Sewing Tutorials and Shirt Designs by Pamela Erny.
Featuring tailored ~Off The Cuff~ Menswear Shirts, Clothes for Children, and other Fashion Apparel...plus "How To" Sewing Tutorials, Sewing and Design Tips, Sewing Techniques, and more.
I am a Professional Custom Shirtmaker working from my studio near Buffalo NY.
Along with posting photos of the shirts I make for my clients, I enjoy sharing my sewing and design techniques on this blog through tutorials and other articles.
Hot Off The Machine...Shirt with Striped Trim Details
Yep, another shirt....and I've got a stack of custom-designed shirt orders left to to fill. I'll have to make this post a quick one so I can get back to machines. But before I start the next client shirt, DH Roger wants one made from this fabric..and that's fine with me. He deserves it, this fabric was a joy to work with....and I want to try out some new design detail ideas!
SEWING and DESIGN NOTES-- This semi-fitted shirt features grosgrain ribbon details on the right front button band, pockets, and sleeve plackets. The outer collar and its stand, and the outer cuffs are interfaced with ProWoven ShirtCrisp Fusible, a professional grade Interfacing found exclusively atFashion Sewing Supply , as are the buttons (from the "Dark Assorted Shirt Buttons By-the-Scoop"). The trim is from my personal stash...source unknown. The fabric is an amazingly lovely, finely woven soft chambray from Gorgeous Fabricswhere I have purchased many wonderful shirting
fabrics over the years. Seriously, this "Blue Belle Chambray"Shirting fabric practically sews itself! And the ProWoven Shirt-Crisp Interfacing from FSScomplemented it perfectly for this menswear shirt style. If using this fabric for a garment for myself, I would have opted to use ProWoven Light-Crisp Interfacing or ProSheer EleganceMEDIUMInterfacing (all interfacing styles from FSS).
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Tailored Shirt with Cross-Stripe and Chevron Design Details
This shirt is one of a few I recently made for one of my clients. It is my original design, made from a hand-drafted pattern. Design details include a Front button stand and sleeve plackets cut on the cross-grain, and a Chevron Pocket.
These beautiful fabrics, a yellow shirting stripe and white shirting fabric from GorgeousFabrics.com were especially fun to work with, since I usually do not use stretch wovens for the menswear shirts I design. Why so much fun? Instead of making my usual flat-fell seams, I used narrow french seams. Maybe it's just me, but I've found traditionally felled seams to be tricky to accomplish with stretch-wovens. So for the menswear shirts when I've chosen to use a Stretch-Woven, I opt to use french seams. For my own shirts in stretch wovens, I serge and top-stitch. Oh yes...when you've felled as many miles of seams as I have over my ShirtMaking career...the switch to French Seams is fun.
[ Side Thought and Note-to-Self-- A black background is not a great choice for a light yellow shirt..especially when the photographer has limited pic skills like me. ]
Stretch woven fabrics naturally lend themselves to "Softly Tailored" shirts. So while this shirt appears to have a very crisp collar and very structured cuffs...they are in fact both crisp and soft.
Yes, I know that sounds contradictory. But it all has to do with pairing the correct interfacing with the intended fabric. In order to have professional results, I needed to use an interfacing that would not fight the natural characteristics of the fabric, but rather, work with them.
This woven fabric has some stretch...so the interfacing needed to have some stretch. Not because the collar and cuffs are going to be doing any stretching when worn...but an interfacing with no "give" at all would have rendered the collar and cuffs unnaturally heavy and much too hard. And a knit interfacing would have had been much too soft. So what would Goldilocks have done in this situation if she was a Shirtmaker? She would have used a mid-weight woven interfacing with some "body" and a little "mechanical" cross-wise stretch....just like I did :) Of course, you know that this GoldenBrowndilocks Shirtmaker had just the right interfacing. In fact, I had thousands of yards of it custom-manufactured a few months ago. Pro-Sheer Elegance MEDIUM Fusible was exactly the right choice. Not too hard, not too soft, but just right for this shirt fabric and so many other garment and fabrics (stretchy or not).