Category Archives: Pattern design

The Collar Stand and Fall

In this post I will try to examine the shape of the collar.


In my first pattern, PPD-0101,    the collar is not quite right.  I  admit that over the last few months I  put more effort into developing the software to produce a pattern based on body dimensions than I did on perfecting the pattern itself.  Also, I admit that I do not quite understand the shape of the collar itself.  So, in the pattern I produced a collar that seemed to work.   As I now have more time to spend on the pattern,  I want to understand the shape of the collar.

Several of the books I have on drafting shirts show something like the following from “Fundamentals of Men’s Fashion Design,  A Guide to Casual Clothes” by Edmund B. Roberts and Gary Onishenko, 2nd edition, 1985,  page 73:

Dress shirt collar drafting instructions
Dress shirt collar drafting instructions

They don’t say any more  than just that ”  A dress shirt has a crisp look and consists of a fall and a stand”  They do not explain the shape or how they arrived at it.

When I look at one of my few sample RTW shirts I see this:



The collar seam does have a bit of curvature. The collar stand looks completely different. This shirt does   looks similar to what I have seen In Kwik Sew Pattern 2777:

KwiK Sew Collar pattern


My impression is that the shape of the collar stand is not crucial to the fall.   I believe the shape of the collar stand has more to do with fitting the neck and that this becomes more important as  collar stand becomes larger and/or  stiffer.

To study the fall, I am going to proceed  on the assumption that  a good fall can be achieve by shaping the collar only.  I will test the different collar shapes on an un-shaped collar stand

I drafted the following three test shapes:



I then constructed the collars as normal and sewed them onto ribbon to test the shape of the fall:




And here are the results:


  • In Case A;  The fall was so tight to the collar stand that I could barely get the tie on.
  •  Case B is very good but the collar is still slightly pinched at the shoulder seam and does not flow  smoothly over the over the knot (right side of image).
  • Case C seems to be the best fitting  collar. The edge of the collar has a nice drape, the collar does not pinch at the shoulder seam and the collar passes smoothly over the knot.

What I have learned from this study is that   the curvature of the collar at the collar seam is necessary to provide the volume between the collar fall and the collar stand.  More curvature = more volume.  Now it seems to me that the back of the neck would need less volume and less curvature and the front of the neck, especially in the area of the knot,  would need more volume and more curvature.  I will consider this as I play around with the collar design a bit more.

The next challenge is to understand the shape of the collar stand.


The Shirt Pattern Project (Pattern 1)

In this post I describe a bit about the pattern files and provide a    sample file.

I identified my first pattern as PPD-0101.  The PPD  (Partlan Pattern Designs)  is obvious.  What about the 0101?  I gave myself some room here:  01xx  refers to a dress shirt design  and xx01  referes to  the first version of that pattern.  Thus 0101  is the first version of my dress shirt pattern.  I am already working on refinements to this pattern so the next pattern will be 0102.  When I get around to a different style of shirt, say a polo,  It will be numbered 0201.  So much for the numbering scheme.

I have produced the pattern in sizes from 34 to 52 in half inch increments.

Here is a table of finished garment dimensions:

Finished Garment Dimensions.pdf

I am happy to give the patterns to anyone who is interested.  There are too many to post on this website.  Send me an email at and I will email you the .zip file.  Each .zip file is about 17MB.

I have uploaded a sample file.  It is the .zip file of the pattern  PPD-0101  based on the  ASTM body measurements of  44 Regular:

This .zip file contains 10  .pdf  files.  Since I am planning for the home sewist who may be printing at home,  I broke the pattern file into separate pieces.

  • The Yoke
  • The Front
  • The Back
  • The Collar  (also contains the collar stand)
  • The Sleeve (also contains the sleeve placket)
  • The Cuff(1)  a mitered corner barrel cuff
  • The Cuff(2) a rounded corner barrel cuff
  • The Cuff(3) a french cuff
  • A Test Page

The  10th file is the full plot (42in x 74 in)  for those who have access to a 42in plotter.

Full Plot
Full Plot

If you  are printing at home on  standard 8.5x11in paper, you will need to test your printer to be sure it is not doing anything strange with the scaling.  Hence the test page.   Make sure “Actual Size”  is selected in the print dialogue box.


Test Print Page
Test Print Page

On the Test Page ( and in all of the files )  is a 1in grid.  Measure the grid after you print it and be sure that it is 1in   in both directions. If it is not then you will need to play with the scale settings in the print dialog until it is.  The grid lines will also help when you assemble the pages into the pattern piece.


The pattern contains 10 pattern pieces

  1. Yoke (cut four)
  2. Front (cut two)
  3. Back (cut one,  on the fold)
  4. Collar (cut two fabric plus 1 of interfacing (optional))
  5. Collar Stand (cut two)
  6. Sleeve (cut two)
  7. Sleeve Placket (cut two)

Cuff Options:

  1. Mitered Barrel Cuff  (cut four fabric + two interfacing)
  2. Rounded Barrel Cuff  (cut four fabric + two interfacing)
  3. French  Cuff  (cut four fabric + two interfacing)

In up-coming posts I will present step-by-step instructions and discuss more details about the pattern.

Happy Sewing!


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.