It was my 25th anniversary last week and every year I buy my husband at least one card for our anniversary and this year was no different. I looked at typical anniversary cards, "I'm Sorry" cards (for all of those times I said something I shouldn't have, uh-hem), "I Love You" cards and "You're My Best Friend" cards. I settled on an "I Love You" anniversary card but I knew I wanted to give him something more....it is our silver anniversary after all.
I decided to make him a shirt. I realize it's a bit "Little House on the Prairie" for Ma to make Pa a shirt but he loved the last shirt I made him so much I knew it was the perfect gift.
I found a beautiful quality Japanese shirting from Fabric Mart that he would like. It's a 100% cotton blue/gray fabric with tiny red & cream colored stripes and a really soft face. He's an artist so he's usually in a crew neck t-shirt and Levi's (with a little bit of paint on them somewhere) so this crisp but not too crisp fabric is great for my casual dressing guy.
I made a few fit and design changes starting with shortening the sleeve. I measured the shirt from the neck, across the shoulder seam and down the sleeve to get the length I wanted.
I then measured the yoke and sleeve pattern pieces, deducted the seam allowances and found my sleeve needed to be shortened a little more than an inch.
I copied the Patagonia shirt pocket because it had a lot more interest and used my 1/4" foot for the inner stitch and my ditch foot for the edge stitch when topstitching on the pocket, collar, yoke and sleeve. Negroni calls for a shirttail hem but I changed it to a straight hem with a side vent.
The instructions were well written, the finish on the inner yoke and collar was really clean (take a look at the inside in the photo below) and overall it looked more like a ready to wear shirt than any other men's pattern I've used.
Since I gave it to him as a surprise I wasn't able to do fittings while making the shirt so I will make a couple of changes next time I make it. I'll shorten the sleeve and shirt length by an inch each and make a sloping shoulder adjustment to eliminate the wrinkles at the back armhole.
While making this shirt I was reminded of something. When a new niece or nephew is born in the family, my husband gets freshly showered and puts on a collared shirt before we first go meet the baby. I've never asked him to do this and of course the baby doesn't know he's in his "Sunday Best" but I find it so endearing. Maybe we need a new niece or nephew in the family.
Thank you for sharing in my sewing adventures,
Diane at Gatorbunnysews