Today I’m doing a two part post. First a review of McCall’s 6613 by Palmer Pletch I made for my husband, and second, a review of Pam Howard’s class, The Tailored shirt. on Craftsy. This is the third button down shirt I’ve made Richard, and thanks to Pam Howard’s class, it’s the best job I’ve done! Thank you for all your kind and thoughtful comments on my last post. It feels good to have virtual friends who can relate to stuff. Even when I’m being Debbie Downer. It means a lot to have a community where we can commiserate about the ups and downs of living a creative life.
Often, whenever Richard and I go out somewhere, we match. I’ll be wearing a flannel shirt, and he’ll be wearing one too. Or I’ll be wearing a black dress, and he has on a black leather jacket, or we’re both wearing dark blazers and chunky boots. I feel like I should take photos because we’re like two teenagers who go out in the same outfit. Except he gets dressed downstairs, and I get dressed upstairs and we never check to see what the other is wearing. Maybe that’s what happens when you’re together for 24 years. I wonder if I will happen to wear my orange, but different pattern flannel shirt at the same time he wears this? Anyway, back to my review.I made this shirt using Mccall’s 6613 by Palmer Pletch . If you’re looking for the perfect men’s button down pattern, this almost fits the bill, but not quite.
Here are details that are right on for a man’s tailored button down:
Back yoke with pleats Collar with separate collar stand Buttoned cuffs. Two options for pockets, a flap one I made, and a plain patch pocket. Shirt tail he.
Things that are not quite kosher for a man’s button down
Two piece sleeves with no placket. Instead the seam allowance is turned under. Very unconventional. I had to draft plackets as Richard was not about to have sleeves with turned under seam allowances instead of plackets . And the fact that the pattern has two piece sleeves is odd. He doesn’t have one shirt in his closet with two piece sleeves. That’s a design for jacket sleeves. Why not just add a placket instead of going through all the trouble to draft two piece sleeves so you can avoid adding a placket? Plackets aren’t that hard to sew. It’s not worth going through all that trouble for a workaround. A separate pattern piece for the front button down band. In my case, I had to cut it on the bias because it just looked bad cut straight. The little stripes looked ever so off. I’d rather have just had an extension I could fold under. FITTING I cut a size small because Richard measures a 41 chest . The medium is drafted for 38-40 and the large for 42-44. I figured there would be lots of ease, but there wasn’t, and I should have sized up to a Large. It’s a little tight on him. However, I do believe the armholes are too low anyway, making it hard for him to lift his arms above his head. I’ve found that if you have this problem, you need to raise up the armholes of the pattern. I first read about doing this in Threads and it works. Raise the armhole and you will have better arm mobility. Here is a link to that article. DIRECTIONS I can’t review those because I followed Pam Howard’s shirt class to sew the shirt. And now on to my review of her class……Pam Howard’s The Classic Tailored Shirt Review
Lesson 1 is an intro to Ms. Howard and she explains how the Craftsy platform works and she also introduces herself and tells us a bit about her sewing experience. She started sewing as a teen, earned a degree in fashion, and is now a staff writer for Threads magazine.
Lesson 2 discusses the pattern she uses, a Kwik Sew one. I used a different one and would like to try the Kwik Sew next time. She explains how to trace the pattern and add wider seam allowances. Oddly, the Kwik Sew pattern only has 1/4 inch allowance. We will need 5/8 inch allowances to allow enough room to sew flat fell seams on the shirt seams.She also discusses ideal fabric choices for a first shirt project and my thick lined cotton flannel is not one of them. But that’s OK! I’ve made shirts before. She wraps up Lesson 2 with a short lesson on interfacing, sewing notions, and pressing aids that are helpful in shirt making. She speaks slowly and clearly and I never have to rewind to understand her instructions. But she isn’t boring.
Lesson 3 All about cutting and laying out fabric. Preparing fabric, aligning prints, lining up plaid and stripes, a quick method for applying tailor’s tacks, and cutting tips. I learned that it’s better to have the back of my hand facing my fabric rather than the palm of my hand. It does make me cut straighter.
Lesson 4 & 5 Pressing and sewing the front button band, and sewing and attaching the pocket. My front band was a separate piece from her shirt, so mine was different to sew since I cut it on the bias and it was really stretchy.
Lesson 6 Attaching the yoke with the burrito method. No hand sewing required.
Lesson 7 Sewing the collar and band. Even though I’ve sewn these things before, it was fun to learn new tips and tricks from someone with more experience than me. Pam hand sews the collar band, taking a bit more time but giving a clean look on the inside where a sewn on band can look a little wonky sometimes.
Lesson 8 & 9 Explain how sew the sleeve tower plackets, set in the sleeves with the flat method and sew the fell seams. Great tips here, too.
Lesson 10 explains how to make the proper pleats at the sleeve and how to sew the cuffs.