Simplicity 7030 and "Shirtmaking" - Brandon's Plaid Shirt

Yesterday I mentioned I submitted a post for this week's Sew Weekly "Buttoned-up" challenge.  Well, now it's up!  Did I mention I wouldn't be in the picture? No?  Silly me! ;-)  Actually, my first Sew Weekly creation was for my wonderful fiance, Brandon!
(Finally! Gone are the days of DFH/DF/DH2b... now that he's made his first online appearance, I think he deserves a name!) 

Introducing, Brandon
Hmm, writting for Sew Weekly and my blog could take some getting used to... how do I avoid repeating myself?  Let's focus on the pattern, shall we?

If I haven't mentioned it before, Simplicity 7030 is a great base pattern for a man's shirt, be it casual or dress.  It is easy to customize and includes traditional features that other shirt patterns don't - most importantly, a back yoke but also, two back pleats, a separate collar and stand, and a European (or French) front button band.

As this was our second time working with the pattern, we really wanted to tweak the fit and pay closer attention to detail.  To do this, we:
  • blended the S body and sleeves with the L yoke, collar and cuffs (that's putting it simply... you should see the Franken-pieces!)
  • cut a split yoke to align the plaid along the shoulder seam
  • made the collar button-down (though, for dressier shirts, I'll insert collar stays instead)
  • replaced the European front band with a separate band and changed the button-placement
  • replaced the continuous lap with a traditional cuff placket (from Shirtmaking)
  • changed the two wide cuff pleats into four smaller ones
  • cut the single-piece cuff into a two-piece
  • used 1.8mm stitches instead of 2.5mm, edge-stitched the yoke, collar stand, cuff placket, and cuff, and top-stitched the collar, front-band, amd cuff
  • used felled seams and a rolled hem
I think that's it...

Truth be told, I didn't use the pattern instructions this time.  To my recollection, they were reasonably well-written but, as I had just received David Page Coffin's Shirtmaking from Threads' warehouse sale, I wanted to give his techniques and construction order a try.  His instructions were great (aside from a typo in the directions for attaching the yoke - he wrote "wrong" sides together instead of "right", same with the dvd armscye instructions).  The Shirtmaking techniques were very useful for reducing bulk at the usual problem areas - cuffs and collar - and for giving a professional finish.  Now that I've stepped away from the shirt for a few days, I'm actually fairly convinced it could pass for RTW.  Brandon agrees and loves the shirt - yay!

Brandon thought I should be in the post and CoCo thought she should be too!

If you want to laugh at how long this shirt took me to finish, check it out here! I won't be mad, I promise!  I'm just glad it's over and I'm moving on to the next challenge!  Did I mention it's another, albeit small, plaid!?  What am I thinking!?

What dress shirts have you made?  Have you checked out Coffin's book?  Does it take you over a week to sew plaid (ha!)?

Have a great weekend, everyone! x

P.S. If you're interested, I bought the plaid fabric from Mood. As much griping as I did because it wouldn't stay straight, I still think it was worth it because it's a nice twill on one side but brushed on the other. So, Brandon's shirt looks crisp but it's soft and cozy on the inside!


  1. Wow congratulations on your first Sew Weekly contribution - and an unselfish one at that. I think it takes a talented person to be able to sew for others, so bravo on this accomplishment. You three look cute together.

    1. Thank you, Annabelle! Luckily, Brandon is happy to help along the way so I don't have to worry much about whether he'll like it or if it will work out. It is especially gratifying, though, when I finish something for him and he's pleased.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Michelle! I look forward to seeing more of yours up there too!


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