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A Boy Shirt Tute: Finally!

A few months ago, the lovely Heidi from Elegance and Elephants asked if I would participate in her Knock It Off Series. It was so much fun! Just in case you missed it, I’ve reprinted the post below:

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Hi everyone! It’s me, Shannon, from Little Kids Grow. I’m a super duper busy mama of 6 who has an insatiable desire to create, create, create!. I love Heidi’s  Knock It Off Series because it gives me a chance to ask the question, “How’d they do that?”.

I chose a polo shirt from the company Fore! Axel & Hudson. I actually found the company on one of Heidi’s Pinterest boards (Thanks, Heidi!). It can be such a challenge finding unique clothing for boys, so I was more than excited to see the company’s golf-inspired creations. I found myself going through their past seasons marveling at their unique take on design wondering, “Now, why didn’t I think of that?”.

My Knock Off design is from their 2011 collection. Amazingly, I had everything I needed in my stash already. For the fabric I used both a recycled white t-shirt and a checked blue buttondown shirt I had in my “give away” box. I already had the buttons on hand, so outside of labor, this shirt cost me $0. :)(Hee, Hee)

My “How did that do that?” moment came when trying to figure out how to add a non-stretch cotton collar and placket to a stretchy knit base. Believe me, it wasn’t pretty. We fought. I got knocked down a few times, but in the end, I won! Woo!

I drafted the shirt from scratch, but you can also trace an existing garment or use a t-shirt pattern in your child’s size. I lengthened the sleeves and widened the collar. It gives it more of a 70’s retro feel , don’t you think? (The driver cap pattern is in the works. )

There are 8 pattern pieces:

Since this is a basic t-shirt assembly, to save on space, I’m not going to show you a step-by-step, but because there is a placket and collar added, piecing everything together can be kind of tricky. Here’s the sewing order that I used:

  1. Placket to bodice front
  2. Pocket
  3. Shoulder Seams
  4. Label (Optional)
  5. Sleeves
  6. Side Seams
  7. Collar
  8. Placket Buttons

Also, there are different ways to draft a single-piece placket. Here’s a link to my preferred method:

One-Piece Placket

Tips:

1) Recycling fabric allowed me to play around with different fabric weights to get the right stretch to non-stretch fabric combination. I went through quite a few t-shirts before finding one that was able to hold the weight of the woven collar.

2) Again, the trickiest part for me was working with a knit and non-knit fabric. When sewing the two fabrics together, take care not to stretch the knit fabric while you sew. It can make the garment pucker.

3) When drafting a collar for this shirt, you’ll need the neckline measurement. Be sure to take the neckline measurement “after” you’ve added the placket. Make sure your neckline measurement includes your placket. The overlap of the placket will change the collar’s band length.

4) You’ll have two pieces for your collar: Collar and band (or stand). The center of your collar piece will match the center back of your shirt (not necessarily your band). Centering the collar on the band itself can shift the collar off center depending on your placket. (Trust me. I learned this one the hard way :-))

Thanks for looking everyone! (Thank you for the opportunity to share, Heidi)

Keep doin’ what you love!

Shannon

 

  • genomix

    Shannon, can you share how you drafted the length of your collar band after you had sewed your placket in place?

    • Shannon_CC

      What a great question! I actually drafted all of my pieces “before” sewing. My wording in Tip# 3 is a bit confusing, (My sincerest apologies) but of course, you can still draft your collar and band after you’ve attached the placket. Once you’ve attached your placket, just measure from one end of the placket around the full length of your collar to the other end of the placket. This will give you your full neckline measurement. From there you’ll draft your collar and from your collar, your band. If you need more information on the specifics of drafting a collar, just send me an email at littlekidsgrow (at) gmail (dot) com. I’ll be more than happy to put together a tutorial for Tutorial Tuesdays and share :).

      • genomix

        Thank you, Shannon…With your schedule, it is so nice that you can actually find the time to put together a tutorial; however, that would be great. This has been something very confusing to me because there are some great patterns which I love but I am not too crazy about their placket design. If I used your placket design however, I am not sure how to use the existing collar/collar band dimensions.

        Really appreciate your time and comments on this

        • Shannon_CC

          Oh, sure. No problem. It was kind of confusing to me the first time as well. I just sent you an email. I’ll try to have the tutorial up soon.