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Jan 13, 2011

Shirt collar-palooza and the 1939 men's shirt



Good morning, shirt mavens and others!  Here at Male Pattern Boldness, we're busy.  So busy in fact that my staff is demanding time-and-a-half and I may just have to give them those seven and a half cents they keep singing about.  That or outsource to China.

While I'm waiting for our February Sew-Along to begin formally, I'm working on a few other shirt projects.  Last night I cut my fabric for my Dubarry 1939 shirt pattern.  In my head I'm seeing this...


While the sorry pre-dawn reality is this...


From another angle (Thanks, Michael!)...


But I digress.   I have all the pattern pieces for my shirt cut and ready for stitching.  What about fitting, you ask?  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.



As I mentioned yesterday, this pattern has no printed markings, just holes and slits.  



This will be a gusset -- my first.



This 1939 Dubarry shirt has a removable collar that buttons onto the collar band (collars wear out and get grimy and you wouldn't want to have to replace the whole shirt back then) and I'm wondering if I should bother with it.  I may just go for it, in the spirit of historical research.   Thoughts?

There was a little collar-related confusion in yesterday's comments (which I contributed to) I'd like to clear up, with the help of Wikipedia

The shirt we'll be making together in the Men's Shirt Sew-Along has a camp collar, also known as a convertible collar.  This is a collar most frequently found on men's casual shirts (think bowling or Hawaiian shirts) and most women's shirts.  When the shirt is open at the neck, the collar spreads flat, like this. 


Can you see that there is no collar stand?

These are men's shirt patterns with a camp collar:



With the top button closed, it can be hard to tell whether there's a collar stand or not.  And that's stand.  According the David Coffin, the band is what one finds on the neck of a shirt with NO collar. (I just learned that today.)

Traditionally, men's dress shirts have collar stands (as do many less formal shirts).  This one is light-colored and easy to see.


This is a groovier version.



Sometimes when looking at shirt patterns, it can be difficult to tell what sort of collar the shirt has.  Generally the back of the pattern envelope will describe the type of shirt collar or show a drawing of it.  It's a good idea to consult the pattern description first if you have any question about what sort of shirt collar you're getting.  Is there a collar stand piece?


Shirt collars can be drafted easily, however, and one of the things we're going to do in the Sew-Along is draft a collar stand and collar for the camp-collared Negroni, and you can make either version.

Later today, take a look at a men's RTW shirt closely -- we're going to doing a lot of that in the weeks ahead -- and examine what kind of collar it has.  Is it a camp collar or a collar with stand?  Do you have a preference?  I've made both kinds and I admit to preferring a collar stand.  If you have a longish or a thin neck, a higher collar is more flattering, imo. 

Meanwhile, friends, an update: our Sew-Along Flickr group is growing fast (30 members!) and there are already photos posted of shirt patterns people are using as well as some discussions.  If you'd like to join the group, shoot me an email (peterlappinnyc at gmail dot com) and I'll send you a Flickr invite. 

That's it for today, folks.  I am eagerly awaiting my Negroni pattern in the mail (If you get yours, look it over carefully, read the instructions, but please don't cut yet.)  but have plenty to keep me busy in the meantime.  The fun is just beginning. 

As always, if you have shirt-related questions, just ask.  (And we will be some addressing fit issues, btw.)

Have a great everybody!

What's seven and a half cents?  A heck of a lot!

34 comments:

  1. Oooh! That 30s shirt is looking swanky--I dare say you'll be able to give ol' Gary a run for his money. ;) I have to admit, all this talk of men's shirts is making me really tempted to make myself one. I used to wear thrifted men's dress shirts constantly, usually layered over tshirts. Yeah, I was weird... but I love the look! ;)

    ♥ Casey | blog

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  2. I like a collar stand. I think shirts with convertible collars look like pajama tops.

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  3. I'm inclined to agree, especially if you're wearing matching pants.

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  4. I only put the camp collara on my toddler boys' shirts. :) is there a special name for the one piece collar with attached stand (rather than a separate piece?) I always call them "easy collars", but surely there's a name.

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  5. Fluffy penguins. Can't imagine Gary wearing those. Maybe the next Sew-Along should be silk pyjamas and a smoking jacket!

    Thank you for clearing up the confusion! I have tracked down a 1988 pattern with collar band on Etsy, so time for it to make its way across the Atlantic and I should be all set up!

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  6. I'd like to see you stay true to the pattern and make the removable collar, just to watch because I think it's an interesting feature. Plus, you have all that "new" jar of vintage buttons to use up, right?

    Are you going to talk about front button plackets? I probably am at some point, because I'm thinking of converting the pattern for Michael's shirt to one with a separate - instead of folded-over - placket (but maybe not because of the gingham matching factor). Does Michael have a preference? Do you?

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  7. Definitely do the detachable collar and cuffs for the 1939 shirt! Not only is it fascinating historical research (of the hands-on variety) but it will look so cool. Additionally, it will up the unique factor of your shirt.

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  8. Good Morning Peter and Willy,
    I love the photo of Willy helping you write your blog. Dogs really do make the best of friends.
    My vote is for the detachable collar you could make two or three and have a different look every time you wear it.

