Monday, 25 July 2011

Gift sewing. Vogue Man's Shirt and David Page Coffin

It is possible that you have noticed a lack of posting around here lately. I could blame this on work, but really, I sew all the time whether I have lots of work to do or not. I just don't do any housework or go to bed on time. I think I am an addict.
Here is the real culprit.

SAM_0613

This is my husband's birthday shirt. You may take culprit to be either the husband or the shirt. I dearly love my husband, but I find it rather tricky to sew for him. He has clear shirt standards.
The shirts he likes to purchase are these from Rodd & Gunn. He never likes the $139 ones, either, only those scaring $200. I didn't really have a problem with this, recognising his different upbringing from mine, lack of thrifty gene, and that he can spend his money how he likes (especially if he wants macaroni cheese for dinner every night). However, unfortunately, 2 years or so ago, I made him a shirt according to David Page Coffin's dastardly Shirtmaking book (which took me 3 intense sewing weeks), and he instantly recognised that David Page Coffin is not happy with Rodd & Gunn standards.My husband fully appreciates 1/8 inch flat felled seams and steam shaped collars (I am not sure I have quite met the 1/8 flat felled seam yet, but I am trying). Aaargh, I should have kept very quiet about David Page Coffin. I had made my husband 4 shirts before this one, and he had been hinting for rather a long time that he would like some more. How can a seamstress resist that sort of flattery from her beloved?

Here is the inside of an embryonic birthday shirt. See that flat felled shoulder sleeve seam?

SAM_0611

I was so happy with this - until I realised that I had sewn on both sleeves backwards, with their beautiful plackets already finished.
You may notice that the finished birthday shirt bears no resemblence to the embryonic one. That is why I have been sewing this shirt for two whole weekends and 7 weekdays.

I promise you that there is no big belly under that shirt - the photo opportunity was very brief and did not have any room for tucking in instructions.
He did roll down the sleeves for me though, so I could show you the plackets. The inner cuff is on the bias.

SAM_0617

I have labelled him at the top of the plackets with my initial. I want credit for this shirt.

The most fun bit was the chevron collar and back yoke.

SAM_0615

The fabric is very nice shirting cotton from Goldhawk Rd, with the front placket contrast a chambray from Gorgeous Fabrics (sold out) - see entirely self inflicted disaster to embryonic shirt above. If you notice that my sewing machine was not co-operating with the topstitching here, please do not tell my husband, who is currently unaware of this detail.

SAM_0619


He is very happy with this shirt - just as well!
He might be getting a chambray one for Christmas, without flat felled shoulder seams, if I can face it by then.

28 comments:

cidell said...

I can't bring myself to use all the wonderful details in DPC books. I applaud you! You husband clearly has very good taste.

Gail said...

Let me know where I can buy chambray in Australia. I want to make a shirt for my husband and a tunic dress for myself and can't find it anywhere. This shirt is fantastic BTW. Rodd and Gunn shirts are worth the expense. I bought two for my husband at a sale about 5 years ago and they still look good.

kbenco said...

Gail, I was hoping you Sydneysiders had a good source. The chambray above is really good stuff, but I imported it from Ann at Gorgeous Fabrics in the USA, and she does not seem to have any more on her site. Maybe I could just shorten the sleeves a little and no-one would notice? It frayed when I tried unpicking the skinny flat felled seams.

Mary Nanna said...

Well done you - there is no more precious gift you can give someone than your time, and this is no ordinary time, it is SEWING time, the most precious of all.

It's a shame he appreciates all that good work - it would be so much easier if he didn't - then Rodd and Gunn would really come into their own.

Sometimes, only home made will do. Even I acknowledge that.

Joy said...

Is a 1/8th inch flat felled seam possible!?

The shirt is beautifully done.

My husband is rather exacting too, so I haven't yet dared to make him anything but very casual wear, which he won't feel obligated to wear out of the house.

katherine h said...

Fabulous shirt. Superb sewing skills. Last shirt, I decided to never to a flat-felled sleeve insertion ever again. What's wrong with a bit of overlocking? Especially when you make up for it with all those chevron details.

In the title of this post, you refer to Vogue, but I did not see a pattern number. Is this the latest Vogue men's pattern or an older one?

countrygirlcouture said...

