I finished my herringbone cotton shirt today and I love it.
Just to review, I made this shirt using Butterick 6319 (below), a mid-Fifties men's dress shirt pattern I found on eBay. My beautiful cotton shirting was sent to me by MPB reader Josh a few years ago. Initially I thought this fabric was too heavy, but I adore it now. The color is also perfect.
My favorite elements of this pattern are the shaped hems and the long
collar -- 3 1/2" from top edge to point, in case you're wondering. This was approximately the
collar length of most Oxford cloth button down shirts made
during the height of Ivy style (arguably the mid-Fifties through the
early Seventies). While Ivy style is hot again, most Oxford cloth button
down shirts have considerably shorter collars.
Surprisingly, I also love the roomy fit -- so different from the shirts I usually make.
Here's what an actual classic-fit Brooks Brothers shirt looks like on me (below): considerably fuller than mine.
My new shirt looks great with a tie, as well as with a navy jacket. (Note to self: shave.)
I made my shirt on my Kenmore 158.141 zigzagger, using a straight stitch foot borrowed from my Singer 15-91, and with a straight-stitch needle plate. I made the buttonholes with the aid with my vintage Singer buttonhole attachment. The only adjustments I made to the pattern were to shorten sleeves and torso 2", and to put my flat-felled seams on the inside, rather than the outside of the garment.
I toyed with the idea of French cuffs (included with the pattern), but the folded layers, which I'd already interfaced, felt too thick, so I opted for standard cuffs.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I changed the gathers in the back to a center pleat (below).
My buttons are simple white plastic shirt buttons from Steinauf & Stoller.
Somehow in the course of making this shirt, I melted one of my rulers with my iron. How did I manage to avoid this up until now?
And that's it!
You may not realize that there's an online community of Ivy-look aficionados who obsess over the fit and quality of their Oxford cloth button down shirts. You can witness the compulsion here, here, and here.
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!