Don't you just love a good sewing mission? A recent quest led me into the world of sewing magazines. Because I had heard the lore of Burda Style - the horrors of tracing overlapped pattern pieces and adding seam allowance - I was duly apprehensive. Images of multi-colored subway map snakes kept me at a distance. At the same time, I found that in one issue of La Maison Victor I'd get exactly the pattern I was searching for, plus eight other patterns for about the price of one. That included a men’s shirt just like Mr. Old Bones had been asking for. I really didn’t know what I was getting into but I'm not one to shy away from a challenge or a bargain. I decided to press on and hope for the best.
My experience sewing up the Bruna blouse went so well that i immediately made myself another one. A couple more selfish sews later I decided to spread the LMV love and set out to find fabric for some selfless man-sewing.
Pattern: Bernie shirt; La Maison Victor English edition issue 2, 2018
Fabric: Bolt- snowdrop 100% cotton from Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics. I bought 2 yards (44 inches wide) and had just a bit left over.
Size: Large, the suggested size based in his chest measurement
Fit: The fit across the back and shoulders was spot on with no changes. The fit around the middle turned out to be too roomy for my ‘client’s’ taste so I pinched out the excess fabric at the side seams under the arms down to the waist and graded back out at the hem. The end result looks great, although I suspect a more appropriate alteration for menswear would be to take the volume out of the center back (?) Comment on that if you know!
Changes: I made up the shirt as per the instructions, except for the yoke which I attached with the burrito method. I forget to add hem allowance to the front placket so I had to shorten the overall length by about 2 centimeters. This actually looks great, especially if worn untucked. The instructions don’t call for any clean seam finishing so I split the difference and serged & faux flat-felled them. I think I’ll go the extra mile next time now that the fit is sorted.
Verdict: I am very impressed with this pattern and I feel like with the 2 shirts I’ve made I’ve gotten more than my money’s worth. Bernie is definitely cut with a young, stylish guy in mind, but not fitted to the extreme. We especially love the very narrow collar stand, and the shape and size of the collar is perfect for a modern casual look. Tracing the pattern from the magazine was totally foreign to me and the first time I was a little confused. If I’m honest that was mostly due to me not reading all of the instructions before getting started. It really isn’t that complicated and there’s usually only 2 patterns to a sheet. There’s even a breakdown of how much seam allowance to add to each pattern piece. If you're scared of tracing off patterns from a magazine I'd say this is a good place to start. Relax and take it slow and you will get through it.
Notes on sewing for men: Men may try and lead us to believe they are indifferent and not at all particular about their clothing. In my experience nothing is further from the truth. They are actually very particular - just not about the things you’d expect. If you decide to sew for a man, ask a lot of questions and insist on answers- even if they try to blow you off. Do not by any means forgo frequent fittings, and by all means: baste before you flat-fell. Fit, feel of the fabric, button placement and pocket size/placement were all major considerations for my Mr.
Serged and faux flat-felled seams.
I managed to get the fabric way off grain when cutting the back shirt panel on the fold. Please, look away.
Petite collar and stand measure just under 5cm and 2cm respectively,
The man went for understated matte white buttons.
Double row of stitching on the back yoke is a nice detail.