Monday, October 3

Shirt making For The Big & Tall Man:: Burda 6874

More shirt making for my better half and I say it looks great on him. My son had his new shirt and this time around the man of the house gets to have his day in the spotlight.  Sewing for the Big & Tall or shall I say Athletic & Tall guys, is much more different than sewing my my son, who is pretty slim and wiry.
I have not had any formal training in sewing men's shirts. I just look at pictures and figure things out by looking at his rtw shirts before I make it up. Fit is a big deal for any athletically built guy. There are big biceps, strong short neck, full shoulders and wide broad chest, tall build at 6'2" plus. These days they want their shirts to fit tighter yet not look like they are stuffed into a garment meant for a smaller man. So, I am having to learn how to fit the "big & tall" not so big but muscular dude.   Typical patterns are useless to say the least because unless it's custom you can forget it ever fitting. Because of that, I had to make a long list of alterations based off his rtw shirt with a few conventions where the rtw doesn't fit properly.

Burda 6874 by Shirt with hidden button placket.
Since this is my first time blogging a shirt for my man, I should start out with the fact that before this new slim fitting look, I have never had a problem making shirts for him.  It is only now that this "European cut" is en-vogue for the big guy.  I do think it is a much more slimming look than the loose fitting preggo look of days gone by.  Also, the length is such a personalized area as well, and for him he wants it to be pretty long over his hips.  This length may appear to work and he does look great in this length, however, he has requested another two inches to the hem.  It is his preference to wear the sleeve cuffs folded back on themselves and hanging very long. So with that, I will be adding another inch to the sleeve so they can pool around the wrist after folding up the cuff. The shoulders will have another 3/8" added to the yoke.  Just enough so it will allow more for the topstitching of the flat felled seams yet keep it very slimly fitted.  Also, I plan to totally omit the back pleat since after trying this on, he showed me another shirt that just doesn't have that pleat.  Removing the pleat will definitely give a much more slimming fit to the back and make it hang closer to the body.
In all fairness, I cannot lend too much to the sizing of the pattern as I had to up the size by about 4 sizes and make a myriad of adjustments in order for it to fit my man...  I basically used the rtw shirt he has and measured parts of it to get the pattern the size of the rtw in key areas, while adjusting for the size where the rtw didn't fit.  I lengthened it by 2inches on the sleeves and hem, added to the neck measurement and increased the finished size of the back and front yoke so it wouldn't look ill formed over his large shoulders. I added about 1" in front of the yoke and another 1" at the back, but I also did a 1/4" seam allowance to gain more back length in the yoke. The pattern stops at a neck size 17.5', I needed 20" but ended up at 19.5" neck because I failed to add enough at the center back.  It still closes as he needs, but may not be as comfy. I left off the top button since he doesn't like to button the top anyway.
I already have several more ready to be laid out with contrasting collar stands and cuffs. This has a denim twill strip that I topstitched onto the cuff and sewed it into the finished seam.
What shirt patterns do you know of that already consider a large neck size and hefty body build?  I'm thinking of trying the Joost de Cock of MakeMyPattern for a custom shirt pattern in the future.