Man sewing: t-shirts

I’ve finally convinced Mr. Guy to let me take photos of him in these t-shirts. They’re not new (in fact the purple one was made months ago) but they are worn often. They’re all simple, boring t-shirts, but I like reading about other people making boring staples, so there you go.

ImageThe first is a purple t-shirt made from the Burdastyle Pete pattern. I’m not sure what the fabric is (I bought it from Spotlight a year or two prior from, to make leggings from I think). It’s really nice and soft and hasn’t pilled yet, maybe it’s a thick rayon? I have no scraps to do a burn test.

ImageIt’s all sewn up with my overlocker, then topstitched with a double needle, in white thread (not for fancy reasons, I think I just didn’t have a matching colour). The stitching around the neck is pretty dodgy (all the more obvious because of the white thread!) but he doesn’t seem to mind.

The fit of all three t-shirts is off, and I’m only sort of sure how to fix it. I think all the diagonal pull lines between underarm and neck are because he has “sloping shoulders” from a muscular back. By the looks of it I either need to add to the top of the shoulder, OR give him a bit more fabric at the under arm.

ImageThe back of the t-shirt pulls up slightly too, again because of his muscular back (ehehe). The same thing happened with his Thread Theory Newcastle Cardigan, I think I have to slash a horizontal line at the scapulae to give him more vertical room.


The second is from the same pattern, and is made from a thick knit which I think is a polyester because of how it smells when worn more than once…


This one has the same issue with the underarm pulling, and I think all in all there’s not enough fabric over the chest (of any of the t-shirts).



Again this was made with the overlocker and top-stitched with a twin needle. I don’t like the feel of the fabric but Mr. Guy seems to like it.


ImageThe third and most recent is slightly better fitting but same deal. This is made from Thread Theory’s Strathcona Tee. I didn’t really need this pattern (because I could have just played around with the Pete) but I wanted to support Thread Theory’s new pattern – they have really filled a gap in the market with stylish, well-drafted menswear, and they have amazing customer service.

I think I might have bungled this up when printing, as apparently this was the XL size but as you can see, it’s a bit small – and Mr. Guy’s not that big a guy, just tall. I do prefer the sleeves on this compared to the Pete, which has a weird angled sleeve hem. I also have the option of making the Henley with the button placket (although it’s not really Mr. Guy’s style) and I can also do long sleeves, which will be handy when I get around to making him merinos for winter.

ImageChicken wrangling

This fabric isn’t the nicest; it’s a thin striped knit from The Fabric Warehouse’s pop-up shop – so it was cheap ($3/m) but the grainline was skewed (so the stripes aren’t perpendicular to the grainline, and the hem has a small tendency to twist like RTW t-shirts do). I have enough to make another t-shirt for me but not sure if I even want to go there.

So that’s the sum of my Man-Sewing in 2013; three t-shirts, the Newcastle Cardigan and helping my brother with a pair of shorts. I would really like to make Mr. Guy a shirt, and have fabric set aside for two pairs of pants (using the Jedediah Pants pattern) – I’m just waiting until he traces out the pattern (I decided he had to do SOMETHING towards it).

Does anyone have any other ideas about how to fix those drag lines? Unfortunately there’s basically no resources that I’ve found to help mens fitting issues, so I just have to use my basic fitting knowledge to figure it out


Patterns: Pete from Burdastyle, and Strathcona Tee by Thread Theory

Fabrics: Unknown content knits, 2x stash and the striped one $3

Notions: thread from stash

Total Cost: Cost of stash fabric, and $3.





8 thoughts on “Man sewing: t-shirts

  1. A Henley with a button placket is your Dad’s style (hint hint) but instead of extra fabric over the chest – as for Mr Guy – Dad would need a bit more over the tummy he he

    • I was wondering if it was Dad’s style but couldn’t remember him wearing one like that. I’m looking to order some nice organic knit fabric from the USA so maybe he will be lucky 🙂

      • EEp, I was going to suggest we look at the fitting issues when working on our newcastles, because Steve has the same issue as Guy with fitting. But you’ll be off soon I guess… 😦

  2. Love that you do selfless mens sewing. I cannot offer advice on how to fix fitting issues tho. Hope to see more soon. 🙂

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  4. Regarding the fits issues, I think he might need a larger size to fit the shoulder and armhole. You can then grade down to a smaller size at the waist. My brother has a similar shape (tall and triangular torso) and this is what I have done for him.

  5. I think you stated the fix for the shirts perfectly, they need more width at the side chest near the armhole and I think that will fix the issue. Try adding from 1/4″ to 1/2″ to each seamline for 1″ to 2″ total extra width. I also think your solution for vertical room on the back will work too!

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