Sewing for Mr TSM

Hey everyone, or Ey Up as they say around these parts!

In a change to regular programming, I’d like to share with you some of the sewing I’ve done for my lovely, husband, as I do actually do it on a reasonably regular basis, but have never blogged my results. Also, when I say a regular basis, I really mean only once or twice a year, and only¬†shirts ūüėČ So, if you’re only here for the women stuff, then please feel free to move on.

So, Mr TSM has always liked a nice fitting shirt and wears them regularly at work and for going out.  He dresses quite smart most of the time and is very careful about co-ordinating the things he wears. He likes a shirt with a slim fit, and is very particular about fabric. He loves the warmer colours and is drawn to small patterned or quirky designs,  but no checks or stripes please.

He is also¬†very slim and small framed so finding good fitting shirts isn’t impossible, but means he regularly has to deal with too long arms and baggy fit from RTW. I therefore knew I’d be able to do better for him, but he took some persuading initially to see the benefits. ¬†His view was that¬†it would be a lot of effort for me to make him a shirt and that there were plenty in the shops, so why?¬†¬†However I was getting twitchy just looking at the bad-fit stuff he was wearing, and really couldn’t wait to try my hand at improving it. I’m pleased to say he’s now a convert and loves to wear the shirts I made him.

Now, if you’ve made shirts already you’ll know there aren’t that too many patterns¬†around. The Colette Negroni is popular, but I needed one which¬†went¬†down to a size 34. So far,¬†I’ve used a couple of patterns, with differing results, and thought it might be useful to compare and contrast them, for the sake of sewing research.

First up, and the one I’ve used most, ¬†good old Burda 7767, which has been around a while and has 2 views, with 3 different collar sizes, plus a stand collar style.


I’ve only made the non-dressy version, but first the good. ¬†It’s reasonably slim fitting (which my husband likes) but which might not suit everyone. The choice of collars is very useful if you want to change it up slightly, although I’ve only ever done the one size. ¬†The instructions are clear and well written and the pattern is mostly well drafted (in the size I did)

The bad –¬†It doesn’t have a shirt-tail hem, so the shirt doesn’t look too good untucked, but you can change that¬†yourself very easily. The sleeve placket instructions leave a small raw edge.

Here is the first shirt I made, in a lovely Liberty tana lawn. The only alteration I made being to shorten the sleeves somewhat. It has been worn loads.



Did you see the pocket? Me neither!

The back.


I flat-felled everything and topstitched too, but it was probably wasted due to a busy fabric.

The second pattern I’ve used is Vogue 8889, not a recent pattern again, but which has more interesting style lines than the Burda.



The good Р the pattern is well drafted and the sleeve placket works well, without raw edges. I like the hidden placket front too. Also it has a nice shirt-tail hem.

The bad – ¬†the fit is slightly odd, imo.¬†¬†The chest is true to size however the waist and hips have massive amounts of ease, as others have noted.¬†¬†Also those lovely style lines at the side seam are so narrow¬†that they’re hardly noticeable, rendering¬†them almost obsolete. Also, no pockets.

Here is the last shirt I made from this pattern, again in another busy print, chosen specially by his nibs when we were in the Liberty shop in London after Christmas.


I chose the smallest size but after trying on it was too tight in the chest, so I used up all my seam allowances to get it to fit better. I also took in the sides below the chest quite a bit to get a slimmer fit.

The back


Not too bad. The side insert is hardly noticeable, however, especially in this fabric.


I flat felled all the seams using Janet Pray’s method, which avoids trimming, and topstitched everywhere too. The Liberty tana lawn behaved impeccably, as always.

In other news,¬†¬†I’ve been busy back sewing for myself of late, although the warmer weather and garden do beckon. ¬†I’ve been posting regularly for Me Made May on Instagram and have enjoyed seeing what everyone’s up to and getting to know people a little better through their daily posts. I still love reading blog posts though, and they will always be my favourite way of catching up.

I’m still busy stash-busting too and, although I’ve made a couple of small purchases now, I’ve reduced my hoard by over 43 metres since January. It’s been hard not to buy anything but I think I’ve tackled my squirrely habits pretty well. There’s¬†¬†plenty of fabric remaining on my shelves though, so when June is over I think I might continue to see if I can do a full year. We’ll see.

I’m also hoping¬†I’ll be able to share with you how I finally got a trouser block that really works for me, after buying Suzy Ferrer’s class on Craftsy.

Thanks for stopping by