Threads Logo Threads Logo Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Sign in or become an insider to access this story

Sign In

Top Drawer Shirts

Threads magazine - 156 – Aug./Sept. 2011
Article Image
For shirts that don’t fade into the background, add unexpected elements, such as trims, pieced collars with contrasting fabrics, and eye-catching hems.

A basic button-front shirt is a wardrobe staple. A simple silhouette that works with lots of jackets and bottoms, a comfortable fabric, a flattering neckline and collar that can be worn in multiple ways—no wonder we turn to the shirt so often when planning an outfit for work or play. But there’s no reason a shirt has to be plain. Add a couple of subtle details (some that are mostly hidden from the outside) to give your next shirt interest, whimsy, and the thought-out look that the most expensive custom and designer men’s and ladies’ shirts have.

Applied ribbon trims; contrasting hem bands and bindings; and fabric inserts, small and large, add style without subtracting substance. Each of the details described below is easy to incorporate into most shirt patterns, or, with little trouble, is adaptable for shirt designs that have different collar or placket configurations. Follow my instructions, or just use these ideas as inspiration for your own take on the upgraded classic shirt.

Trim it with ribbon

Simply appliqué a strip of ribbon here and there—so it’s more a design enhancement than a true embellishment. Choose a good-quality ribbon that’s supple and soft, so it doesn’t change the garment’s hand or irritate your skin during wear. Velvet, satin, and pretty prints, in widths of 1⁄2 inch or narrower, are ideal.

Button placket detail

Apply this detail immediately after cutting out the pattern and before beginning construction of the shirt.

1 Chalk-mark the center-front line on the right side of the shirt’s underlap side.

2 Fuse a narrow strip of fusible web tape, such as Steam-A-Seam, centered on the chalk line to temporarily hold the ribbon. Remove the tape’s paper backing, and finger-press the ribbon over the tape. Fuse the ribbon with…

Start your 14-day FREE trial to access this story.

Start your FREE trial today and get instant access to this article plus access to all Threads Insider content.

Start Your Free Trial

Sign up for the Threads eletter

Get the latest including tips, techniques and special offers straight to your inbox.

Sign Up

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Subscribe to Threads today

Save up to 42% and get a free gift


Log in or become a member to post a comment.

More From Threads

Discussion Forum

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All

Shop the Store

View All
View More