
The seams are something my teacher's very proud of. Also, this machine sews beautifully, and it's just a pleasure to use it. The pedal looks bizarre - it's made of bakelite, and has a solid post right next to the switch for your foot to pivot on while you're using it, but it's very smooth. Some of this is probably the thorough clean and oil last week, but most is definitely due to the quality of the build back in 1960. Since teacher isn't here and I can't remember what it's called I won't go on about it, but side seams are pressed flat, then toward the back. The seam closest to the back is cut by half and the longer one folded over it. It's pinned in place like that and stitched. Looks very nice (better than the finish in the original shirt). The fabric was just what shirting was available, a nice plain green. Obviously you can make from something a bit groovier than this, but I chose the plain in case I screwed it up. Wasting 25 cents worth of fabric is not something I'd cry over. Besides, it'll still be a great looking shirt that feels good too. And that's not even mentioning that other feeling, of having made it!
Etsy seems to be the best place to find vintage patterns. The three I found earlier today are simplicity 4160, simplicity 7745 and butterick 5897. Just remember that pattern numbers are re-used so include 1960s in your search. I'll figure out some time how to digitise the pattern I have.

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