The TOILE Dress Shirt

Convinced I was only one draft away from the shell pattern from which I would create many of my dress shirts, I went for it on this draft as if I had the final pattern. In case I was wrong, and I have been several times on this adventure already, I just did a design without yokes, appliques or other detailing. Never one to miss an opportunity, though, I picked out the only toile that I had to create a design where I had to line up a picture across the front seam. I also did it on the left body seam, being my weaker arm that doesn’t move as much as my right that exposes the lined up right seam. I couldn’t line up all seams, though since that would have required the pattern repetition to be ideal for my upper body pattern circumference.

I also refined how I did cuffs with this dress shirt. I’ve never cared much for plackets with the cuffs. My hands are small enough to fit through a properly sized cuff without opening it. The plackets also create weakness in the garment and I don’t believe the vent to be of much value for ventilation. As a result, I devised a way to make a one piece cuff, serge it on to the end of the sleeve, fold over several times and sewn on with a serged edge tucked under. I know, it makes no sense without pictures, but I’ll keep that for another post. All you need to know is that it is one piece, everything is serged, and that the cuff buttons you see in the picture are decorative and switchable. They’re shank buttons held on through a little hole punched into the cuff with a seam ripper, and a jumper ring on the other side. Think of them as cuff links that are interchangeable with other shank buttons. The neck button is also interchangeable to match, although there is a real button hole it uses like a regular button.

ELEMENTS

SCORE

1.   High contrast 8
2.   Non-generic colours 6
3.   Interesting colour combinations 6
4.   Tone or big bold prints 10
5.   Symbolism 7
6.   Good fit 10
7.   Asymmetry 9
8.   Creative cuts 5
9.   Practical wear and care 8
10. Memorable look 8
TOTAL SCORE 77
  1. There is some contrast with the picture on the toile, but not too sharp. The black collar and cuffs, and brass cuff links add some.
  2. The toile beige isn’t too typical, but nothing exotic, either.
  3. It’s just the toile colour scheme, though you don’t see a lot of toile worn around.
  4. The whole thing is a print. Where there is a lot of fine detail, it is big and bold as a whole. You can tell what it is from a little distance.
  5. This toile is definitely reminiscent of a time gone by.
  6. The fit was indeed perfect to what I want it to be. While I have the shell pattern now, future garments based on it won’t get an automatic 10 pending my craftsmanship, and alterations to create new cuts, yokes, etc.
  7. The image on the toile is highly asymmetric, and was selected for that reason. No other intentional asymmetry was done, though.
  8. There is no creative cuts visible, but those one piece serged cuffs are definitely a nice feature.
  9. I love a lot about this shirt being very practical. The only thing I didn’t like was that instead of creating a slit at the side bottom so I could put my hands in my pant pockets or reach for my wallet without wrinkling the shirt, I sealed it. The slits are almost not worth the time, to be honest, but I’m not finding the shirt convenient for sitting down without pushing it up a little bit or sitting on it. I feel the shirt would be too short for a nice look if I hemmed it so that I could sit down without it bending. It’s back to doing the splits as were in my original design intents.
  10. You won’t see many people running around in toile shirts, or fabrics resembling it. It’s just not bold and punchy sort of memorable.

Please click here to see more of my fashion writings and garment creations.

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