Jan SAL: Shirt #2 pattern dev

The body, yoke and sleeves on both shirt #1 and shirt #2 are from the same basic block, the main difference being the collar and CF overlap, since #1 has a collar on a stand and no facings, while #2 has a convertible collar with a facing, plus a deeper overlap/underlap width.

Here’s how I set up for choosing/designing a collar and a CF-overlap: I use what I refer to in my Workbook as sub-blocks, which are simply small bits from the main block that capture all that’s needed for experimenting with specific details, as you’ll see. Mini-muslins is another reasonable term for these, which I used in my Craftsy class, since they liked that better:)

The idea is that since all I’m wanting to change is the collar and CF, I don’t need a full muslin for the shirt, which is already proven. So, to start I prepare a muslin for just the yoke and a small part of the fronts, with a hole left out for the front neckline and CF (if I don’t already have one for the current basic block), by folding my original patterns stright down fron the edges of the neckline, as shown at left below, then cut out just enough to catch the armholes, as at right:

On the body or form, they look like this:


Next, I prep a collar and enough of a right and left CF overlap and front facing to play with, and to extend beyond where the sub-block muslin will sit, like these: (The upper one doesn’t have a collar added yet.)

These collar/CF mini-muslins can be two-layered and turned in the usual way for finished collars, or one-layered, which of course is faster, and more suited to reshaping as you play with them, so they’re usually how I work. Note that the one-layered collar is the only one with a neckline seam allowance; there’s none on the facing neckline, and the seam is just lapped and zig-zagged together following a mark drawn on the collar to show its neckline seam.

Another virtue of a one-layer test is that it’s easy to leave the CB seam open and extra-long seam allowances there, so you can play around with different collar lengths by how you pin the ends together. In these shots so can see the pinning, and the top two images show a collar that’s shorter (i.e., higher up on my neck in front) than what I wound up preferring (for which I repinned the CB), shown in the lower row of pix, but would make an interesting option for a different project.

When I like the way the collar looks, and the CF overlaps seem OK (they’re easily tweaked now or later), I slip the yoke and shoulders sub-block over the collar/facing mini, and arrange that so it’s sitting well on my shoulders, just as the original full muslin did, as shown above in blue. Note also in the last image above that I’ve trimmed away the collar points to check out some other shaping options.

Once everything looks good, I pin the two mini-muslins together along the edges they share on either side of the CF so I can move them together off the body or form without them shifting out of the alignment I’ve captured on the body/form, and lay the pair out flat as shown below so I can trace the now full-width fronts and capture the position of the new necklines on each side, thus:

Tracing is one way to do this, but these days I’m more likely to just scan these and trace them in Illustrator. I make two scans for each side, one with the full CF/collar mini still pinned in place, and one with the full front sub-block for which the CF/collar can be folded away; there’s enough overlap that it’ll be easy to merge these later, using their shared front sub-block edges. It may take a few tries to make sure that it’s only the collars and yoke that ever get distorted, since I don’t need to trace them, altho I’ll probably try to trace the trimmed collar shapes digitally; perfectly quick and easy to do with pencil and paper, of course. Here’s my scans:

And here’s my work on them in Illustrator; note that I did the blue fronts first, then dragged copies of these over to the traced collar/facings:

Here’s a close-up of the final patterns. Note that I’ve corrected the right shoulder shaping at the yoke/front seam based on what I found when adjusting that to sit well, but more important, note how different each side now is. In fact, it probably looks like a train-wreck to some of you, they’re so dissimilar—in width, in neckline depth, and even grain! I’ve easily adjusted the grain on the right side tracing; you can see the redrawn line where the right’s front edge seems to be doubled. But actually this is a quite accurate picture of what it will take to fit me as draped, which I can now test with a new muslin, just in case I’m worried:)

Here’s the new muslin test, taken directly from the traced drapes just shown, without adjustments except for the right-side grain as mentioned. Looks OK to me.

So, time to get sewing!

Oh, yeah! Here’s how I did the collar pattern: I started with #6 from the collection in my book, and just squared-off the end.

Then I took the traced outer edge that I trimmed on the form and laid it back over the pattern, and extended it at the CB to meet half the length of my neckline:






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