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Dec 9, 2012

Color Block Shirt Project: The Finalists!

Friends, I am having difficulty making up my mind about how my color block shirt should look.  I've made a few more sketches and found more color-block inspiration online.

Below are my three favorite images; my favorite sketch is up top.  I know I want the top of the shirt to be black, but I'm concerned that the red around my middle will make me look short and, ahem, wide.  That's why I was drawn to the red and black woman's shirt  (far right) in my desktop screen shot: slimming.

I also like this crew neck sweater.  Do you notice how, with the exception of the preppy gingham, all these color block shirts are done in solids?  Maybe there's a reason.

I'm pretty sure I want to make a camp collar (think Hawaiian or bowling shirt) which I'll wear closed, rather than a collar with collar stand -- been there, done that.  I've noticed that the best looking of the color block shirts are styled with the collar closed; perhaps a peek of undershirt spoils the design.

I've traced and adapted a narrow 1930's shirt pattern of all things, adding facings instead of front button plackets.  One of the best things about this old pattern (which I made a few years back) is that it has high armholes and relatively narrow sleeves -- I need to conserve fabric as I only have half a yard of the black.  I can do the facings in a different cotton shirting if I have to.

I'm also using pieces of this early Sixties Butterick camp shirt pattern.  I like the details but not the boxi-ness.

So that's where things stand as of this morning, patient readers.  I will make up my mind shortly; I mean, I must.

I hope, whatever you're sewing, you're not caught up in a quandary like me.  Happy Sunday, everybody!


  1. I'd go with your sketch. It's the most fun, most interesting, and least dated/80s looking.

  2. Good luck with your decision. I love that 1930's mens shirt pattern. I can't wait to see what you decide and how it turns out.

  3. I really like the red and black ladies style or the sweater in blue, but with the lighter color up top.

    After weeks of not sewing much due to procrastination and other factors, I hopped on my vintage Necchi only to discover that she needs a tune-up. Sadface.

  4. I think you should go with your sketch. I love color blocking. I have done this for several years but with my daughter's clothing. I buy clothing cut out sleeves from one top and put them into another etc. I can get to see the result before I actually sew it. I also love the sweater. Solid colors look the best and less patchwork quilt like. Whatever you make will take out fabulous.

  5. Looked like a Photoshop challenge to me.

    1. Can't believe I forgot the patchwork one.
      I was fun.

  6. The red shirt looks awesome and I can't wait to see the color block version. I wish I had the courage to make a shirt but since I really like camp style shirts that may be the style I might try first.
    I just finished making a vest the other day and had the button holes made at Jonathan Embroidery on 38 St. while I waited. Fifteen minutes later and I was out the door. I couldn't do them myself because my machine that does them needs to be serviced. Jonathan's did a great job and they were open on Saturday. Lulu Buttons had the perfect buttons for the vest.
    Now if I can just keep the momentum up and try making a shirt.
    Have a great day.

  7. I think your sketch is great! Aren't diagonal lines slimming? Either that or the woman's red/black version will both be flattering, I think. Can't wait to see whatever you decide.

  8. If you are concerned about looking slimmer, (although I can't imagine why) consider the women's version with the black on the outside instead of up the middle. You may just have to go with what fits your half yard of fabric.

  9. Eep, the woman's black/red one done as a mens shirt cold look like one of those shirts Charlie Harper wears. I love Becky's mockups, isn't she clever!! I imagine that will help you choose which way to jump. If you go diagonal, watch that joining seam as it will be on the bias, also matching it across the placket will be a fun challenge for you I am sure!

  10. I was going to vote for your sketched diagonal lines shirt, but having seen Becky's wonderful work, and bearing in mind that there is only a small black yardage, I'd go for colourblocking with the top third (front and back )in black and inside band and cuffs in solid black. I'm sure you don't need the slimming effect!

  11. Kathy in southwest, USDecember 10, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    At my American Sewing Guild meeting yesterday I volunteered to give a brief intro. into color-blocking for a program in January. I did some research online when I returned home. (You may already know some of this stuff which follows). Yves St. Laurent, in the 60's designed his Mondrian dresses which are simple shifts with squares and rectangles in red, black, and white solids. Color-blocked clothing is composed of finite blocks of color. The colors can be monochromatic which is the use of color throughout in different hues. Another option is to use separates with contrasting (2-4) colors. A third choice is to have a stand-alone garment which is already color-blocked such as your options above. One designer recommended that darker colors should be used strategically in areas of the figure which one might want to downplay and brighter colors used in areas that one wants to accentuate.
    The blog, "It's All Style To Me" wrote about color blocking for men in a May, 2011 post.

  12. Mmmmmmmm!!!

    What's with those Butterick men???

  13. Now that I see Becky W's photoshop magic, I'm much more on board with this project! I kinda like the ones where the upper chest/shoulders are a different color.


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