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I am going to make a shirt for a friend of mine. We bought some nice (but plain) blue fabric. I don’t want to just make some ridiculously boring shirt like he could find in any shop though. I have a basic shirt pattern. Any ideas on how to make it a bit more interesting? I don’t want to add different fabric.

I have no idea about menswear! It’s not like I can just add some ruffles or puff sleeves… I want it to look masculine and cool.


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  • 20150117_152733_large

    Feb 3, 2010, 02.00 AMby mlssfshn

    Have you heard of Chado Ralph Rucci he cuts organic shapes out of his designs and pieces them back in. I think this would be a great way to jazz up a men’s shirt. You don’t have to be as intricate as his work. Simply redraw the bodice of the shirt and draw in the detailing, cut apart, add seam allowance, cut of fabric and sew back together. Good Luck

    2 Replies
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      Feb 3, 2010, 12.32 PMby Jodi Wade

      I had never heard of him so I did some googling. How gorgeous is this dress!
      Thanks for telling me about him!

    • 20150117_152733_large

      Feb 3, 2010, 05.51 PMby mlssfshn

      his work is amazing

  • Mobil_pics_102_large

    Feb 3, 2010, 04.46 AMby michelleiswell

    There is always going cowboy, you know: snaps, pointed yolk, piping, snaps… or you could sew in hidden pockets of cayenne. (perhaps too spicy).

    1 Reply
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      Feb 3, 2010, 12.29 PMby Jodi Wade

      Hehe! I love the cayenne pockets idea! Maybe if i am really slow making it and give it to him on April 1st…

  • Motor-avatar_large

    Feb 3, 2010, 08.10 AMby soozy

    You can do some abstract painting on the pattern pieces before sewing. Or cut out some numbers or letters from an other fabric and sew them on the chest or back. Buy a similar color blue fabric but with a little print and make some pattern pieces or pockets out of this fabric. Good luck anyway!

    1 Reply
    • Img_3334_large

      Feb 3, 2010, 12.33 PMby Jodi Wade

      Hmmm. Maybe I could try fabric painting. I bought some fabric paints a few months ago but have never used them…

  • 2005_0106new0006-1_large

    Feb 3, 2010, 09.29 AMby bubbley74

    What about some pin tucks down the front or epaulets on the shoulders turn up cuffs on short sleeve version? what about two patch pockets on lower front on a style meant to be worn out side the trousers,best of luck Bubbley74

    1 Reply
    • Img_3334_large

      Feb 3, 2010, 12.44 PMby Jodi Wade

      I love the epaulets idea! My friend wants this shirt to be short sleeved so maybe I will do turn up cuffs. Thanks!

  • 1ea8f961776a5fe83ce32501b0f5b0b7d32f5d9d_large

    Feb 3, 2010, 07.11 PMby oscarthegrouch108

    if the shirt has a back yoke, you can always do a design on there either embroidery or fabric paint or whatever else you can think of. you can even do a smaller version of the design down the front in between the buttons. if you dont have an embroidery machine, just use some embroidery floss and do a back stitch to outline the design (quicker than filling the whole thing in, and you still get the same effect).

  • Img_1995_large

    Feb 7, 2010, 11.21 PMby tracyb

    You could always use some same-color or complement-color decorative stiching for a subtle effect… go contrasting for something more outstanding. Colored buttons can also change the entire look, too.

    1 Reply
    • 1ea8f961776a5fe83ce32501b0f5b0b7d32f5d9d_large

      Feb 8, 2010, 02.38 AMby oscarthegrouch108

      you forget how big of an impact buttons can be! great tip!

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    Apr 20, 2010, 10.11 AMby dare

    It sounds wierd describing it in text, but I saw an amazing shirt that had 2 collars. Both were attached to the collar stand as normal. The first collar was the normal shape, but on top was a second collar piece that was a different shape. It was very cool.

    I’m trying to experiment with mens shirts at the moment too, but its hard finding exciting changes that they will actually wear.

    Tracyb had an excellent point about buttons. You can also change the colour of the button holes, or any topstiching for that matter.

    Patch pockets come in all sorts of designs, but there are also invisible or in-seam pockets to try too (ones built in like on jackets).

    Different seam locations, such as moving the arm seam to the top of the arm length. Princess seams do work but they make a more delicate shirt design. I’ve seen this on many Asian designs.

    Different plackets could be used: concealed plackets, or even 1/2 concealed plackets. Bands cut on a bias.

    Mmm, brain download. . .

  • Photoge01_large

    Apr 20, 2010, 10.19 PMby gedwoods

    For a classy shirt, I think a separate button stand, pin tucks such as in the back, and possibly epaulets (I’m echoing bubbley74 I think LOL). The turned up cuffs might also be good, depends what your friend likes. Epaulettes are a clever idea, but not everyone will like them.

  • Img_3334_large

    Apr 21, 2010, 10.32 PMby Jodi Wade

    I still haven’t made the shirt… I feel kind of guilty. The fabric has been sitting there for a few months now… I have started making a muslin though, just to check the basic size. I want to make something that will stand out. After we bought the fabric he got given a normal blue shirt in almost the same shade of blue! Grrrr.

  • Purplefan_large

    Jul 11, 2010, 12.40 AMby purplefan

    Maybe you’d be finding the sewing easier going if the shirt was a camp or Hawaiian style (reason to get the fabric paints out) and if you do put a front shirt pocket, you could make it different by slanting the top edge of the pocket towards the side or making the pocket just big enough for a cellphone. A loop on the back yoke for hanging is useful too.

    However, if your friend does not already wear colourful prints, then let blue tones, maybe two different shades of blue thread be the “visual extra,” and forego the paints.

    A tunic is another idea, if your friend likes such tops.

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