New outfits for Mark

It’s been pretty hot here in Perth and I noticed that Mark was wearing cotton and linen shirts instead of his usual t-shirts and I wondered if it was because the knit fabric was hotter. I began to look for a woven t-shirt pattern and found the Merchant and Mills t-shirt pattern which looked quite nice, particularly the knit neck.

I had a thrifted, brand new, Sheridan cotton king size doona cover (with pillowcases) that I thought would be great to test the pattern with, so cut it out and made it up whilst he was out. I really love the stripes.

I sewed away busily and then began to wonder about the size of the head hole. In a triumph of hope over optimism I sewed on the knit neckband and then tested it with my own head. Now you have to keep in mind that our head sizes are polar opposites – I have a pin head and he has a massive head. It went over my head but without much of a margin. I thought I’d better stop sewing and wait for him to get home. His first try on looked like this:

Ok, we have a little problem. I unpicked the band, shaved off fabric and cut out another band. With pretty much the same result! Third time really was a charm, but probably because I hacked off fabric and now the neck is slightly too big. Sigh!

However, he loves this shirt! I struggled to get it away from him to launder.

In spite of my best efforts I didn’t get the sleeves to pattern match and I think it was because I didn’t realise how big the seam allowance is. The fit seems good though.

I also made him a pair of navy blue linen trousers to replace the ones he ruined with chlorine. I used Kwik Sew 4045, which is a pattern I love and have made many, many times for him.

The whole time I was making this shirt I was thinking about the USA. Don’t ask me why – these colours are as much on the Australian flag or the Union Jack as they are on the Stars and Stripes. Maybe my American friends were on my mind.

I thought about this when Mark joined me after our swim and said that a man in the change rooms asked him where he had got his American t-shirt! Apparently he was quite shocked when Mark proudly informed him that his wife had made it. I was a bit sad he didn’t mention the doona cover though!

I reworked the neck on the pattern and cut out a version in stretch linen which I bought at Knitwit. This is beautiful fabric – a bit heavier but a dream to sew.

I have to grab photos of him when I can, so here is one of him with an unattractive black bucket!

And without the bucket! I love the knit fabric I had in my stash for the neck band. I think I bought it in London a couple of trips ago. Doesn’t it go so well with the shirt and shorts? The shorts are from the same Kwik Sew pattern by the way and are also made from a stretch linen remnant, also from Knitwit.

I sewed a little label inside. It’s the same fabric stamped with a stamp I bought in the 1980s. I embroidered the initials of the nickname Mark gave me when we very first met, but were just friends (that phase lasted quite a long time). I haven’t finished sewing the neckband down in these photos as I wanted to be really sure it fitted, and then I couldn’t get the t-shirt off him to do that! I now have it safely ensconced in my sewing room ready to do it.

I also added a KTSM label. I was going to put it on the pocket, but Mark wanted it on the sleeve, which I duly did. Next time I’ll hand sew it I think, it was hard to keep it lined up with the coverstitching. The placement also means he can’t roll up the sleeves, but I’m not sure this is an issue for him.

A quick word about the pattern. I learned the hard way that M&M give you the finished measurements not the physical measurements, so I measured a few things of his and took a punt, which luckily is spot on. The pattern has proper armscyes, but the sleeves are sewn in flat. They do fit very nicely. I was thinking that I could make a long sleeve version for winter, but I’m not sure he needs that. Mark has found them both very comfortable. I thought he might like the little bit of give with the linen one, but he hasn’t actually commented. I shall definitely be making him another one of these when the need arises though!


21 thoughts on “New outfits for Mark

  1. They all look great. Mark is a lucky guy!
    Incidentally, you are either very lucky too or there is much better stock in your charity/op shops than in the U.K. (They’re not even able to open at the moment 🙄)

  2. Both tees are great! You can actually find a measurement chart for merchant and mills, you just have to google it and it’s available as a pdf. Well worth downloading!

  3. These look fantastic. I found a men’s size chart for M&M on the pattern picture on The Foldline website. I made a size 44 for Rob based on his chest measurement and it is too small across the shoulders. He can’t stretch his arms forwards. Such a shame. I might try reducing the SA in the sleeves, but I don’t think it will be enough 🙁

  4. I’m in love, those look fab on your cute hubby. I was just thinking yesterday how I want to make my husband a t- shirt cause god knows that’s all he wears. What a great find in the cover, and I love the mustard too. I’m American and I think it reminds us of our flag because our stripes are red/white. You make pants for your hubby, I have to ask, is there any adjustment for the male private parts? Just asking as I want to make my hubby some, too. Thank you… I love your post and your backyard is my dream, I live in the desert.

    1. This is not a bad pattern for a tee but I’d choose a knit one for your first few. There are loads around. No special adjustments for the trousers, they aren’t tight. I think the Kwok sew pattern is brilliant with lots of pocket options too.

  5. I really like that M&M pattern. Both shirts are beautiful and I’m sure my husband would love them. I have made many many pairs of shorts for him but never a tee-shirt. Perhaps it’s time!

  6. It was nice to read more about this summer capsule you made for Mark. Now I wonder what the initals TW stand for. But you don’t have to tell 😉

  7. Mark is looking so at ease in his beautiful custom made clothes! I love the details and I would say that you pattern matched the stripes on the sleeves perfectly.
    I was confused about the Merchant and Mills sizing and had to check: they have “UK-sizing” for body measurements and “finished measurements”.
    Your pictures are showing a paradise!

    1. Thank you so much SaSa, he does love his new little capsule wardrobe, and it’s summer so everything looks nice. I might need to check the M&M website – on the patterns they only show finished measurements and I never know how much ease to add. In the end I judged it perfectly, although he struggles a little bit to get them off. The small hole for his head did not help a bit!

      1. In my women’s patterns, the sizing with body measurements is on the envelope’s outside, together with the fabric requirements; the pdf patterns are showing it in the “details”.

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