Monday, May 31, 2021

Kwik Sew 3506 - Sewing for my Husband

Sewing for my husband, Mike, something I have not done in probably 15 years.   Back then it was 1/4 zip polar fleece pullovers.  This time he wanted a western style shirt and I agreed with a condition.

It is going to photo overload, you have been warned!!

My condition...... he could not ask about it at all.  Not a peep!  I would let him know when I started and when I was finished.  He did abide by his agreement, which I think was difficult for him, he was so excited for me to make him one.

Now I want to say I need this label...... This took forever.  I worked slowly and carefully on each and every step.  Sewing, unsewing, cutting, recutting, looking, comparing, checking the plaid and then three hiccups along the way.  I worked on this for about three weeks, you all know I am a fast sewer.  At the end I just wanted this shirt done but I kept with it to doing my very, very best job.

My husband is what I would call picky,  well, let me say it a nicer way, particular!  LOL  Our first plan of action was a pattern.  There really only two I could find, Kwik Sew 3506 and Vogue 1670  We both decided the Kwik Sew was the better one.

Pattern picked, then next step was fabric.  I told him we would order swatches from Style Maker Fabrics, I wanted to make sure he felt the fabric and liked how it felt and looked.  So the winner was a Yard Dyed Plaid Stretch Shirting  and it was ordered back in February.  

Jump to May and I finally got started, I measured Mike, compared some of the other western style shirts he has and added two inches to the length of the shirt.  I went to cutting this out, one layer at a time and dealing with the uneven plaid.  Only problem I had was not ordering enough, I was thinking a shirt for me but he is bigger and needs more fabric!  I didn't have enough for the sleeves so I went right to the Style Maker's website and ordered more.  Michelle sent me a message and said it was almost gone, whew, so happy it was still there.  

I told Mike the first one was going to be short sleeve, I didn't want to make it and the fit not quite right.  Then with short sleeve, I didn't have as much time in it as a long sleeve.
My first thought was bias pockets but I wasn't thrilled with the uneven plaid so went with straight of grain.  The pockets were not cut out one at a time, with the placement lined up on the shirt front.  This took a bit of time but well worth it.  Both pockets done and onto the yokes.  

Yokes cut and ready to sew them.  This pattern has an interesting feature, the front and back is all one piece so if you don't have to use the yokes.  Sew the shoulder seams with wrong sides together, then sew the yokes right side together, press under the bottom edge of the yokes and apply to the shirt.  I do like the this feature, having the shirt under the bias yokes adds great stability.  I did cut the yokes two times to get the layout like Mike wanted.  
Collar and collar band, actually went together quickly.  I do need to say this pattern has 1/4" seam allowances, I did have to catch myself a few times, 5/8" seams are just a habit.

The side seams were basted and we checked the fit.  It was a boxy fit, so we compared this one to his other wester shirts.  The other ones were tapered at the waist, so I did this to his shirt, much better.
Now to cutting the sleeves, since the fabric arrived.  I did pin the sleeves to the body of the shirt, this was my double check to make sure the plaid was all the right direction.  Once again, that uneven plaid was making me double check myself.

Sleeves and shirt hemmed.  Now to snaps, I practiced a few times, using my KAM press.  As I was putting on the snaps, I noticed the right pocket wasn't in the right place, I didn't have it on the same plaid area as the left and it was 1/2" too close to the front band.  A heavy sigh and I took off the pocket and the flap and made a new one.  Okay, back to the snaps, front done and all lined up.  Then that same darn pocket, I put the snap on the pocket in the wrong spot and the flap and pocket didn't line up at all.  Mike was able to pop the back off the snap with a small screwdriver, I was so relieved, I thought I was going to have to make the pocket a third time.

Some hints and tips

1.  use a walking foot or if you have  a Pfaff - the IDT saved me.
2.  I used some steam-a-seam to hold the pocket into place and the collar band in place.
3.  Lengthen the stitch length for topstitching.

Just so you know, this is the way Mike dresses everyday, he is a cowboy.  He is already asking for another one, I told him I needed a break and if I do another one a solid would be appreciated.  Also, the Kwik Sew pattern has a drop-type shoulder.  Mike wants me to change it for the next one.

I am very happy I made him this shirt and I am super proud of it.  Speaking of proud, Mike is so proud of it.  I told him if anyone asks for me to make him a shirt, tell them it is $1200 for a short sleeve and $1500 for a long sleeve!  I think I will be safe with this amount - LOL!!

One last thing, do me a favor, if you see a mistake with the plaid, don't tell me!  I don't want to know because I will never be able to unsee it.


  1. You did a wonderful job on this. You can tell it is custom made. Nice work!

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  2. Beautiful work! The shirt looks great on him!

  3. Excellent tailoring! Give yourself a pat on the back. Your model knows how to pose...nice work there. I've made my sweetie 21 shirts, luckily he likes a convertible collar shirt and fun prints. No plaid matching but the pocket has to match those funky prints!

  4. That is one fantastic shirt! I am sure Mike will enjoy wearing it for years. Now, just make sure my husband doesn't see this, or I'll have to make him one as well!

  5. The shirt turned out fantastic. I love the purple in it! Mike looks so proud!

  6. $1200 would be a steal! What a great job!

  7. great combo of fabric and pattern, plaid match is perfect. Looks fantastic.

  8. The shirt looks great. Don't wait too long between shirts though. You have things figured out now and it will be easier to remember them. I've made all my husband's shirts for 49 years now. He worked for IBM for 30 of those years and they were picky then about what people wore. By the way David Page Coffin's book Shirtmaking has great instructions and patterns for the collar, cuffs, and sleeve plackets.

  9. Wow! A job well done! I'm trying to get up the courage to make my husband an Aloha shirt! Many pats on your back!


  10. Wow! A job well done! I'm trying to get up the courage to make my husband an Aloha shirt! Many pats on your back!


  11. Wow! A job well done! I'm trying to get up the courage to make my husband an Aloha shirt! Many pats on your back!


  12. Awesome job! Your husband's new shirt is beautiful. Great job in plaid matching.

  13. What a lucky man your fella is to have this beautiful shirt made by his talented wife. Only a very few men have custom-made shirts, and he is one of them.

  14. I LOVE the end of your post! I have made some custom cowboy shirts for my husband to wear to work. He always comes home and says that people wonder where he got them and if I'll make them one. And he tells them "Nope, she's too expensive to hire." YES, TRUE STORY! Congrats on a job well done.

  15. Beautifully made plaid shirt! Also, what a sweet husband...being your model is true devotion!

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  17. Dear Lori, what a great job! Glad to see Mike after all these many years. Wishing you the best.

  18. The shirt came out beautiful...suggestion...take one of his old ones that's ready for rag pile & make a pattern out of it...I did that for some of my own stuff like my favorite capris & then proceeded to make 3 more pr & a ph bottom & made 3 pr that are worn out now & just bought more fab for 2 more or. Good luck��

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  28. Bravo! Great looking shirt. Uneven plaids are tough and you did fantastic job of matching that plaid. Please, don't tell me you hubby will be wearing his custom made shirt while doing chores. That's devotion!

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  30. I'm a beginner, but have made 4 shirts using this pattern. Some folks don't like the 1/4" seams, but I just use French seams on the sides and arms!

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