I had a fab day last week teaching 4 ladies how to make a shirt collar and cuffs. It was a busy day, with lots to learn - but they all did an amazing job and I'm excited to see their first shirts. It reminded me of my first experience of sewing a shirt and how frustrated I felt when things didn't look quite right. But now - shirts are probably one of my favourite things to make. I find the whole process quite mindful. There are usually lots of pieces to cut out, there's interfacing to apply and a whole process ahead of me to gradually work through, when I have a moment to sew. I love this process and find it a bit like concentrating on a pose in yoga so that I don't fall over! It takes your full concentration so that there's no room for any of the annoying day to day thoughts or worries that usually fill my mind. I've learned to be kinder to myself when things don't look like an identikit mass produced shirt - after all, I'm making a one-off item, so imperfections are part of the charm. And I shouldn't forget to mention the joy of pressing; taking a freshly sewn seam that looks a bit 'puffy' or lumpy and applying a nice hot iron with a bit of steam to smooth out and produce something that looks like 'a proper collar'!!
I currently have 2 favourite shirts for me; the Closet Case Patterns Kalle Shirt (quite a lose fit with lots of different options including tunic length and dress length) and the Cashmerette Harrison Shirt (designed for curves and with cup sizes already built in to the pattern). My top shirt pattern for men is Vogue V8759 - but have got a couple more patterns to try out as it's nice to go for a new challenge every so often.
My next Shirt Builder Class is on Tuesday 7th May and there are still some places. You don't need any materials - everything is provided, but I would suggest you need a little prior sewing experience to get the most from the class.
I will also have some lovely shirt patterns for sale at my Sewing Retreat on Saturday 13th July at Writtle Tea Rooms. You don't need to book onto the retreat to visit my pop up shop, but those on the Retreat will benefit from a special 10% discount off anything they buy on the day.