Our latest design received the named “Beach Vibes Tailored Shirt” and rightfully so since it was inspired by a beach towel! This summer striped shirt was created as a demo while instructing client Barb (@eyeofaneedle), in making oversized silhouette tailored shirts that reminded her of retro patterns from the 70’s and 80’s. Keep reading to learn about the design process and drafting tips!
We have been working with stripes more recently here at the studio. For this design, we wanted to up the ante by inserting design elements based around stripe formation. In the end, we opted for contrasting stripes (horizontal vs vertical). This is not the first time we have done this! Check out our blog post “Latest Design: Couture Striped Coat” for more contrasting stripey goodness.
The inspiration for this design came from a beach towel of all things! Back in June, I visited Fabricland on Marine Drive with our beginner instructor Sujitha. We were on the hunt for fabrics to use for client demos and sample making fabric for new concepts we have been brewing. While browsing the store, this yellow and ivory striped linen/cotton blend fabric caught my attention. It reminded me of a beach towel I own at home, so I decided to buy it. The great thing about inspiration is that it can come from anywhere, even the trivial things. That or I just miss travelling near water.
Here is some insight into our experimental process with the design elements. All major seams have a French seam finish with exception of the following seam finishes— hem, cuff closure, collar stand closure, flat felled armhole seam finish, clean seam finish along upper and lower sleeve seam.
Horizontal In-Seam Pocket
Typically, an inseam pocket is vertical along a side seam of a garment…but since when are we typical? An inseam pocket CAN be placed along any seam that allows for space. If you are looking for extra pockets in a garment, this is the easiest pocket to draft.
By placing a seam horizontally like we did, it also allows for potential print blocking or in this case, contrasting the horizontal and vertical stripes.
Extended Front Lapel & Wider Collar
The space along the neckline where the front opening begins and the front collar ends has been extended to allow for a more casual look. If the wearer wears the shirt with the top button unbuttoned, it will give an appearance of a lapel.
Because we did not include a collar stand which typically extends the width of the collar, we made the collar width larger. Drafted for a 3” width collar at the center back, and then tapering down to 2.5” near the front of the collar point. If you look closely, you can see the roll line of the collar in below photo.
Gentle Curved Hem
Traditional tailored shirts have a slight curve up along the side seams of the garment, allowing a wearer to easily tuck in the front or back of the shirt with ease but avoid excess bulk along the sides. We made a very gentle curve, almost plateauing at the side seams. We do not intend on tucking this oversized shirt in though.
Drafting Tip: Remember, the more intense the curve you draft, the more challenging it will be to sew. I like to remind myself and my clients of this while drafting any pattern pieces involving potentially intense curves.
This design was used as an instructional garment for a client to understand the drafting and construction process. We started from bodice blocks, to basic shirt blocks, to a custom oversized shirt block. From there, we drafted the intricate details of the 2 piece sleeve, collar, collar stand, yoke, CB pleat, front button extension and tailored cuff. A fit sample out of muslin fabric was created to ensure the oversized ease amount was perfect. My client Barb has been creating clothing longer than many of us have. She mentioned this shirt was the best fit and beyond thrilled with the construction. Reminder! Great things take time. You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
New Addition (Feb 2021)
Beach vibes continue as we use up the rest of this stripe fabric from Fabricland. Many of our clients have been learning traditional tailoring techniques this year. Our Jellyfish Tailored Shirt design provides a modern way to learn these techniques. Check out Latest Design: Jellyfish Tailored Shirt blog post to read all about this design.
If you would like to learn how to draft and construct a tailored shirt, contact us to book private lessons.
Designed, photographed and written by Sheila Wong Studios.