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  9. I was thinking the same thing as Tammy.

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  10. I perfer a collar band. I find with the camp collars it's virtually impossible to find one with a properly drafted facing. That said, I am absolutely in love with Simplicity 4287. The facing is drafted correctly and it goes together like a dream. I've made it several times now and it's the only pattern with a camp collar I'll ever use.

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  11. Please do the removable collar. Just think, you could have a wardrobe of Liberty fabric collars for fun and it wouldn't cost that much. A quarter of a yard here, a quarter there...

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  12. I'm sad I can't participate in any sew-alongs. I got a stack of fabrics that needs sewing and all my cash is going straight to textbooks (ouch!). But I am going to go onto my Netflix watch instantly and click The Pajama Game in my instant queue. :D

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  13. I'm voting for the removable collar, too. I love lsaspacey's idea to use Liberty fabric to make a "wardrobe" of lovelies. However, I'll admit that I hate not getting it quite right when ironing that bit. If I could just pop it off and presto! ... well, that'd be great.

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  14. I have yet to make a collar stand--though I've made plenty of camp collars in the last two months. 9, to be exact--those were the classic sets of PJs, and all of those had camp collars. The other four, well, one had a kids' collar and those have neither, and the other three were collarless. I'm fairly sure the pattern I'm using has one and I'm looking forward to learning something new.

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  15. I vote for the removable collar as well; I have been intrigued by them since getting David Coffin's book, but haven't tried one yet. I'm eager to see what yours looks like, should you go there.

    And tell Cathy we miss her!

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  16. The removable collar is an interesting bit of our history, and I think you should do it too. Plus I'd like to see how it works!!
    Camp collar is a new term for me, we call them convertibles here. I prefer a stand for a 'real' shirt, it is less casual, and you do need a stand to wear a tie.

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  17. I also prefer a collar with stand, but my husband prefers the "camp" collar. He says the collars on stands poke him.

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  18. The staff should be doing this for the love of the art. But if they continue to demand 7.5 cents, outsource! Interesting pattern there. Way back even before the 30s, there were paper collars, too. We don't think about how disposable our society has become!

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  19. Seven and a half cents? Your labour costs are too high!

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  20. AND they want bathroom breaks!

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  21. Aloha, I just swung by to say we enjoyed your post. But I wanted to add that while you indeed see the camp collar on the touristy Hawaiian shirts, most of the higher end aloha wear utilizes under collars, (cough) such as ours. P.S. Nothing wrong with a guy that can cut and sew, just ask anyone in our operation.

    Charles

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  22. I figured it out! I figured it out! Pajama Game is one of the best examples of the Golden Era of Musical Theatre. It sounds like a pitance to us but back in those days I'm sure it was much more meaningful. And who can resist Doris Day at the hieght of her game?

    The search and recovery operation taking lace here at my house has proven successful. I found my ham, point presser/clapper, and point turner, not to mention several other nifty items. There's nothing like moving to cause chaos.

    I vote for the vintage detachable collar. It could make laundering the shirt easier and you could make several collars in different colors to accessorize. How could anyone resist that? You could go from drab to fab in an instant!

    I'll be emailing for the secret code to enter Hernando's hideaway... Flicker.

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  23. I also think you should do the detachable collar. Just call it research.

    Unlike almost everyone else, I do make shirts with camp collars for my boyfriend. The first shirts I made for him had proper collars with collar stands but he has a short and thick neck and I noticed he kept pushing the collar flat. For a collar with a stand, that is not a good look. So, I switched to making camp collars on his shirts. On him, it looks better and is more comfortable

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  24. Pajama game! My favorite!

    (nothing else to add...i'm sorry for interrupting...carry on with your sewing) :)

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  25. im trying to find 30's shirt patterns , can you help?

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  26. Maria, they're hard to find. Have you tried Etsy?

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    1. no but can you direct me to them?

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    2. Go to Etsy.com and do a search under "men's vintage shirt pattern." Make sure you're looking under "everything" (choose that from the search menu) rather than "handmade" -- which is the default. Look often and something will turn up eventually. Try eBay too!

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    3. Here's my pattern for sale on Etsy in a 15 1/2 neck:

      http://www.etsy.com/listing/97690131/1930s-mens-tailored-shirt-pattern?ref=sr_gallery_2&ga_search_query=mens+vintage+shirt+pattern+30s&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=all

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  27. can you send me a photocopy of a shirt pattern from the 30's one like the gary cooper shown

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  28. Hey!
    I am just wondering how I can and what you did to achieve that great edge stitch on the collar band? I drives me looney to not be able to do this even tho you say get it good enough and move on...please share.

    thanks

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    Replies
    1. The secret is using a straight-stitch machine. And practicing!

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    2. I actually found this blog looking for Simplicity 4278 to make a Charlie Sheen style shirt for my husband. I can't find it anywhere! The kwik-sew pattern seems like the next best option, but I would've preferred the Simplicity.....

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  29. sorry, i meant 4287 mentioned above

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