menswear, first but not last

(日本語が英文の後に続きます。text in Japanese will follow English)

Hello, I hope everyone is enjoying the June weather so far. In Japan June marks the rainy season (rain is forecasted for the whole of next week!) – I don’t mind though, as I love sitting and listening to the rain while knitting or reading (mostly something sewing-related these days:-)

I just finished my first menswear me-made! This is part 1 of 2 of my husband’s birthday present. I had owned the pattern and the fabrics with the intention of making a shirt for my husband for a long time but never got around to it, and finally for my husband’s birthday in April, I was inspired by Andrea of Stitch Parade with her idea to gift the actual fabric and pattern first (actually I gifted the whole sewing book of mens shirt patterns and a bag of fabrics to choose from. I didn’t think my husband would be overly excited actually because he already owns many shirts (he wears a shirt almost every day), but he was a good sport and helped choose two styles of shirts and two fabrics.

Here’s the first shirt, with a wide-spread collar as requested by my husband.


I used the normal “poking with pointy object” when turning one of the collar points (left in this picture) and this technique with turning the other one (right in this picture) and the one using the special technique is much much neater!


The check matching tested my patience greatly, but I found some quite useful tutorials online which made things easier and especially found the ideas on Lladybird and Grainline Studio to be great references! Not bad, right?



Don’t look too close! The sewing was a bit sketchy after long hours of trying to match the checks@_@

The pattern is from the Book of Men’s Shirts by Ryuichiro Shimazaki who is renowned for his Book of Men’s Coats. I could not resist buying this book when I first saw it though I had just started sewing at that time…


I mean, how neat that you can choose from so many types of collars!


and cuffs…  buttons too of course




Super well-illustrated and gives detailed information about each part of the shirt (I never notice until I sewed one up!)


Here’s number 8 the wide-spread collar model (I ended up using a different cuff)


my dream is to make this denim shirt one day (the book even has instructions on how to treat your denim to make it look “aged”, and other cool techniques to make the clothing look better.


But I like this basic one also.


Fun facts I learned after sewing this shirt/ reading this book. Did you know that the shell buttons of expensive dress shirts are slightly thicker at 4mm than those of regular shirts? The reasons, according the book, are that 1) a slightly thicker button is easier to close with one hand and 2) only a small fraction of shells can grow to a thickness suitable to make 4mm buttons = more rare.

Also, since the collar stand is thicker, the first button is thinner (ie. 2mm) so that it is easier to open/close. I put 4mm (3.5 mm?) ones and a 2mm one for the collar stand.


Despite having a husband who loves to wear shirts, I never noticed that the first and the last buttonhole of the shirt is horizontal while others are vertical.


My husband was quite happy with the result! It could have been a little bigger  – but now I know where I have to adjust and hopefully I will be able to make one that fits him better, and get some pictures of the shirt on him!

Despite it not being something for myself, I really enjoyed this project because it was challenging and working with shirting fabric which is so crisp especially after ironing is so satisfying! seeing husband wearing something I sew is of course a great reward too:-)

After this relatively successful make, I would like to make more menswear! I still have one more shirt to make for my husband, and also ordered the “Book of Coats” by the same author.

What kind of project do you enjoy most when it comes to unselfish sewing?

The Book of Men’s Shirts can be found at sew tokyo.




一着目は旦那の気に入りの「ワイドスプレッドカラー」に、シンプルなカフスを合わせました。シャツカラーを返すときはこの「職人技」がとても参考になりました。このシャツを作ることにあたり一番大変だったのが柄合わせでした。柄合わせに疲れて、最後はステッチがあまりきれいに縫えてない。。。柄合わせのときはこの二つの海外ブログが結構参考になりました:Lladybird とGrainline Studio

パターンが嶋崎 隆一郎の「男のシャツの本」より。この本がとても素敵だと思います。シャツカラーとカフス、ボタンなどシャツの各パーツについて詳しく説明が書かれているので読んでると結構おもしろいです。知ってましたか?通常のシャツのボタンが2mmであるに比べ、高級シャツには片手で掴みやすい貴重は4mm貝ボタンが使われていること。また、カラースタンドが固めのため、第一ボタンが他に比べ少し薄いものを使うこと。シャツの第一ボタンおよび一番下のボタンホールだけが水平していること。すべて目に鱗。

この本はわかりやすい図がたくさん載っているため、初心者の私でもあまり難なくシャツを作れました。いつか本の中に載っているデニムシャツにチャレンジしてみたいと思います。もう少しサイズの大きいものを作ればよかったようだが、それでも旦那が結構喜んでくれましたので、それを励みに次のシャツに取りかかりたいと思います^^ つい、同じ作者が書いた「男のコートの本」も注文かけちゃいました(笑)


にほんブログ村 ハンドメイドブログ ソーイング(縫い物)へ
にほんブログ村 ハンドメイドブログ 洋服(洋裁)へ


8 thoughts on “menswear, first but not last

  1. Great job, what a fabulous shirt! That book looks interesting, I may have to look it up. Do you know why the first & last buttonholes are perpendicular to the front band? They’re stronger in that direction, so the buttons are less likely to pop out. Learning something new everyday! 🙂

    1. Thanks Anne! It’s great to learn that there is a practical reason behind it:-) Incidentally, without thinking I sewed my top buttonhole parallel (or horizontal to) the check pattern of the fabric, hence on this shirt it is actually diagonal to the other buttons..oops…

  2. Your check matching skills are ace! Seriously, that sleeve placket is perfectly camouflaged. I wonder if this book is available in English because it looks like a perfect resource. As far as unselfish sewing goes, I think my top two favourites are handbags for friends and anything for kids. This may be the reason why I only ever made one shirt for my husband!

    1. Thanks Andrea:-) the check matching took a looong time but I was pretty satisfied at the end! I think the book is available in only Japanese and French titled Les Chemises – it is great resource since the styles are so classic.

      I also love to sew handbags/bags for gifts but have a hard time parting with them since I want to keep them, haha.

  3. hi, I’m reaching your blog via Kollabora, and I discover your beautiful projects. You did a really nice work with this shirt. Your man is lucky that you sew for him ! Watch out he will like it and ask for more me-made garments 😉

    1. thank you for your kind comment! My husband indeed appreciated the tailor-made shirt for him, and as we speak I have another one for him sitting on my sewing table:-) (hard to balance between selfless sewing and wanting to sew more clothes for myself though:-)

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