When you’re a global luxury brand, clearly focused ads are apparently tres passé. Hermès seems to have a whole campaign of these burry ads, so I’m following suit. Behold my most recent Summer shirt…
All kidding aside, my Summer sewing almost always revolves around new shirts. What used to be a drawer of polo shirts has gradually emptied out as a result of my refusal to support RTW / Fast Fashion . So as a worn out polo shirt hits the rag bin, I’m needing to replace it with something new. I’m really not a knit sewist, so a fun summery woven is almost always on my radar.
It’s no secret that I like to look at what designers are sending down the runways. Not that I’m going to be running out to buy any of it! But sometimes I’ll see something that clicks, that lights a little spark, and I’m off to make my own interpretation.
Covid 19 really altered the Spring/Summer 2021 menswear “runways”, and several of the big name players produced a video. Kim Jones at Dior always features an artist, and this time it was the Ghanaian painter Amoako Boafo. In the video Boafo paints one of his portraits with his fingers (using what I suppose are oil paints). All the while he’s wearing a long sleeved Dior shirt that probably sells for at least $1,000. It just seems like a ludicrous construct to me. I mean, who would really do that? The clothes, what we see of them, aren’t creating any sparks for me.
If you have a spare 10 minutes take a look. I’d love your reaction.
Which brings me around to Hermès, and a video that had me almost instantly mesmerized. It’s the whole package… The camera work, the sound track, the fabrics, the details, the clothes themselves. All so approachable, so understated, so wearable. This collection by Veronique Nichanian has me firing on all cylinders. I’ve watched it multiple times (and maybe you will too!)
See you in 8 minutes….
It doesn’t appear in the video, but look #13 grabbed my attention immediately. If I was a millionaire, I’d be dressing like this. Luckily, sewing is my superpower, so I can!
Clearly he’s wearing two shirts. I guess if you can afford $700 shirts why not have two! I love the short over longer look, and the outer patterned fabric over an inner basic white. Completely doable! So I set about making my own version (with some noticeable changes).
Fabrics — When I saw this linen rayon blend on the Gorgeous Fabrics website I pounced. This kind of buttery / maize / chamois yellow doesn’t appear very often. It’s a color that I love, and it goes great with the olive greens and browns that are the mainstay of my wardrobe. The white shirting is Armani, also from Gorgeous Fabrics. Finely woven and incredibly silky. It was in my tiny stash waiting for the right project to come along!
Construction wasn’t really all that difficult. I think wearing two shirts in the summer would be unthinkably hot, so I decided that I would just double up the front to give the illusion. Using my TNT shirt pattern, I lopped off its tails to make a short “untuck” length shirt. The back is 1″ longer than the front, which sort of helps balance the whole look out.
Then using the right front pattern piece, I “carved out” a rounded neckline that would be slightly lower than outer shirt’s neckline. To keep the inner layer as light as possible there is no left side placket or interfacing. The neck edge is a simple bias binding (made with one of my trusty Clover bias gizmos). The goal here was to keep everything as light and unstructured as possible.
Once the inner layer was sewn it was simply a matter of basting the two layers together and treating them as one for the rest of the construction. The outer layer is more structured and interfaced with Fashion Sewing Supply’s, Light Crisp fusible. It’s an indispensable item in my shirtmaking arsenal.
It’s nice to have side vents on a shirt that’s designed to be untucked. It allows for access to your pockets, and it’s just a nice look. I’m always looking for ways to up my sewing game, so I decided to try a mitered corner on the vents.
WOW! What took me so long! As it turns out, it’s ridiculously easy to do, and it really adds a custom touch. A game changer for sure. Threads has a great video online with Louise Cutting, but it’s for their subscribers only, so I can’t share it here.
Instead……Here’s my attempt at a video tutorial. I hope you find it helpful.
Bye bye cheap polo shirts……Hello faux Hermès!
I love this shirt so much I’ve already received fabric to make another! (It will be an Anne Klein / Armani mash up)
This morning was cool, a sign that Summer is winding down here in Maine. Maybe one more shirt will make it last a bit longer. Here’s hoping.