Batik Madness....continued

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
This is (almost) the last Batik shirt I'll be making for a favorite client of mine.
Made from Cotton Batik fabric that was cut on the cross-grain, 
this short sleeve shirt features twin pockets with flaps, felled seams, 
and double top button spacing.

Double top button spacing?  What the heck is that?

Notice that the top two buttons are spaced closer together than the others. This gives my client the choice of how far down he wants to "open" his shirt. Conventional button spacing would have given him only one (practical) choice for the depth of turn-back of the revers on this casual shirt. By adding an extra button, he can have the option of a deeper/lower turn-back. This is what "custom" shirtmaking is all the client options he cannot get off-the-rack, like custom sizing and double buttons.

 Another option that we have when we sew for ourselves or others, is customizing the pattern.
Some commercial convertible collar shirt patterns have a narrow front facing that looks something like the one marked "Pattern X" below. As shown, I draft my facing pattern for casual shirts of lightweight fabrics quite wide...especially at the shoulder and upper chest area.  The reason I do that is so the facing edges do not show if my client chooses to open his shirt to the second button, or if he chooses to wear the shirt completely open the facings look like more like a design detail than just the "inside" of the shirt.  The narrow pattern facing would have a tendency to show its inner edge, and just looks "skimpy"...again, in my opinion.

 Also, it is my opinion that a wider facing where it meets the shoulder line of the shirt makes the entire shirt-front stronger and more stable for men...who, let's face it, tend to put more "stress on the seams" of their clothes.  The back yoke is completely's nice and strong, completely stable and ready to withstand the stress of wear. Of course, I cannot face the entire shirt front (well I could, but it's not practical for many reasons), but I can put more fabric at the shoulder and upper chest by making the front facing wider in those areas.  This wider facing is perhaps a minor point. But it is small differences like these that make custom shirts different, and one of the reasons why there still is a market for custom-made apparel.

SEWING NOTES--  Front facings and both collar pieces interfaced with Pro-Sheer Elegance Fusible Interfacing from Black buttons from the "Dark Assortment" Buttons-by-the-scoop from Lightweight Cotton Batik fabric from