How not to make the perfect shirt

Like Edison, I think I have discovered 700 ways not to make the perfect shirt.  When I have eliminated all the ways not to make the perfect shirt, I will be able to make the perfect shirt.



If you’ve followed me for a while, then you know that I have failed over and over…and over.  Close, but no cigar.  Some, I can even wear out of the house.  Maybe not under bright lights, but out of the house.  I have tried a half dozen commercial patterns.  I have measured.  I have drawn.  I have cut out and sewn together.  But, not quite it. 

Last weekend, I tried again.  And, I accidentally ended up with a great fitting shirt.  Not perfect, but very close.


It started with some studying. 


And, a whole lot of thinking and planning.  And, then, I sat in the floor for two and a half hours and converted a commercial pattern to the dimensions of my favorite shirt.  I had an XXL shirt I had already disassembled.  I cut the seams out of most of it and picked out the things that had finished seams.  , but when I laid my newly drawn pattern on it, the fabric was already cut smaller than my pattern pieces. 

Uh-oh.  So, nothing to lose, I put it together for practice.  And, weirdly, it fit.  It fit very nicely.  The collar and cuffs are still too large, but otherwise, it fits. And, I added extras, like my name embroidered in the inside yoke and my initials on the cuff.



Hey, why not?  It was all for practice, right?  It was just the merest of coincidences that it actually fit and I can wear it out in public. 

Next, I cut a muslin out of the pattern I’d drawn and when I put it together, it was way too big.  Go figure.  I fiddled with it and cut it and added pieces back to it and cut it again and marked it with a sharpie and then I just got tired and threw it away.  There was no sense in continuing to fiddle with something I had fiddled with so much.  And putting it in the trash on trash day was the only real solution for my OCD.  I never blinked when Rob took it out. 

Then, I tried on my favorite shirt and realized that I like a really big shirt.  So, maybe the fit I’m trying to achieve isn’t what I really feel comfortable in.  Maybe I need to try a different fit.  And a different size pattern.  So, I took the shirt I had put together apart.  Not completely, but sufficiently to trace it onto paper.  I took off one cuff, opened up the side and sleeve, took off the sleeve, the collar and the collar stand.  Even if I didn’t end up with a shirt, I was dang sure going to end up with a pattern that fit.

And, after it was traced, I put the shirt back together. 

Unfortunately, that didn’t leave time to try another muslin, but I will.  Soon.  Like maybe I’ll cut it out tomorrow morning. 

I am nothing if not stubbor…uhm, persistent.  That’s it.  I’m persistent. 

Meanwhile, I have developed great skills at assembling a shirt.  I am really proud of the skill part.  So, if I ever get a pattern to fit, I’ll sure have the workmanship skills to get it together. 

Everybody have a great Tuesday.  No, I couldn’t wear the shirt today.  It still needs buttons and buttonholes on collar and cuff.  But, soon. 


1 comment:

Kath said...

Oh dear, Lane. I am groaning as well as smiling all at the same time. You are telling my story of how I am (still) trying to make a very simple pair of trousers that fit my curvy-gal shape.
I too have thrown a trial pair in the bin, fiddled with patterns and wept tears of frustration. I have a pair that it almost right, but I am afraid to dismantle them in case I can't put them back, so you are ahead of me there.
Shall we agree here and now that we will not give up? :-)