Men’s shirt: second (and wearable) muslin!


I look good in plaids

This is the second muslin with pattern adjustment as described in the previous post. My husband doesn’t like to wear plaid fabric, so there are no plaid patterns in his wardrobe, all solid colors with occasional stripes.

I always think that he would look good in plaids though. So I used this opportunity to make him wear them by making a muslin shirt from madras fabric. I’m very sneaky.

The madras fabric was only 2 meters, just enough for a short sleeves shirt with no pocket. Making shirt in plaids is also an exercise for me in matching lines. I think the  matching lines on front opening and sides are pretty successful.

The fit is definitely better now! No more creases around the shoulders and neckline. The shoulder length seems good to my eye and my husband said that the shirt is comfortable.

“Hey, I actually look good in plaids!” he said. He put on the shirt and began admiring himself in the mirror. After we took these pictures, he wore the shirt to office today. Plaids have won his heart!

I’m very happy that the muslin is totally wearable, but now it’s about time to make the ‘real’ thing!
Men Men Men Men

Men Men

Men’s shirt: adjusting the muslin

Maybe you still remember the muslin shirt for my husband, it has been sitting beside my sewing machine the whole time begging me to do something about it. After Peter published his last post for the Men’s shirt sew-along several days ago, I finally picked up the muslin shirt and continue from that point.

In the first fitting, I thought the crease and folds problem were caused by the neckline being too high. However, Peter suggested here that the problem was that the shoulders need to be lowered. He was right!

There are two pattern drafting books in my bookshelves, they are for women and fitting problems are not addressed too comprehensively in the books. So I had to guess my way around or buy a better book. However, there is an advantage in participating in a sew-along, I can find help from other people! Here are two links that helped me gaining more confidence in doing the alterations:

  • Alterations: Square shoulders at Stitches and Seams. Debbie said, “For sloping shoulders, you would do the opposite. I.e., lower the outer edge of the shoulder and drop the armhole the same amount.”
  • Addressing FIT: The sloping shoulders at Male Pattern Boldness. A comprehensive step-by-step pictures of how Peter adjusted his pattern for his sloping shoulders.

I’m going to do the sloping shoulder adjustment for my husband’s shirt. The shoulder is also a tad too long and need to be shorten a bit. Here’s what I did:

  • Determining the excess amount. I pinched on the shoulder until the diagonal crease disappeared, keeping it not too tight, then pinned the excess fabric. Then I transferred the pinned amount to the pattern, lowering the shoulders of the front and back pieces. Peter lowered the shoulders only on his back piece because that’s where the diagonal crease on his shirt.

Pinching on shoulder line to eliminate the diagonal crease

  • Lowering armholes. With the upper part being pinched, the armholes are getting smaller and tighter. To prevent this, the bottom of armholes is lowered in the same amount as what I took from the shoulder. Lowering shoulder -> lowering armholes = keeping armholes in the same length as before.

Sloping shoulders adjustment

  • Shortening the shoulder. I placed the front piece, yoke, and back piece together and removed some amount from the shoulder, drawing a new curved line. Then I added an amount to the top of the sleeve and drew a new curved line.

Shortening shoulder and adjusting sleeves

Now that the pattern adjustments have been made, let’s hope that a second, better-fitting, muslin will materialize soon!

High-waisted pants

High-waisted pants High-waisted pants

1958 McCall

1958 McCall's 4822

The fabric may look like denim, but in fact it is quite lightweight. It’s cheap polyester, initially bought to make a muslin for my husband’s shirt when I changed my mind and used it for my pants instead. I’m sorry!

I rarely wear nor make pants for myself, but I ‘d been wanting to try this 1958 McCall’s 4822 pattern. The cheap fabric is perfect for this, just to see how it would look on me. If it turned out horrible, I can pretend that it’s a muslin….

I made view A, the long pants but without the pockets because I didn’t want added attention to my hip. The belt carriers are from view C,  they are made from the same piece of pattern as the pants. There is a pair of darts on each pattern piece, which are stitched until reaching the waist, then slashed open to make the belt carriers. I’ve never seen something like this and I was curious to make them!

1958 McCall

Instruction for belt carrier

High-waisted pants

back zipper

The pattern was a bit bigger than my size so I slimmed down each piece about 0.5 cm on the sides. The pants had zipper on the back side. I usually use invisible zipper for clothing, but this time I wanted to learn something new and followed the instructions carefully. The result is not too bad in my opinion, I can make the stitches neater next time.

