I am starting a new phase in my garment design and making adventure with my dress shirt pattern fitting pretty much complete. I have officially dug into my good fabric stash for making dress shirts designs I’ve for several years now, designs which will really showcase my design ability and vision. See the first picture in the gallery below for an example of the kind of fabrics I’m talking about. In this case, it’s all Chinese jacquards, which I hate to say, stinks a little upon ironing. However, I hope that will lessen with several more washing.
This is the first dress shirt off the line. It’s still a warm-up because I’m not completely settled on a few construction features and final pattern specs (see Technical Notes below). I chose a simple design to save the better and harder challenges for later after some practice.
This dress shirt is named Tranquility because of the Chinese characters on the buttons, nothing more. I had the buttons in red and black so I went with the red, black and white colour scheme. Those would be more loud and war like colours rather than (inner) peace and tranquility of those buttons, in most people’s opinion. But hey, if I had fiery red “tranquility” buttons, then having fiery red in my tranquility look is fine with me. It’s actually a more accurate representation of my peace and tranquility than others’ because I’m a contrast guy. Pastels on their own just kills me, a death kind of peace and tranquility, if you will, whereas I’m looking for a lively kind peace and tranquility. Sharp lines, high contrast, details, but not a messy look, was what I sought and created, with jacquard texture to make things look more interesting. The Chinese jacquard look added to the Chinese theme.
As for what kind of style this is, after a lot of thought, the only term I feel can accurately describe it is “Chinese cowboy”. Not exactly marketable, but that’s pretty much what it is a combination of. The yoke shirt is a cowboy style. The rest, from Mandarin collar to open bottom, hidden buttons down the centre, Chinese jacquard, is Chinese in style. I’m fine with that Chinese cowboy name, though, because I’m pretty much a non-traditional Asian in Canada… just not in cowboy country. I do have a slightly reckless and wild side to try and do all kinds of things. I just don’t usually do anything where there’s a lot of chance to harm myself or others. Not that kind of wild and reckless.
The sleeve buttons are one red and one black for the touch of slight asymmetry I like to have as a trademark to my garments.
I still need to make several minor changes to my next dress shirt shell. I can take that lower back width in a bit. My chest is not wider than my hips, but I don’t have to look that fat with the bottom fanning out of the dress shirt side view! The back yoke needs a small curve towards the bottom to offset my back’s curve that makes the flat yoke looked curved upward. Finally, I’m still on the fence about whether that slit down the side is worth all the trouble. I have it to be able to slip my hands in my pant pockets without wrinkling the dress shirt much, and so when I sit down, it can flare open more easily instead of wrinkling upwards. But if it is a lot more trouble than it’s worth considering I serge my seams.
New Garment Grading System
As for that old garment grading system of mine, I’m gonna scrap it for an Olympic style medal system that’s easier to communicate. I’ll just do the old grading system in my mind and translate the results to gold, silver, bronze or US men’s hockey team (no medal).
For this dress shirt, I’ll give it a bronze. I’ll feel good wearing it, but I know I can do better. It’s a new design and garment making era for me, and it’s not a bad start!