Gorgeous! I think I know why your hubby keeps hinting at wanting (or needing) more shirts. :-) Do you follow the DPC method of sleeve plackets, or another method? Mine just never come out quite as I would like...

shams said...

Very nice! Oh, what one does for love! I have done much less husband sewing in the last 12 years or so. But I'm sure you are not ready for such drastic action. ;)

Carolyn said...

Well done! Your attention to detail is sooo impressive! I've not yet gone for the flat felled seaming, steamed collars etc in any of my boys' shirts. I don't think they would appreciate it.. so if you don't mind I will not be showing my husband your very beautiful finishing off... I prefer for him to stay deluded that he is getting very well-made shirts!

Ruthie said...

Its lovely, and you get a LOT of Brownie points for your dedication!!!!

Sharon said...

Stunning shirt and your attention to details is perfect. So far I haven't got to shirts for DH. I thought the lack of posting was to do with the TDF, congratulations to Cadel Evans.

velosewer said...

More evidence that men do love good things in life. The detailing on his shirt is just great.

kbenco said...

Thanks!
The pattern is Vogue 8906, which I think is the current one, sorry, I forgot to look it up before I posted.
I do use the DPC placket method, it works nicely for me, and I am quite proud of them. This is rather unlike the hideously tricky flat felled sleeve insertion, which I may abandon before I get it right on a single shirt. Overlocking is sounding good.
DPC thinks a 1/8th seam is possible. I think he is better at sewing than I.
I am off to watch Cadel in the SBS highlights programme. I hope he is smiling on his way into Paris.

Louise said...

Brilliant shirt, very professional finish. I don't think my other half would wear anything I made so I won't even offer but well done on a great make!

Little Hunting Creek said...

Beautiful shirt! I love the chevron stripes in back

Mary Beth said...

Shirt sewing is a such pleasure and such a pain! The right fabric makes it worth it, though, because if he likes it, he'll wear it out later rather than sooner. DPC's DVD on Shirtmaking helps with the difficulties of the book.

liza jane said...

Oh my, flat felled shoulder seams? 1/8th inch flat felled seams? Wow. That shirt is fantastic. You make the nicest things for your family.

Mary said...

well, that is a work of art! I have two men waiting for shirts and perhaps you have pushed e further toward starting those projects.

BetsyV said...

Beautiful shirt! love the birthday quilt too

Tanit-Isis said...

LOVELY!

My husband recently confessed that he does not like at all the style of the most recent shirt I made him, despite the fact that it's awesome, fits like a dream, and he looks totally hawt in it. *headdesk*

Needless to say this has rather killed my shirt-making ambitions. /Sigh. Yours is ever so stellar.

Audrey said...

Wow, I would have thought it was a very high end RTW shirt if you hadn't said you sewed it yourself. Wonderful details. There is a guy at work that obviously spends a few bucks on his shirts. I always check them out. They have details like the ones you used, chevroned yokes, contrast linings, etc. but the one that delighted me the most was a bias cut strip, of a coordinating stripe (the shirt fabric was stripped too) , inserted in the middle of the cuff ( going around the wrist). I had never seen that before.

Uta said...

Fabulous shirt, and so very very good of you. You may now go and make yourself a dozen new outfits ;)

ejvc said...

I have had shirt pain, myself, as a result of that DPC book. I've not attempted anything for my husband as yet however. And he says please can he have trousers first.

Wonderful, in my opinion. You should be proud of yourself.

Gabrielle said...

Absolutely beautiful work - I'm glad to hear your husband appreciates this sort of fine sewing, but can completely understand that this must have taken a LOT of time. For now my partner is happy with the occasional tshirt and/or mending so he's not seeing this either!

PS thank you for your kind and encouraging comments on my blog too - they're much appreciated!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

OK, the prospect of having to undo those lovely flat-felled seams would, well, undo me. Gorgeous shirt!

sewing spots said...

Your attention to details is amazing! I love the chevrons, but I especially love your initial that you put at the top of the sleeve placket!

Handmade said...

Great shirt - great details - very impressive. Those tiny flat felled seams are terrible to do - overlocking is a suitable alternative. And three cheers for our Cadel!!!!

Miss Smith said...

Wow, that is a really, really smart shirt. The details are beautiful, especially those chevrony bits.