Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Tale of Two Collars

When Mario and I went to Florence in October, he bought shirts. Maybe that seems like a silly thing for him to buy, considering how many I make for him, but I was all in favor of it. The man loves shirts; I can only make so many before I get bored, and nice, affordable shirting fabric is hard to come by.

Besides, I was interested in Italian shirts and what - if anything - makes them different from American shirts, so I encouraged his purchases.

The shirts are slim-cut, as opposed to the more classic straight cut that he normally favors. I've measured the difference between his new shirts and his old ones, because even though he always claimed to not like fitted shirts, he likes these better. And they look better on him.

But it's the collars that really got me. The photo at top right is one of his old shirts (old as in thrift store, not as in made by me). But either way, the collar is the same. Straight edge, standard.

The second photo at left is one of his Italian shirts. Look at the shape. The outer curve may look a little funky with a striped fabric, but when it's buttoned, it lays better and has a much nicer fit.

When you look at the two collars together (3rd photo), you can really see how different they are. Not to mention that the Italian shirts feels like its interfacing has interfacing. Those collars and cuffs are stiff - but somehow not uncomfortable. (He'd have mentioned that).

Look at how different they appear buttoned, even just on my cutting table. Sorry, couldn't get my model for this. He'll try on a garment and let me take photos if I'm working on something, but posts for the sake of talking about pattern drafting, he doesn't get.

Besides, he's tired of hearing me obsess about welt pockets and he went upstairs to his office so I could go off to the workroom to practice them without feeling like I was neglecting him. So what am I doing? Stealth typing. Nary a welt pocket in sight.

Do I even need to mention that in addition to noting the changed measurements in the body of the shirt, I've traced off this new and interesting collar and there's another shirt in the works for him shortly. You know how it is - you see something new, you have to try it out, right?

By the way, voting is open for the Menswear Contest over at Patternreview until January 11th. Mario would be thrilled if you cast a vote in favor of "his" jacket, but either way, head on over there and look at some of the fabuluos garments some very lucky men are going to wear this year. Now that we've all finished sewing for them, there's gonna be a whole lot of selfish sewing going on.


Birgitte said...

That's really interesting, I like how the Italian looks when it's buttoned. And good luck in the contest, the jacket is awesome and you both should be oh so proud!

Tamara said...

Very interesting! I wonder if that would work in women's shirts to make a better fitting collar?

Joyce said...

I'm curious to know how much difference there is in the width (?) of the shirts. I've been wanting to make a slim-cut shirt for my brother and was thinking of modifying an existing pattern. Thanks! (Love your blog!)

Anonymous said...

Wow--you are very talented. I have no sewing ability whatsoever and I appreciate those who can. Nice blog!

Gretchen the Household Deity said...

Very different! Thanks for the education. I am intrigued by the idea of a rectangle collar with straight sides rather than a trapezoid.

Silknmore said...

The shirts look like they're made of some great fabric. Very interesting post.


Anonymous said...

I like the Italian one better too. Good luck in the contest!!! And where are the pics of the welt pockets???

Michelle said...

That is a really interesting comparison, I really like the appearance of the Italian collar. Thanks for the pics!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the men's jacket! I voted for you before I even read this post. Plus, your beautiful finished product makes me want to sew it too. I have the issue and I love your fabric choice- much better than Burda's.