A checked shirt for the husband

Hi everyone!  Despite being a Monthly Stitch follower for 2 years now I’ve only just signed up as a contributor and this is my very first post – exciting! I was a little slow to be involved in the Indie Pattern Month challenges but I’m just about in the nick of time for July’s challenge.

One of my new year’s resolutions was to make my husband a shirt. And here it is, just in time for his birthday in August. I have managed to make this secretly which has been no mean feat as we’re both off work (we’re teachers) and I’ve had to banish him from the dining room whilst I made this. For that reason there is no post about this shirt on my blog (applebymakes) as I don’t want him to find out about it!

This is the second time I’ve made this pattern now. It is Simplicity 1493 and my first attempt can be read here.

Here it is:

The fabric is very old! It has actually come from my mum’s stash and I remember she made me a shirt out of this fabric when I was 17. This fabric has been stashed for 23 years! It still looks pretty good though!  It is Viyella fabric and is 55% wool and 45% cotton and it feels lovely! They don’t make fabric any more but you can still pick some up from Ebay.

As you can (hopefully) see I’ve attempted to match the check across the front and I’m pretty pleased with that. I’ve also got a reasonably good match on the side seams although you’ll have to take my word for that one. The shirt is wrapped up ready to give as a gift and I forgot to photograph that bit! I used my walking foot to sew the side seams and ensure the fabric didn’t move too much.

I thought I’d cut the pocket and the back yoke on the bias which would avoid the need for pattern matching there and I quite like the effect. Everything was going rather well until the buttonholes though. Despite trying to use pins to stop my seam ripper going too far I ripped the fabric anyway.

I had to sew up the hole using a short zigzag stitch. I hope it’s not too obvious but I’m still annoyed! I’ve done a fair few button holes now and I’ve never gone wrong on one until now, and typically the garment was for someone else.

I’ve noticed on most casual RTW shirts, the bottom button is different from the rest of them, so I decided to add an odd button to the bottom. This is deliberate – I did not run out of dark blue buttons!

I really hope he likes it!

Thanks for reading!  Corrine x

23 thoughts on “A checked shirt for the husband

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  3. Nice job! I’m sure it will be much appreciated.

    I use a super sharp 1cm wide chisel for buttonholes. I put one corner in the end and slice into the middle. Then repeat from the other end. I sometimes have to neaten a bit with scissors. I usually put something underneath the fabric too – something that can have a slice gouged into it. Usually a magazine or a chopping board.


    • It is lovely quality. It’s got a fluffy flannel feel to it so it will be nice and warm come winter! Shame he’s getting it in August!


    • Thank you! I think that’s a great idea with the knife – I may have to try that. I don’t think I can trust myself with a seam ripper again!


  4. He will love it! And if he’s anything like my husband, he will want more! I use the one McCalls pattern for men’s shirts. It is super versatile and has a nice front button placket. I found it surprisingly easy to follow and have made several now. I was even able to customize it to fit him better. The way I did it was to take one of his RTW shirts that he loved the fit of and compare it to the paper pattern. I ended up taking a little off the sides, remarking the seam allowance on the shoulder seam so it would hit just right, and shortening the sleeve. Next I want to make a boyfriend shirt for myself.


    • Thank you! Next time (if there is one) I’ll compare it with RTW. I must admit it is slightly on the big side but it’s not too bad. I look forward to seeing you boyfriend shirt!


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