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Aug 7, 2013

Box Pleats, Buttons, and Belts, Oh My!

I decided I wanted two identical box-pleat pockets on the front of my shirt, something a little different (for me).

I wanted the pleat to be 1" wide, so I added 2" to the width of the pocket when I cut my fabric.

Softly folding my pocket pieces so as not to make a sharp crease, I stitched a straight line at 1".

I then opened each pleat and pressed it flat.

Then I pressed the edges of my pocket under as I would normally.  I serged the turned-under top edge so I wouldn't have to stitch horizontally along the top.

Next, I stitched the pockets onto the shirt.

Finishing up, I chose small tortoise shell plastic shirt buttons I had in my stash.  They're really only visible on the cuffs.

Still haven't decided about those two back fish-eye darts.  They're certainly not necessary.

This afternoon, I found a vintage Seventies (based on the width) silk tie at the Salvation Army.  Pussy willows and pussy cats.  I thought I would use it to make a belt that would coordinate nicely with the shirt.

I already have these two metal loops from an old belt I disassembled.

I took apart the tie.  I'll keep all the bias canvas interfacing to use in suit collars.

There is a ton of silk in this tie; I was surprised how much.

I'm thinking I'll sew one very long 1 1/2" wide tube and turn it.  What should I interface the tie with though?  I have rolls of multicolored grosgrain ribbon, I could use that.  Or adapt the original canvas tie interfacing somehow.

If anybody has done this before, please let me know.

I've covered box pleats, buttons, and belts.  What else?

Band collars!

Here's mine, modeled by Michael.

I think my work is done.

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. omg that tie fabric is AWESOME!!
    I've used webbing to back belts before, maybe that could work for you here?

  2. The shirt is gorgeous. Love the pockets. Wishing for fish eye darts. There's a lot of fabric in the back view.

  3. Cool idea with the tie. Definitely think you should do the darts.

  4. Awesome work. I'm so jealous of the amount of time you have to sew! Keep it coming!

  5. Your top stitching is just beautiful.
    You've set a standard I try to achieve.
    Thank you for sharing your work. I really enjoy your blog and have learned so much.

  6. The tie reminds me of the Best Thriftstore Score ever. My son brought me a tie he found in a "25 cents for anything", nasty thrift store. "I think it might be a good one, Mom." It was a heavy silk Hermes tie from the 40's or 50's.

  7. You have a knack for finding very interesting things and then transforming them into wonderful items. Thanks for sharing the fun!

  8. Hi Peter
    I think the box pleats look fantastic alongside the fly placket. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished belt.

  9. Looking good, but I think that the back of the shirt does have a bit too much excess fabric and would look better with the fisheye darts. I've used grosgrain and webbing to back belts.

  10. Going on safari perhaps? I love it :)

  11. I think the fisheye darts will improve the fit of the shirt, and how the fabric lies. Besides, it's a custom shirt. Why not make it look like one?

  12. Great looking shirt. I like the buttons very much. I would have liked to have seen the small tortoise shell plastic shirt buttons exposed. Maybe even button holes and buttons for the top, center pocket.

    1. I thought about that, Alex, but with a covered placket it seemed strange to have exposed pocket buttons. Maybe not...

  13. I think the box pleat pocket is perfect for this style of shirt. And, as always, your top stitching and finishing is simply impeccable!

  14. Love the tie and think it'll make a great belt. I vote for the darts in the back if you are going for a truly fitted look.

  15. Please add the darts! You'll want to tuck the shirt in to show off the fabulous belt, and darts will stop the excess fabric from puffing out over the belt. Love the repetition of the vertical lines in the placket and the pocket.

  16. Finish the belt with petersham of course!!! (More flexible than grosgrain.)

  17. Love the pockets. That tie is great. Maybe use buckram for the belt?

  18. Very nice job with the darts. The recent trend to slim shirts seems to be so overdone. Your shirt is a good compromise of slim and enough room to breathe.


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