Sewing a Shirt! New Look 6197 Pattern Review

When I decided to teach myself to sew clothes, one of the things I was most keen to work towards sewing was a mans shirt. Back in June 2020 this seemed like a daunting project, but by November I was really keen to get going and try it out. My husband, Andy, absolutely loves bright and fun shirts and is well known for wearing some pretty “out there” patterns so I know that I will have a lot of fun creating garments for him.

The Pattern

After a bit of research, I decided to use the New Look 6197 pattern which looked like it gave a relaxed and casual fit which is what Andy prefers for his fun shirts. I ordered the pattern and after checking his measurements decided to trace out the pattern pieces for size L. I want to preserve the original pattern in case I make more shirts for other people. The pattern also includes 2 styles of women’s shirts which I’ll probably try out at some point (Maybe when I’m not in loungewear everyday).

The Instructions and constructing the garment

The instructions for this shirt were actually quite clear to follow, I took the time to read them through before starting and I also searched YouTube to see if anyone had made videos about sewing the shirt – this was helpful! I cut up an old duvet cover to make a toile and overall the shirt came together fairly well. I was expecting to really struggle with this pattern, but ended up being pleasantly surprised by how clear the pattern was to follow. The shirt came together fairly quickly! It was my first time inserting sleeves into an armhole (Previously I’ve done flat lay sleeves) but they worked out quite neatly. The only part I really didn’t understand was attaching the collar; it turned out I had put it on upside down, and I was left with a messy raw edge. I ended up finding a really clear Youtube tutorial on attaching the collar for this shirt (Click here to view it) which helped massively! I’m really glad I made the toile; the fit was perfect for Andy and I didn’t make the collar error on the main shirt!

I chose to use a vibrant cotton fabric with a bottle cap design, which I purchased from pound fabrics. The stiffer fabric really helped me sew accurately, which I think is important for the finish of a shirt and I’m really pleased with the end result, as is my husband! The only thing I will change slightly next time I make it, will be to make the facing a little narrower, and possibly add some topstitching on that front placket (Where the buttons and buttonholes sit), but otherwise its pretty perfect!

Skills

The most challenging skill for this garment was the collar, as I mentioned above, but I think this is something that will get easier with practice! Other skills include creating a pleated yoke at the back of the shirt, inserting the sleeves and making the buttonholes. Thankfully , my new sewing machine has a one step buttonhole foot which is a lifesaver!

Final Thoughts

I definitely feel like I learnt a lot making this, and it was really satisfying creating something that my husband will love to show off in the spring and summer! I’m already planning on making another one, and we are both excited about sourcing more fun fabrics for his future shirts!

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