Shirting Combo Top

I bought these 3 lovely shirting fabrics on a trip to the Memphis area with some friends. I knew I wanted to 'mix & play' with them on a Big Shirt but just hadn't gotten around to it.

In the next photo, you can see the pattern cover of the pattern I basically used: Vogue 1784. The right front has an interesting tuck/pleat in it - but I changed that out to a seam for my fabric play. I also divided the sleeves up and changed the grain of the upper part to bias for wearing comfort. A few other changes along the way I made, PLUS I'll share here some faults with the pattern so that if you are inspired to give a big shirt like this a whirl, you'll not have all the challenges that I did!

More about my fabrics: They came from a shop in a gal's home: A Frayed Knot - close to Memphis, in a gal's home. She has LOVELY fabrics and heirloom creations abound there. Do look it up if you're in the Memphis area! If my memory serves me correctly, of these 60" shirting fabrics, I bought 1 yd of the blue stripe, 3/4 of the pink/white stripe, and 1/3 of the pink/white check.

Initially, I was going to use a basic shirt pattern from Margaret Islander.

But...then I had a blog post from Gayle Orwitz, and I decided to utilize the pattern she had used on her shirt: Vogue 1784. I DO still have some decent-sized scraps left over - so with some other men's shirts to Up-cycle, I may well come up with yet another shirt. You can also see the pink ric rac in the picture above - more about that later, but you can see that it did not 'make the cut' for the final garment.

Some basics on the pattern: Vogue 1784

  • Per Gayle's recommendation, I cut one size smaller than usual - and I'm glad I did.

  • If your fabric doesn't have some drape to it, you might consider cutting down the width of the back piece. If I do it again, I sure will, AND I'll lengthen the back at least an inch.

  • WIDEN each front facing by at least an inch on the interior edges!!!!! You'll see why as you read on.

  • Interface the OUTER, UPPER, 'Public' sides of the collar pieces rather than the under, closer to the body sides. The 'Big 4' continue to have you interface the innermost pieces - which I think is absolutely ridiculous! It is the OUTERMOST, 'public' side of portions of a garment requiring interfacing that need the added stability. Watch my YouTube Video all about that ..... In my shirt, I used a Woven FUSIBLE Interfacing on the pieces requiring interfacing. AND - per my video, I had PRESHRUNK my Fusible interfacing, just as I had PRESHRUNK my fabrics. All you do is to lay folded interfacing in a sink of HOT water, wait for it to cool - roll in a towel, and then LAY (don't hang) it out to dry. If you don't do this - EXPECT bubbling! I'm not kidding.....

CHANGES I MADE to the pattern include:

  1. I folded out the tuck/pleat on the Right Lower Front. Just line up the seams on the tissue and draw a line on the 'seam'. Then create new pieces for both the top and the bottom right, adding seam allowance to the new lower