Rugby shirt

My husband adores rugby shirts and I have paid a lot for some (think Gant and Canterbury), and others I have bought quite cheaply (Macy’s in the US when I visit), but when he asked me to make him one, I thought, well why not? First I had to find a pattern, which I did – I think I got it at the Fabric Cave in Sydney for $1. It is from 1985 so fits into the vintage pledge – yay!


I bought two of these patterns (by mistake), but realised that they are different; one has a drop shoulder and the other has set in sleeves. I liked this one best, with the set in sleeves. I do hope he doesn’t tuck it into elastic waisted trousers! I have been stockpiling remnants of a fabric called “Dunedin Rugby” from Knitwit, and also rubber buttons* against the day when I would finally get round to making one of these shirts. I thought I would make a combination of cherry red and navy. The pattern is not designed for stripes (unless they are the printed on variety), so I had to do a pattern hack – I got out one of his other tops to understand how it all works and got to work tracing the pattern. The stripes are 10cm wide, plus 6mm seam allowance top and bottom. DSC08268 For once in my life I knew I would have to be organised. Each piece was numbered, and I even wrote “main” and “contrast” on alternate pieces as I knew I would get confused. Then I lined them up and took them off one at a time for sewing up. In the photo above I have done the front and am part way through the back. This was a tad nerve wracking. I had to double top stitch each join and line up those stripes. For once I am absolutely thrilled with my efforts.


I stashbusted the collar and tab from some lovely stretch cotton drill, sewed my label in (it’s recycled ribbon from some Wedgewood china, with “fadanista” stitched on it), and I even found the cuff ribbing in my stash. Not one bit of this was bought this year – yay! I offered to make a couple more and the conversation went like this:

Me: “I could make it all one colour”

Him: “Then it wouldn’t be a rugby shirt”

Me: (in a whiney voice): “But I could knock it out in an hour”

Him (in a grumpy voice): “It’s not about how quickly you can do it, it’s about making a rugby shirt”

Me (remembering the hot cross buns he just made): “Oh, OK, then you need to choose the colours and buy me a coverstitch machine :)”

Him: Hmmph!

Anyway, here is a pic of the hot cross buns he made.DSC08297The details: Fabric is Dunedin Rugby from Knitwit, pattern is Stretch & Sew 1758 printed in 1985. It is a very simple pattern – the sleeves are cut on the fold and the front and back use the same pattern piece with a variation in the neckline. By the time I hacked the pattern, the biggest piece was the collar! Every bit of this shirt was stashbusted.


*Rubber buttons are important in a rugby top. When the players get tackled the buttons bend a bit and don’t break into sharp bits – I had to google this, who knew? Anyway, Mark is safe in the knowledge that if I were to tackle him to the ground his buttons won’t injure him!


6 thoughts on “Rugby shirt

  1. someone might tackle Mark to take that fabulous rugby shirt off him! 🙂 It looks fabulous Sue, good fit and the colours suit Mark. Amazed that you cut the fabrics to make the stripes! Is this how the commercial rugby shirts are made?

    1. This made me laugh! I think that the expensive commercial shirts are made like this and the cheaper ones have the stripes printed on. Him indoors (currently outdoors!) likes the sewn stripes…

  2. This is awesome! Just found your blog through MMM – my American husband loves rugby shirts – he has a couple of RM Williams ones that are getting worn out – with no trips back home planned for awhile, I will have to make him one! He will go for plain colors though 🙂

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