It’s finally finished! Mr. B’s handcrafted western shirt – in black, as requested and perfectly sized.
He is a very happy man!
It’s taken a long time from making the toile to creating the final garment… finding the perfect black fabric was rather difficult, partly due to my lack of time for shopping and partly due to Mr. B’s fabric choices being rather specific! I’ve also been super busy with preparing sewing samples for my classes and workshops and so trying to find time for making things for myself or Mr. B is a bit difficult.
I sent off for lots of samples of different shirt fabrics but none of them were right. Too light, too shiny, too textured etc. etc… so in the end I went to Minerva Crafts, sent for samples of pretty much every black fabric they had that might work and came up with this!
It’s a polycotton gabardine dress fabric and at £6.99 per metre it’s excellent quality. The fabric is 65% polyester, 35% cotton and a lot heavier than I was originally thinking for a shirt. This is however what Mr. B had in mind. I ordered 3 metres which is a bit more than necessary but I like to have spares just in case of any errors! The buttons were from Knot Just Wool on eBay and cost £2.10 for 36 x 15mm matt black buttons. Bargain!
I made a few alterations to the original pattern as you can see from the first post – part 1, I changed the style of the pockets and yokes to make these a bit more pointy. I also increased the width of the button stand but could have made this a little narrower. I’d alter this if I made up the shirt again as the buttons do look a little small on there and larger buttons just wouldn’t work.
I was a bit worried about the thickness of the gabardine fabric so I used silk for the continuous lap on the sleeve opening. I bought the silk from Suzhou in China around 7 years ago, it’s beautiful quality and adds a bit of luxury to the shirt.
I had hoped to finish the shirt to give as a Christmas gift but clearly I’ve failed on that! In an attempt to make up for this I got some new labels printed with my (soon to be) married name.
I’ve already got lots of ideas for the next shirt and now I’ve got the pattern sizing right the next one will be much quicker and easier to make up. The hard bit will be finding the right fabric again!