I made Mark the La Maison Victor Arnold shirt for Christmas using fabric that he chose (which I had earmarked for me!). Although the shirt is called “Arnold”, it is tagged “Super Trooper” on the cover of the magazine, so yep, I had Abba playing in my head the whole time I was making both these shirts.
Even though he chose the fabric and we had some discussions about the shirt, he completely forgot about it and so had a surprise on Christmas Day, which was a bonus.
The Arnold shirt has a lot of really nice features. It has a separate buttonhole placket finishing in a nice point, a ribbon button band, and two piece sleeves, which I really like. Because I was a bit short of fabric, I used contrasting fabric for the insides and lining. There are supposed to be shoulder epaulettes but Mark didn’t want them – no complaints from me!
I had a bit of trouble with the fabric, it was off grain which made pattern matching a nightmare. I decided that I couldn’t live with the mismatched yoke and back, so I stitched a piece of coordinating binding across the seam to trick the eye. It basically works well.
Whilst I was making the shirt I became rather concerned about the size of the neck. It seemed quite wide. I looked to see if anyone else had made the shirt, but couldn’t find anything. I had no choice but to continue. When Mark put the shirt on, it was obvious that the neck is very big, but I think this is part of the design, the shirt is meant to be worn open with something underneath.
In a triumph of hope over optimism I made him another. I had a fiddle to see if I could raise the neckline, but the knock-on effect was too much for me – I had to alter the collar and collar stand, as well as the neckline. I did all this work and it doesn’t seem to have made any difference at all!
This shirt is made from some lovely classic chambray from Crossgrain Fabrics. I used part of a thrifted gingham curtain made by IKEA as the facings. This photos shows the size of that neck.
There are a couple of other annoyances with this pattern. The line style for the size I was using changes between sheets making tracing off the pattern a bit confusing. The pattern also has a full facing. I’ve never seen this in a man’s shirt before and am not really sure of the reasoning. I am not a fan of facings and pondered whether to eliminate it in the second shirt, but decided not to.
Apart from that, this is a nice shirt to make, and Mark is really happy with it.
I also made myself the Morris shirt from the same edition of La Maison Victor. I used a piece of Ikat dyed cotton lawn from Potter & Co that has been in my stash for far too long. I completely missed the pattern matching mark which was rather obvious where the yokes join the body, so I used the distraction technique and sewed a piece of binding across the seam.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this shirt. It is light and cool and much nicer to wear than a t-shirt. It is designed as a men’s pattern, but works really well for me.
I found the perfect vintage buttons in my stash. I needed four and I had four, which is most unusual. They are clear glass with a blue centre.
I have a couple more of the Morris shirts planned, as well as another couple of shirts for Mark, but I don’t think I’ll be making the Arnold shirt again, which is a bit sad as I really enjoyed making it.