Topic: Graph Paper Patterns
If you have a basic non-yoked men's shirt block it's easy to turn it into one the shirts in my previous entry. If you know how to make blocks then these alterations are easy-peasy lemon-squeezy -as categorized by Dean Pelton.
I started with a simple loose fit shaped shirt with a shoulder seam and no yoke. For casual shirts it's easy to cut the pattern and stick the front and back together to make a yoke that fits the design rather than being stuck with whatever yoke is part of the draft. Casual shirts can have larger or artistically shaped yokes and the shoulder seam can be kept intact or eliminated. Because Dave has a bit of stooped shoulder keeping the seam at the shoulder gives me more fitting options. A one piece yoke doesn't fit him as well and that will get worse with time -not better. .
I started with a very basic mens "hip line shift" draft and worked it into a casual shirt block that I use as the starting point for all of Dave's short sleeve shirts. An un-yoked casual shirt pattern such as BurdaStyle's Hawaiian shirt -lengthened and contoured in the side seams -will also work to develop this pattern.
On the left is the piece for the front and the right is the piece for the back. The dashed lines are the original drafting guidelines. The solid black lines are the pattern shape. Notice that even though this is a casual loose shirt the side seams are still curved. This is because the human body is made of curves, not straight lines. There is no seam allowance but there are matching points -also called notches. Don't be afraid of notches -these are your friends and makes sewing things together so mush easier. The shirt tail goes below the hip and curves at the bottom because that's what Dave prefers.
The green lines bisecting the upper part of the shirt are for the yoke. You have two choices: the lower shirt can be cut away and a two part yoke used, or you can trace the yoke and appliqué it to the main shirt cut whole. It's up to you and your skill level. For me I like straight line yokes cut off the main shirt and sewn to the lower part and any shaped, scalloped pointed or western yokes sewn as appliqués. The yoke can be as long or short as you like. The back should not end too far down the back. All men have a natural curve in the shoulders and the yoke shouldn't go lower that where the curve is fullest.
In the front the red dashed guidelines are perpendicular to the chest/waist/hip and parallel to the Center front. One drops down from the neck/shoulder intersection and the other drops from the shoulder matching notch -one and a quarter inch in from the armhole/shoulder intersection. The top edge of the pocket is along the yoke line. The lower edge of the pocket is person taste but it must be lower than the chest line. The lower the pocket ends the smoother it fits over the chesticles. Never end the pocket right at the nipple line. Really, do I need to explain why? The dashed lines are also useful for style details if you are making a pleated Guayabera shirt -this is the placement of the pleated bands. The pocket is placed where the pocket is placed in this pattern -on the upper chest
There is no button allowance on the block pattern, this needs to be added while developing the pattern into a fashion garment. If you are using the BurdaStyle or other commercial pattern then ignore the button stuff. A fold-over button band is more casual and easier to sew while a cut separate sew on button band is dressier but a bit more time consuming. If you use a cut and sew band on the overlap also use it on the underlap. If you use a fold over facing type band use it on the both the over and underlap. Be consistent! It's less confusing.
The center front line is where the buttons and buttonholes are placed. When developing the pattern be sure to have extra paper beyond the center front line so you can add the space that goes beyond the buttons. For the fold over facing simply fold the paper over beyond the center front. How much? How large are your buttons? Standard dress shirt buttons are about 5/8 of an inch so add 5/8 beyond the center front. Larger buttons -perhaps a more casual 3/4 inch button needs 3/4 of an inch more. A one inch button will take ______ inch more. That's right! One inch! Don't use buttons larger than one inch -guys hate large buttons.
For a separate stand use the smaller 5/8 to 3/4 inch buttons. The band needs to be the width of the button+ 3/8 inch both sides. for a 5/8 button this would be 1 and 3/8 inch wide. The hole side should be the same as the button side -simply because it's easier. Draw a line half the total width towards the shoulder seam. Now draw a line the same measurement beyond the center front. cut the first line you drew: you'll be cutting off the center front and it becomes part of the new pattern piece. fold the paper so the edge of the shirt front is the fold and then trace the seam on the shirt side. Add a matching notch near the top.Want to be super fancy and drive yourself insane at the same time? Cut the button band on the bias! Be sure to interface the sucker well unless you like the rippled puckered and stretched-out look.
Add seam allowances to all pieces except the back yoke. A 5/8of an inch allowance is is best. Decide how you will cut the back yoke before adding allowances
The back yoke above shows grainlines, the basic arrangement is to place it on the fabric fold -in the straight grain. You can also cut the yoke in one piece so the bottom edge is running parallel to the selvage. You'll need to cut a new pattern piece: place the center back line on a piece of folded paper, trace the lines and marking and cut. open the the paper and this is a full size back yoke. Place the lower edge parallel to the selvage -this is the cross grain. Or you can cut it in two pieces with grainline arrow two following the grain line. This will give you a bias cut yoke. The large dot is where you would match plaids and stripes. It's the focal point of the yoke so take your time and carefully cut the yoke halves so the seams meet in a well defined chevron. You get extra [points for matching the yoke well and you lose points for a poorly off-kilter chevron.
And that's that. For dress shirts the two piece collar is best. For Hawaiian and very casual shirts the convertible collar works. A convertible collar needs the fold over facing button band. The book Shirtmaking by David Page Coffin has instructions on collars that are far superior to anything I could write and his instructions for cuffs, collars, plackets and fiddly bits are what I use. So you can use them too!