Shirt Sewalong

The January theme of one of the Facebook groups I belong to – Sewalongs and Sewing Contests – is Making Shirts, hosted by none other than David Page Coffin, author of The Shirtmaking Workbook. 

I was away for the first week of the SAL and will be away for the last week, which presented me with a little problem. I wanted to participate, but didn’t have a lot of time to futz around. I decided to make Mark a shirt, but not a business shirt, a sport shirt. I read the relevant bit of the book and set about adjusting the pattern and this is what I made.


I used KwikSew 3422, my old favourite, but made the sides straight, added two pockets, and changed the collar into a convertible collar with no back facing and no collar stand. I took one of the collar patterns that comes with the Shirtmaking Workbook online content and fiddled with it to make it fit the shirt. I then cut two inside facings by tracing round the front pattern pieces in the usual way.


I also added a little tab on the left front for a button under the collar, as I see this style of casual shirt with button tabs, but regretted it, and didn’t give Mark a button – I know he is never going to use it. Speaking of buttons, these are lovely turned Jarrah buttons that my mother gave me years ago. She bought them and they were $6 for 6 – such a lot of work for someone.

I was going to focus on the fit for the sewalong, but Mark abandoned me for the weekend and I was left to go it alone. I don’t think the fit is too bad though. I do note that he tucks it in as though it was a business shirt, but agree that it probably looks better like this.DSC06639

I used all the usual sewing techniques, including the burrito method for attaching the yokes to the two fronts.


However, I do admit to faux felling the side seams and armholes for expediency. DSC06648

The fabric is a beautiful linen with a touch of spandex that I bought years ago in Potters. It’s not a colour that I would wear, but it is good for Mark.DSC06641

He loves this shirt so much that I have had to pry it off him for laundering. At the moment I am hand washing it because of the Jarrah buttons, but I wonder how quickly that level of care will wear off and I go back to tossing the shirt in the machine with everything else. Time will tell, I guess 🙂


26 thoughts on “Shirt Sewalong

  1. Great shirt, Your alterations have resulted in this very stylish shirt – Brilliant! Yes, the colour suits Mark well. Love those shorts too.

  2. Love the shirt but you make amazing shirts. What I particularly like is the happy and relaxed looking model! tx

  3. Why do you regret the little tab on the left hand side? From here, I think it add a nice finishing touch to this shirt. Great work with the transformation of the collar – I wouldn’t try that at home! Mark looks handsome in shorts (BTW, they really look like the navy blue pants you made for him a while back, with buttoned square pockets).

  4. Oh God, I’ve missed out again. See if I were more social media savvy I would have joined a SAL on shirts! Am going to investigate that immediately. I have DCP’s books – all, and I do love shirt making. Your hubby looks really lovely in his shirt, you’ve done yourself and him proud. I’ve never blogged the shirt I made mine years ago, he doesn’t wear it because it’s quite loose fitting and the breast pocket is a touch low, despite the painstaking hours spent and the excellent workmanship! Note to all – don’t use double sided interfacing tape to position pockets – you can’t move them!!

    1. It’s certainly not too late. Most people are making shirts for themselves, so you could one of your own. I never thought about double sided tape, and now I’m thinking fabric glue, which would work quite well!

  5. Your menswear sewing is awe inspiring Sue. I love this whole outfit on mark and it is the exact thing I have been trying to encourage my husband to wear. (I can’t get him out of baggy T-Shirts and baggy track pants.) He has a similar build to your husband and so I’m thinking he would look good in this type of outfit too. Looking forward to your post about the shorts.

    1. Thank you Jean, this is how I like him to dress, but he also loves baggy track pants and t-shirts (which I make for him). Shirts for men are sooo much easier than for women!

  6. Excellent result, Mark looks very comfortable in his outfit. It won’t be long before he’s placing orders. There’s no going back now Sue, that genie’s well and truly out of the bottle.

  7. Great shirt and shorts. I have made a note of the pattern as I’ve been thinking of making a shirt for my husband, too. I’ve made him shorts a couple of times but would like to try a shirt. Your husband looks very relaxed in his outfit.

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