I’m a oxford shirt sewing expert. Not really, but I felt like it when I finished my husband’s second (but first wearable) Fairfield Button-up. The Fairfield Button-up is your classic men’s oxford shirt right down to the flat-felled seams.
I was, and am still, so excited with how this turned out. No, it’s not perfect, but it looks pretty dang good, if I do say so myself. This is my second men’s button-up pattern to try and it is far superior to the first one I tried. Basically, if you have a bad feeling about the pattern when you’re taping it together, it’s probably best just not to waste your time like I did. Believe me.
Side note: Oliver and S recently came out with a classic men’s shirt. Maybe I’ll try that pattern as well and then do a comparison post in the future and actually reveal the major fails that were my first attempts!
However, my main piece of advice when sewing the body of the shirt — follow ALL instructions. This might be one of those “duh!” comments, but the way the pattern is designed, the seam allowance changes throughout. They are clearly stated where need be, but I had a couple minor freak outs because I was afraid that I had used the wrong SA on a couple parts. The changing SAs are probably my biggest frustration with the pattern, but it won’t keep me from using it again.
A plus for the pattern is the two size ranges: Average and Larger figures. I sewed up a size XL on the Average figures chart. The length seems to be perfect for keeping the shirt untucked (which is typically how Nick wears them, anyway), but I think an extra inch in length would make it perfect for tucking in the shirt without worrying about it coming untucked. I will keep that in mind for any dressier versions I make.
On to pictures of the shirt!
If you’ve sewn a button-up shirt before, this one is not much different. The instructions are very detailed and there’s also an even more detailed sew-along on the Thread Theory blog. The most difficult part for me was the flat-felled seams around the armscyes. It was so tricky for me to keep everything even and looking normal. I think next time I’ll try using some Wonder Tape or something similar so I don’t have to worry about the fabric shifting as I remove the pins while sewing.
As for Nick, he loves the shirt! He’s always so encouraging with everything I make, but I think he’s extra excited to have something made for himself. His only request is to raise the pocket a bit on the next version. I have fabric to make three more Fairfields, and I definitely see myself buying fabric to make even more. I’d love to tackle the Jedediah pants as well, but considering I have barely mastered pants for myself, I don’t know if I’m ready to try sewing men’s pants!
Oh, and this is my fourth item checked off of my 2017MakeNine list! Woo!