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FBAing a men's shirt
In praise of the power of princess seams
shermarama
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shermarama
NETHERLANDS
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Date: 10/15/13 7:31 PM

I posted a while ago wondering about the possibility of altering a men's shirt pattern to fit me. (I'm tall, broad-shouldered and an FF cup. Previous experiments have shown that men's shirts fit me well on the shoulders, neck and body length but have no chance of fastening round my chest, while women's shirts fit terribly on the shoulders and neck and body length and still have no chance of fastening round my chest.)

So, last time I posted about this a very helpful commenter (a7yrstitch) mentioned the possibility of adding princess seams to a standard shirt pattern. I was in the middle of making a princess-seamed overcoat at the time and was impressed by the amount of flexibility they seemed to give, so now I've got round to it, I've finally tried altering a men's pattern with princess seams.

The pattern is Burda 7767, a fairly classic men's shirt, and I've been working from the size 46. The steps I've done are:
- Put armhole princess seams in front and back (as in just add lines and cut the pattern piece into two)
- Do a 2" FBA on the front, using the Palmer & Pletsch princess seam FBA method
- Adjust the princess seams back in again a bit below the bust
- Take a wedge out of the upper chest to remove fabric there (I usually have to do this, I think it's a result of the FBAs somehow)
- Adjust the waist inwards on the side seams and back princess seams
(- I've also done an adjustment for sway-back, which I found easier to do with the back princess seams.)

And then I knocked up the main body of it in some awful cheap fabric, without trying to match the check, and this is the result.

Princess Angled

I mean, this is just about exactly what I was looking for. It doesn't curve in terribly tightly under the bust, just goes neatly over it, which is what I wanted a plain shirt pattern to do.

From the front:
Princess Front

I haven't touched the shoulders or neck, but they fit pretty well. I think there's some more work to do to get the lower body fitting right, but this is already (apart from the horrible fabric) astonishingly like a shirt I would wear, and it seems to be down to nothing more than the power of princess seams. I'm pretty impressed...


Debbie Lancaster
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Debbie Lancaster  Friend of PR
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Subject: FBAing a mens shirt Date: 10/15/13 7:56 PM

Wow! What a great job! Most of us can only dream of getting a fit that good on a first muslin. Bravo!

Other than tweaking the fit around your waist and hips, there might still be a bit of extra fabric at the mid-chest, but it's hard to tell with your arm up, and you won't really know until you put the sleeves in.
-- Edited on 10/15/13 7:57 PM --

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Debbie

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD
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Subject: FBAing a mens shirt Date: 10/16/13 7:35 AM

Wonderful look! I love it!
To me it looks like the pattern waist sits higher than your natural waist. Hard to tell but I am thinking that lowering the waist a tad may do the trick.

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sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

KathySews
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KathySews  Friend of PR
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Subject: FBAing a mens shirt Date: 10/16/13 7:28 PM

The fit looks fantastic to me. I love princess seams for the fitting. So much easier than darts

Julia C
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Julia C  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/16/13 10:15 PM

That looks great!! I think I will eventually try this on one of the patterns in BurdaStyle as they have had several men's patterns recently.

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