Men's Shirt Basics

Men's Shirt Basics

Created by: Little Fish Apparel

Whether you are creating a handmade gift for Father’s Day or an oversized boyfriend button down, these basic tips and tricks will help you as you sew men’s collared shirts!

Be sure to check out fabric.com's Menswear Shop for all of your upcoming projects!

Mens Shirt Basics

Mens Shirt Basics

Choosing Fabric

For these two button-ups we used Kaufman Classic Seersucker in Stripe Americana and Check Royal. Seersucker is an easy fabric to work with because it’s very stable. This is a great choice of fabric if it’s your first adventure with a button-up and collared shirt. We also chose these seersucker fabrics because they are ideal for the summer since they’re very lightweight.

Mens Shirt Basics

Mens Shirt Basics

Two other great alternative fabric options for a collared shirt are Kaufman Oxford and
Liberty Fabrics Poplin.

Supplies Needed

  • Shirting fabric (determine yardage according to size and pattern requirements)
  • Collared shirt pattern: We used the Fairfield Button-up by Thread Theory
  • Glue Stick
  • Buttons

Glue your Pockets on

Mens Shirt Basics

This tip is a game changer and can be used on many projects!

Mens Shirt Basics

  1. Get any washable glue stick (basic Elmer's will work). Don’t worry about it being purple upon application. It will all wash out.
  2. Once your pockets are prepped and seam allowances are ironed according to pattern directions, glue around the edges of the entire pocket on the wrong side of the fabric.
  3. Carefully place and press the pocket into place. Now it won’t move, and there’s no need to pin! I find this method MUCH more accurate than pinning when I want to match a pocket perfectly. Also, try this method to match side seams.

Reinforce the yoke

Mens Shirt Basics

A rip or tear along the yoke seam of a button-up shirt is common! This is where the most pressure is put on the garment as it is worn. Try this tip to strengthen your seam and save yourself mending time down the road.

1) Shorten your stitch length as you attach the yokes to the shirt back.

Mens Shirt Basics

2) Strengthen the seam with a second row of stitching, approximately ¼ inch away.

Mens Shirt Basics

3) Finally, iron and topstitch the yoke.

Attach buttons with your sewing machine

I don’t have the button sew-on foot for my Bernina, but I used my buttonhole foot and it worked just fine. Any presser foot that allows a zigzag stitch can be used for sewing on buttons.

Mens Shirt Basics

1) Change your machine settings:
a. Stich Width: 3-4
b. Stitch Length: 0
c. Needle Position: left
d. Feed Control: lowered

Mens Shirt Basics

2) Place your fabric and button under the foot and lower the needle into the left buttonhole. Lower your foot.

3) The zigzag stitch width is almost always between 3-4 because the distance between holes on a button is standard. Decorative buttons are an exception to this rule.

4) Adjust the zigzag and make a trial stitch by turning the hand wheel. Warning: if you hit the button going quickly, your button will likely break in half.

Mens Shirt Basics

5) Once you have the distance figured out, use the pedal to sew the button on.

Mens Shirt Basics

6) To finish, raise the needle. Set the zigzag width to 0 and sew a few fastening stitches in place. You’re done!

Expert Tip: If you want a looser button, place a needle between the buttonholes (on top of your button) while sewing.

Attaching a Collar

Want to learn how to attach a collar with ease? Check out this quick and easy video tutorial!

Thanks for following along! Be sure to check out fabric.com's Menswear Shop for all of your upcoming projects!

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