Yesterday I was studying the Colette Patterns’ Negroni men’s shirt pattern. I quickly discovered she does things a little differently from convention and, IMHO (I’m no pro by any stretch of the imagination), not any easier or better.
The first bell that went off in my head was triggered by the fact that there is no collar stand on the Negroni shirt. It’s true, I was brainwashed by David P. Coffin’s Shirtmaking book, which I read cover to cover, and agree that all shirts should have a yoke and collar stand. For me, it represents quality but in this case, I can overlook it.
The second issue I encountered was the way she joins the front and back yoke, first she joins the front facings with the inside yoke.
After attaching the back of the shirt to the outside yoke, you attach the front facings, sewing around the collar like you would on jacket construction.
And here’s the problem with attaching yokes in this manner, you can’t sew it properly and she states in the pattern, “You will not be able to stitch all the way to the neckline, but stitch as close as you can.” You end up with a gap where you can’t sew which drives me nuts! Sure, you can’t see it from the outside but I know that small gap is there and I don’t like it.
In comparison, here’s how Kwik Sew attaches the front yoke to the back in a very neat, efficient way. First you sandwich the back of the shirt between the inside and outside yokes then press the yokes up.
The first time I tried this next step, I had to sleep on it before figuring it out. First you pin the right (or left) front piece to the outside yoke piece, then you take the inside yoke piece and bring it to the front of your work, moving the shirt front and back to the side and out of the way. Pin all four layers together at the shoulder and sew (the shoulder) seam. Repeat on the other shoulder, turn everything right side out and voila, a neat and tidy yoke attachment, I love it! No gaps, no sewing acrobats, simple, neat and clever.
I checked the plackets and cuffs, more on that later.