I’m not too sure  about the finished result though. The high-waisted pants dominate my whole proportion, leaving only a small amount of my upper body to ‘decorate’. Maybe I’m just not used to wearing this kind of pants (and I’m still too self-conscious about my asymmetrical hip!) Anyway, my husband said it is different from what I usually wear but still look cute nonetheless. He knows about my hip (of course!), but there’s nothing wrong with it in his eye.

High-waisted pants

Belt carrier

I think this pants would look wonderful on a taller person (who is not having any self-conscious problem). But I really enjoyed making this pants and learned new things from it. My favorite part is the construction of the belt carriers. I showed them to my husband and he was puzzled of how they were possible. Ha! I’m a magician!

High-waisted pants High-waisted pants

Pants pattern is 1958 Mccall’s 4822 from this seller.

Men’s shirt: first muslin

I started late for the Men’s shirt sew-along because I couldn’t find any cheap fabric for the muslin. That was a lie. It’s just that I always have trouble working with deadlines or going along with the others. This sew-along is not only a sewing challenge, but also a challenge to this tendency of mine.

After kicking myself off the couch, I biked for ten minutes to the nearest fabric store and bought this cheap fabric. The store was not a regular fabric store, it was small, filled tightly with bolt and cut fabrics, old buttons, and dusty knick-knacks that look like they’ve been there since the owners -an elderly couple- were young. The fabric I bought was thin cotton in indescribable color, $2 for 2.5 meters. I also bought the buttons there, $1 for 10 buttons!

I made the size M of tMPB flickr group is also very helpful, with many tips and experiences shared by the others.

The first muslin was finished yesterday and we did the fitting this morning. The silhouette is fine, Negroni pattern is slimmer than most of my husband’s store-bought shirts but I think he looks better in this fit. The length of the hem and sleeves are also fine. The first button needs to be lowered. However, there are a lot of folds around the neckline area. The shirt looked better on the front when he straightened his body, but the folds moved to the back.

There is some pulling around the back neckline that may indicate that the neckline is too high. When the shirt is buttoned to the neck, the front neckline is also too high. I wonder if this is the cause of all those folds?

I will start working on the second muslin with lowered neckline soon, and also use it as a practice to make pockets. It will have double pockets with flaps.

My husband said that he liked this first muslin anyway -even the indescribable color- and will wear it. I still don’t know if I’m going to fix it or not. It seems that the bunching around the neckline didn’t annoy him at all. He also said that he liked my ‘crazy eyes’ when I was doing the fitting and looking for the culprit behind those darn folds (@_@)


Front and back. There's a lot of folds around neckline.


Front and back with straightened body. Less folds on the front but more on back.


Side view and with arms extended.


Folds of fabric on shoulder.


The neckline is a bit too high and needs to be lowered. I wonder if this is the cause of the folds.

“Don’t make anyone your everything…”


Ikebukuro, September 2007 - photo by Marianne

“…because when they leave you’ll have nothing.”

I don’t believe that. I’ve chosen to give all my heart and trust completely, and let someone becomes the sun that my life revolves around. And what if it turned out that he was unfaithful? What if he fell out of love? What if he decided to leave? What if? What if? Oh so many of them, why should I  waste my time thinking of all the bad possibilities? But if it happened, then I’ll be broken-hearted just like everybody else.

I’ve been there. I know how it was like to feel as if I had nothing. On the other hand, I also know how it felt to be the cause of the pain. Human heart can’t be trusted, even our own heart can be deceitful to us. Whether I give him all my heart or not, I will still be broken-hearted if he left. It doesn’t matter. Holding back my trust and love won’t make the pain any less if anything happened.

So I let myself fall completely in love. Because being in love makes my life beautiful. Nobody knows anything about tomorrow, but today I know that I will love you until the day I die. So cheesy but oh so true.

Here’s another cheesy thing that I wrote some time ago, and I still believe in it. “It should be this simple. No fancy words and pretty metaphors. I look at you and you look at me and we don’t have to talk if we don’t want to. You don’t want me to change and I don’t want you to change either because we’ll change together anyway. We won’t have to care about those games that people play though so many books have been written about them. I just want to curl up in your arms and feel comfortable because I know you will be feeling the same. And when sometimes I think that nothing could be this simple, I will remember that it should be just this simple. And so on and it goes on forever.”

Today is three years since our wedding day, and I’m still head over heels in love for you. Three wonderful years since we started our journey together as a  a family. This is my everything, and I want nothing else.

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