The-rod-for-my-own-back shirt – FO 3/2013

The Husband’s shirt was finished last weekend and has already been worn twice.  It would have been worn more if I’d been swifter with the laundry and ironing.

IMG_7338_edited-1The days he couldn’t wear it I got the big sad eyes.

IMG_7344_edited-1I also been given details of plenty of variations on the theme that he feels would look just perfect in his wardrobe.  Different colours, contrasts, trims. He’s got it all sussed.


So it appears that as well as making my husband a shirt that he absolutely loves, I’ve also made a rod for my own back…I’ll be making this shirt again, for sure.

The pattern, you may recall, is McCalls 6613.



I have to admit to having quite mixed feelings about this pattern.

It’s actually drafted really well, except that there is no placket on the sleeve. Seriously…would it have been that much extra work for them to include a sleeve placket.  It’s a SHIRT, for heaven’s sake.

The instructions also don’t call for flat felled seams.  At which point I’m compelled to repeat myself…its. a. SHIRT. people!  Every RTW shirt in The Husband’s wardrobe has flat felled seams.

I chose to add them…which then resulted in the need for a “design feature” on the sleeve opening…because there’s no placket!  Hence the red grosgrain…which has turned out to be a favourite feature.

Funky details

But whilst I was frustrated with these omissions, and the generally weak instructions, the shirt itself fitted perfectly pretty much out of the envelope. The only adjustment I needed to make was to add 6cms across the back to accommodate his rugby shoulders.


You can’t really complain about that, can you?

So, I will be making this again, but next time I’ll draft a sleeve placket just to make it perfect.  But either way, I’ve got a happy husband…and that’s always a good thing, in my book.

31 Responses to The-rod-for-my-own-back shirt – FO 3/2013

  1. K-Line says:

    Oooh, what a handsome husband! And a very nice shirt.

  2. sewbusylizzy says:

    I want to make my husband a shirt and was tossing up between this one & Colette’s negroni. I think I will make the Colette one, no sleeve placket? Weird!

    • It’s very odd indeed. I was thinking of the Negroni too, but he prefers a collar stand and I decided to avoid having to draft that until I’d got at least one shirt under my belt. Good luck with yours…I actually really enjoyed making this.

  3. Gail says:

    Where to even begin?!

    1. Your husband is a doll! And all the more so because he wants you to make him more shirts! So sweet!

    2. That piece of grosgrain is inspired! It looks amazing!

    3. I’ve been complaining about “rugby shoulders” for a month, LOL! They caused me a lot of work!

    4. I’ve been inspecting my hubby’s shirts, and was shocked to find a couple (rather expensive ones) that not only didn’t have felled seams, the seams were serged! And one where the seam intersections under the arms didn’t meet!

    Excellent work!

    • Thank you.
      1. Yes he is! He is always so thrilled when I make him something.
      2. We both love the grosgrain. It really pops against the check and makes the whole thing look intentional.
      3. Rugby shoulders are a pain…it’s like making shirts for a silverback gorilla!
      4. I am always appalled at the construction quality of RTW these days. Even stuff that costs several months mortgage payments is often really quite shoddy. Its a good thing we can sew! 😉

  4. Fantastic, seriously. I love that grosgrain detail…and the red and blue combo in general. So…despite your frustration with the lack of a placket it’s what pushed you to find this nice design feature in the end…so not bad at all. But I agree with you it’s appalling they don’t include flat felled seams in the instruction! Great fit too. Now time for some sewing-for-Evie :o) to go with the shirt!

    • Thank you! I’m really pleased with how this turned out. And it’s definitaly all about me for a little while…I’ve been tweaking patterns and washing fabric and hopefully will get some sewing done at the weekend. Although there is the small matter of The Husband’s birthday!

  5. Sue Taylor says:

    Wow, what a fantastic shirt. Looks so professionally made, beautiful fit. And I absolutely LOVE the beard

    • Thank you…I love a recent comment that said “it looks like it was made by real people”…which just about sums it up. I’m decidedly happy with the result. The beard is fab, no? Button thinks he’s turning into Father Christmas, which is just too cute!

  6. Love this shirt…
    the details you added make it that much more perfect 🙂 ..job well done!

  7. Jane G says:

    It’s fantastic, I’m not surprised he wants another one. As Daniel would say, “it’s like what proper people make”

  8. janet clare says:

    that is a lovely shirt! I’ll be keeping it a secret from my husband though, he’s tall and must have long arms because there is not a shirt on the market that fits him perfectly in good fabric and quirky touches- it hasn’t dawned on him that I could make him his perfect shirt…

    • I won’t tell him… 😉
      My husbands problem is that to get them to fit his shoulders there is normally an acre of spare fabric in the front. He can’t get over having one that fits. Bless!

  9. Donna says:

    Seriously impressive!

  10. Anne W says:

    It’s perfect! I love the little grosgrain ribbon detail! My poor OH still hasn’t got any wife-made shirts…. Once you are on the 3rd or 4th shirt, you’ll have them flying out of your sewing room, sewing blindfolded!

    • Thank you! I do hope that I speed up. They’re actually not that technically difficult (at least not at the level I’m sewing at) but they are fiddly and time consuming. I may need to buy a new foot for the seams….

  11. Andrea says:

    Evie, the shirt looks awesome, as does your husband – dashing fellow! I love the fact that he looks like he was having loads of fun getting is photos taken. It seems so odd that there was no sleeve placket and I must confess I would never have figured out how to improvise one. You did a great job so I’m not surprised you’ll be getting requests for a few more.

  12. Gjeometry says:

    Very nice looking shirt, you did a great job! And the modelling is good too 🙂

  13. Gorgeous shirt, gorgeous husband, gorgeous details….!

  14. Fiona says:

    I hope you are feeling super pleased with yourself Evie! This is amazing! It looks great and I love the little red touches.
    I really need to get started on the shirt I promised my boyfriend…
    I’ve bought the negroni but am still having doubts that its the right pattern!

  15. Thank you…maybe a tiny bit! 😉
    I’d make a start if I were you. That’s really the hardest bit. I really like Negroni, but it’s not a style my husband would wear.

  16. Blimey that’s a great shirt and looks fabbo on the man. I love the grosgrain – very nice idea. Mind if borrow it sometime?

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