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Add Zip to Men’s Shirt Patterns Using Style Lines and Contrast Fabrics

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I’ve been sewing men’s shirts for 10 years, using commercial patterns almost exclusively. What I’ve learned is that most shirt patterns are standard, since, unlike women’s fashion, men’s clothing has not changed radically in the last century.

The shape and size of collars have been tweaked through the decades, as has fit—some decades loose, other decades trim. Nevertheless, in almost every men’s shirt pattern from the last 100 years you will find two fronts, one back, two sleeves, one yoke, and one collar—sometimes one-piece (as in a camp-collar shirt) and sometimes two (the classic collar stand/collar combination). You may often find a pocket as well, especially on casual shirt patterns.

Let’s say, however, we want to make something unusual. There are two excellent methods for creating your own look while sewing with commercial shirt patterns:

• Play with pattern mixing while adhering…

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  1. k396cook | | #1

    This is wonderful. I’ve color-blocked my husband’s shirts before and have added some decorative strips to collars and pockets, but this is so much more exciting. Thank you.

  2. Jemstone6 | | #2

    I love it!!!! Here is a tip from the quilting world. When working with fabric that shifts and grows, starch it to death before cutting out. Make sure to “press” the fabric, don’t “iron” back and forth. Judy

  3. k396cook | | #3

    After showing this design to my husband, he felt that all of these seams would be too rough. I think that this could be overcome by lining the entire shirt and proceeding with the top stitching etc. as if just the salvages were being lined.

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