The DRAPERY Dress Shirt (Draft)

Still being finicky to tweak my dress shirt pattern for the ideal fit and look I want, I am not sure at which point I would have that ideal final pattern. Any given dress shirt draft could end up being the one, and it would be a waste of time to throw out because I had made it from crappy fabric in my stash. But at the same time, I didn’t want to dig much into my good stash, with most of it having been bought in New York or Los Angeles because interesting fabric I’d wear is really hard to come by in Halifax. As a result, I produced this aptly named dress shirt where I used old curtains I had while living in Vancouver in the late 1990s!

Without the final pattern set, I didn’t want to complicate the design with features like yokes and appliques, so a one fabric (ish) design it was going to be. To keep things simpler, I chose an abstract pattern that didn’t need too much matching of fabrics. My old curtains was the best piece in my stash for all these criteria so a dress shirt from my old drapery was it! I can assure you it won’t be the last dress shirt I make from drapery, though I hope future ones will look a little more memorable than this one.



1.   High contrast 2
2.   Non-generic colours 8
3.   Interesting colour combinations 6
4.   Tone or big bold prints 7
5.   Symbolism 0
6.   Good fit 9
7.   Asymmetry 9
8.   Creative cuts 5
9.   Practical wear and care 7
10. Memorable look 3
  1. There is almost no contrast.
  2. It’s not a common colour, for sure.
  3. Interesting may be the right word, but I’m not sure I’d call it great. Looks much better as drapes so as not to darken a room.
  4. There is definitely tone and texture, and the prints are big, but not all that bold due to lack of contrast.
  5. Complete abstract. Not even colours reminiscent of anything.
  6. There was just one tweak left to be done, and it’s more aesthetic than a real fit issue. Shoulder seam need to be about 3/4″ further back at neck so that shoulder seam is the way I want it. That would be representing the horizon on my shoulders when seen face on in the mirror. Not sure if proper fit is supposed to be that way, but I like it and that’s all that matters.
  7. Abstract pattern pretty much guarantees asymmetry, with pieces chosen to bring out that asymmetry a bit more with elements in the abstract pattern.
  8. Pretty generic, though the sleeve cuffs serged into the shirt is definitely a creative twist. Just that nobody would really notice it. I didn’t put a button on it because I didn’t have one and don’t anticipate wearing this shirt a lot to find one for now. However, if I see the right dark button in the future suitable for the shirt, I’ll buy it and put it on.
  9. The shirt will be tough for laundry. However, it is a bit course on the inside, especially in the neck. I should have put in a neck guard against stain to also soften the skin on drapery contact. I didn’t because I didn’t think it’d be hard on the neck. It became noticeable after half a work day wearing it, and I never test wear anything that long in the design and construction process. I can put that guard on if I think I’ll wear it enough in the future, but I have so many other designs to get to I don’t think I will be.
  10. While it’s not your typical style nor colour, I don’t think it’s that memorable. It’s probably only memorable with the story of how they used to be my drapes a decade and a half ago! 🙂

I didn’t put that much thought and effort into what could have ended up being a draft. It turned out to be and the lack of thought and effort showed in the score. But that’s OK. It served its purpose well to save me time and money in what is the last to final draft for my future dress shirts for myself, while being wearable. It just won’t get that much wear ultimately, though.

Please click here to read more about my fashion writings and garment creations.

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