Readers, I was pleasantly surprised to discover recently that Vogue has expanded its men's pattern offerings. They currently have fifteen men's patterns for sale and none of them are pajamas or scrubs!
I was most intrigued by the shirt pattern above, V8889, just released and which I managed to snag on the last day of their most recent $3.99 pattern sale. Parenthetically, does anybody pay list price for patterns? I mean, $30? Even on Vogue's website the most you'd pay for this pattern is $18, so why not just price it at $18?
I could tell by making a few basic measurements before I cut anything that this pattern was sized big. I am a standard 36" chest size, but I ended up cutting the 34" (the smallest size) and I already sense that it's going to be too wide in the shoulder by more than an inch. That's a lot.
Look at the difference in yoke width from shoulder to shoulder between my TNT Butterick pattern from the early Seventies (4712) -- a size 36" -- and this Vogue, size 34". I know the average American male is fatter than he was forty years ago, but are his shoulders so much broader too?
I'm making a muslin because, frankly, I have no idea how this thing is going to fit. Look too at the difference in the width of the left front and remember: the vintage Butterick pattern is a 36" and I'm comparing it to the contemporary Vogue 34".
The Vogue 34" sleeve is also longer than the Butterick 36" sleeve and the sleeve cap inches higher.
I've heard people describe this as a fitted shirt and, in fact, it looks like a fitted shirt, doesn't it?
The description on the pattern says "loose-fitting shirt." What "loose" means, however, is not clear. Loose in the chest, the neck, the shoulders -- or all three?
Yet there are front and back side pieces, somewhat akin to princess seams -- very unusual in men's shirts but more in keeping with shaped, tailored garments like blazers.
Re necks, nowhere on this pattern is the neck size mentioned. Traditionally, a 34" chest shirt pattern corresponded to a 14" neck and this was always clearly labelled on the envelope. I'm assuming that since the whole shirt is big, that the neck circumference corresponding to a 34" won't be too tight for my 14 1/2" neck. Here's hoping!
One version of this shirt has an unusual tuck detail at the front shoulder (Version B, below). I'm not making that version right now, but rather the plain short-sleeve version.
|Version B has tucks, visible just to the left of the collar.|
|Here's how those tucks look on the multi-sized pattern.|
There are two unusual design details not mentioned in the pattern description. The buttons are hidden by a placket. I have never seen that on a commercial pattern before, vintage or otherwise. (If you bungle your buttonholes, you needn't worry.)
There's also an undercollar band, an element that reinforces the shirt collar from the underside and holds it in place too. That's a nice detail, don't you think?
Sizing aside, I'm excited to be making a contemporary shirt pattern for a change and curious how it will turn out. For a guy, a new pattern is a big deal and the model even has a contemporary haircut!
I cut my main pieces today and am ready to begin sewing. I suspect I am going to have to take some width out of the two side fronts and both sides of the back, which I'll likely do with a tuck between the neck and the shoulder and then transfer my changes to the paper pattern -- unless, of course, it turns out the neck is also too wide.
Tune in tomorrow for updates.
In closing, readers, what is the point of all this ease in modern patterns? Does it have something to do with vanity sizing? Don't you want your 36" pattern to fit your 36" chest (or whatever size you are)?
Have a great day, everybody!