Sunday, July 23, 2017

Shirts (and Pants) for the Guys

I finished two projects this week (and started a third, but will wait until it's done to show it). One of the projects has been hanging over my head ever since my Soom Idealian51 Summer Monologue Cuba arrived in November 2016. That was a long time ago, so I don't blame anyone who doesn't remember the outfit I ordered along with him. It consisted of off-white pants and a shirt that came with the following instruction: "This shirt is designed as not to be open. Since the fabric is weak we suggest you to wear it taking off shoulder joints for easy way to wear it." They're kidding, right?
Naturally I wasn't interested in taking off any shoulder joints. Instead, I tried to put the shirt on a number of smaller male dolls, all to no avail. The weak fabric warning made me nervous. Would it pull apart at the seams if I stressed it in any way? I studied the shirt closely. If only I could open the front completely and add snaps to fasten it, I'd be able to use it. The problem there was that I didn't have any matching fabric to extend the placket the full length of the shirt. I considered removing the placket and making a new, full-length placket in a different fabric. Would that look tacky? Not being one to make things easy for myself, I decided to pick apart the entire shirt and make a pattern.
Having spent three days meticulously undoing seams and removing threads, I take issue with Soom's statement that the fabric is weak. The basic fabric's loose weave may require delicate handling when sewing, but the shirt was reinforced throughout with iron-on woven interfacing. In addition, each piece was serged all around and some seams were doubled (in two different colors, no less) and then top-stitched. This weak little shirt was put together like an army tank.
After removing the placket--and believe me, that thing did not want to come off--I cut the shirt front in half. I ironed all the pieces I would use, then traced them onto white paper. I gave the shirt front an extra half inch to allow for a self-lining that would double as the new placket. In retrospect, I should have given the stand-up collar an extra quarter-inch because it didn't quite line up as it should. Too late now. Cuba has a shirt he can wear with the lightweight pants--and I didn't have to remove his shoulders to put it on. I did run out steam when it came to fastenings, however, and decided to forgo the buttons. They would have been purely ornamental in any case, as the shirt closes with snaps.

My second project of the week involved the Date Ready pattern from Designs by Jude. I had made the shirt once for FID Bichun and thought it could use some improvements. This is the shirt:
Improving it involved choosing a lighter weight fabric and paying more attention to the collar. While I was at it, I decided to make the pants as well. They turned out to be quick and easy, having no pockets, belt loops, or top-stitching to fuss with. They could probably be a bit longer. At the moment they hang long because the waist is loose, but I left it loose on purpose so I could tuck in the shirt. It could stand to be a bit tighter; all I have to do is move a snap. Date Ready includes a sports jacket and a tie. I'll make the jacket when I find a fabric that works with the pants. Not only does the tie look easy to make, but it will keep the shirt collar together for a more finished look. And the outfit really does need a splash of color.
By and large, I find that Designs by Jude's patterns sized for 19-inch Tonner male dolls work well for FID guys. Fit issues are minimal, which is a great time saver. And if you're interested in pants with more tailoring, some of the other patterns in this size have all the details.


  1. Great job! I wanted to try mB Lilac's JID boy shirt pattern, but I somehow couldn't decide on the fabric (lame excuse). Checkered shirts are so difficult to pattern match. Your's looks perfect.

    1. Thanks! MB Lilac's JID pattern must run large, because I can't imagine a tailored JID shirt would fit an FID guy's big shoulders. The people who use JID clothes for FIDs must buy some of the looser fitting things.

      I find that matching checks and plaids is easier the smaller the check pattern is. Much of the time matching is just plain luck. :)

  2. I remember that infamous note, even I was pissed off about it! And I would have done the same about the shirt: just pick it apart and draw a pattern from it :D

    The new shirt looks amazing, honestly! And I really like the fabric you chose for Cuba!

    The Jude pattern was looking so awesome! I love the pants fabric it is perfect! I'd say go with a blue tie and maybe black jacket, or a light gray jacket :D

    1. Thank you! I want to try Cuba's shirt on Vito and FID guys; if it fits, I'll make another one (or two). Taking it apart was such a lot of work I want to make sure to get my effort's worth.:D

      There is some blue in the Date Ready pants, so I thought of going with a nice dark blue for the jacket, although black would work, too. I need to take a trip to the fabric store.