The Shirt Pattern Project

In this post I introduce my Shirt Pattern Project.

I have always had problems with Ready-To-Wear (RTW) shirts.   They  are sold in collar size and sleeve length combinations.  Thus it should be  possible to purchase a RTW shirt that fits in the collar and  the sleeve  at the same time.    This is sufficient if one always wears a  coat.  Collar size and sleeve length are all that matters.   However,  I don’t wear  coats often.  Thus, for me and probably many others, the shirt is an outer garment  and hence it is desirable  to have a shirt that fits well everywhere.   The goal of  my Shirt Pattern Project   is to produce a pattern or patterns that allow the home sewist to produce a well fitting shirt.   A tall order to be sure; it and may not be achievable. However, I should at least end up with a pattern that works for  me and I will have learned something  along the way.

Disclaimer: I have neither credentials nor experience in this field!

Here is an example of  a  typical inexpensive RTW shirt.

Ready-To-Ware Shirt
Ready-To-Wear Shirt

I don’t know if there is anything   conceptually wrong with a curved yoke.  However,  I wanted to see if I could design a shirt that did not have this artifact.



Here is the result. Most of the curvature has been removed.




And the front view with the button-down collar.  Mr Wolf sports a tie once in a while.

I don’t wear ties.


Yoke Pattern Piece
Yoke Pattern Piece

Here is the yoke pattern piece.  This is a split yoke so that the grain could be  parallel to the shoulder seam.



The new yoke
The new yoke pieces.



Here is the yoke on the  form.



My Shirt Pattern


Here is the full pattern layout  This pattern is based on my body measurements.     A few of the features of this pattern are:

  • Cut-on front plackets
  • A front placket finale.  This is the extra fabric at the bottom of the front.   This makes a nice way to finish the front placket and transition to the hem.
  • A single piece sleeve placket which I find easier to sew.

FinishedShirt4small FrontPlacketFinal








I am using Adobe  Illustrator to do the drawings.  In addition to drawing the pattern in illustrator,   I developed an algorithm to produce the pattern in  different sizes based on body dimensions.    I used the ASTM D6240/D6240M  table of body measurements for adult males  for the body dimensions  and have produced the patterns in sizes from 34 to 52  in 1/2 in  increments.

In the next post I will describe the pattern and sizes as well as upload a sample pattern.






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