Readers, I just made my very first rugby shirt!
Now, I know about as much about rugby as I do cricket, croquet, lacrosse, jai alai, polo, and mahjong, which is to say, nothing at all. But I do like the preppy look of a striped rugby shirt.
This summer the folks at the online fabric store Organic Cotton Plus reached out to me to review another project for them (you may recall my organic orchid flannel shirt from last fall). I was delighted to comply.
This time I chose a classic pink and midnight blue-striped cotton interlock to make a rugby shirt. Since I knew I'd need a sturdy woven cotton for the cuffs and collar, I chose a tightly woven, slightly stiff white cotton percale.
I pre-washed (and machine-dried) both fabrics and both came out of the wash looking great. They also played well together. I'm always a little nervous sewing a woven and knit together. Luckily the interlock, while moderately stretchy, maintained its body throughout the sewing process. It has excellent rebound.
The pattern I used for my shirt is one of my favorites, vintage Butterick 4712. I'd been wanting to make the rugby-style shirt on the pattern envelope for years and here was my chance!
All my major seams are serged (with four threads), though I stitched them first with my sewing machine and used my walking foot attachment to help keep the stripes lined up. I reinforced the shoulder seams with rayon seam binding (cotton twill tape is another, somewhat sturdier, option).
I made only one significant change to the pattern. Rather than use the center-front opening placket pattern piece (below right) which included a facing and attached to a one-piece collar, I traced the center-front placket pattern piece from David Coffin's classic book, Shirtmaking (p. 74), which allowed me to add a traditional collar and collar stand.
|The pattern piece I traced from David Coffin's Shirtmaking is on the left. (The markings are on the other side.)|
I added two buttons to the cuffs instead of just one. The chunky white buttons are vintage plastic from my stash.
The shirt's hem is serged, folded under, and topstitched. Nothing fancy and very easy to accomplish. With the exception of my Brother 1034D serger, I made the entire shirt on my Singer 201.
I think this is one snazzy-looking shirt. The cotton interlock is extremely soft and comfortable. Although this stripe is printed as opposed to knit with two color threads (hence the "wrong" side looks white), the colors are rich and do not bleed. I recommend it without reservation.
Since this is a long-sleeve shirt, I can wear it all year round -- and I intend to!
Have a great day, everybody!