line up

line up

26 Feb 2013

Phase two: Robin Scherbatsky's pleated shirt

Remember my pants? I  realized while making them, that I absolutely needed a nice shirt to go with it, yes, absolutely! As a French women, I have a lack of black clothes, this is clearly an issue that needs mending.
For some time now, Robin in How I met you mother, really has the perfect shirt wardrobe! They are so beautiful, both shape and fabric. Although it really is a bad example for a clothe lover like me. Don't you think the amount of clothes the actors get to wear is crazy? This is the kind of stuff that distracts me from the story because honestly, who has so many outfits? And where does she find the money to buy all this crazy expensive silk shirts? Truly? She should give them to me :-) 

 The firs time I saw this shirt I knew I had to make it. I found the original on I like to have a good idea of the original shirt. I makes it easier to make the pattern. When making a copy of some clothe I have seen I don't have any rule. Sometimes I make an exact replica (or so I think...), sometimes I just make a pattern with the fitures I find interesting.

 I had a nice viscose piece of fabric waiting to be sewn. I bought it before moving to Germany, it was just 15€ for 3 meters, which in my book is a bargain I just can't pass!
Making a pattern for a pleated clothe requires special techniques. I like very "clean", simple shirts, this is why I always pay great attention to the dart's position. 
In this case, they are hidden underneath a pleat. To do so I  had to move both bust and waist darts from their original position to form a straight line underneath the pleat.

Ajouter une légende

The picture on the left is my basic pattern. See the red dot? This is the bust point, ans the red line is the line where I can make the last pleat. The pleats are to be made between the two dart points.
I cannot have any dart underneath the pleated section, so I moved the  width of the darts to the left and traced as many pleats as I wanted, in this case 4 on each side of the middle line.

Pleats on a fitted or semi fitted shirt can't got any further than the bust point. The reason is obvious, try to do it with a piece of paper, and you will see that it's impossible to form them on a curve.

This is why some designers only use very flat chested women, if you don't really need to have darts to have a good fit, then you can make crazy patterns with pleats and you name it craziness, that are IMPOSSIBLE to recreate for the busty ladies!

I looked at the back of the original on Internet, I didn't really like it but kept it's upper part.


I wanted something a bit interesting, so I thougt I would make open darts, it gives shape and is not too boring like normal stitched darts. The red line on the upper piece is the shoulder line, I moved it a few centimeters, I think I could have added a few more. You live and learn.

The front part was a bit trickier. It takes some time to prepare the pleats. You have to report the marks with chalk, then tailor's tacks,


 then fold, stitch the pleats so that they won't open (that I had forgotten :-)),

see what happens when you don't close your pleats... It opens.

and finally iron them with some cardboard to prevent the fabric from marking. Ouf, that is precise work, but it's worth it.

The original also has as a small opening on the front part, it's very pretty. 

Basically you take a piece of fabric longer than your opening, then stitch around on the right side of fabric, open it with you scissors. With your iron fold the piece of fabric on the wrong side et voilà! You can stitch around the opening on the right side to assure it won't move, it can be pretty nice with fancy embroideries, but I didn't do it. I'm not much of a top stitching person!

Anyone interested by pictures of my sleeves?

 Ok, so, more preparation, notches, slashes. Actually, had I stitched them correctly, it would have  been a nice ride. 
But I forgot that I had changed the shoulder seam. And didn't make a mark on the fabric so I attached the top of the sleeve to much on the front of the shirt.  Good old seam reaper was called to the rescue!
Fortunately, I did good with the cuff, the hardest part is to stitch that little opening without making any unintended pleats, i think it can be easy or hard depending on your fabric. This one was nice to me:


Can you see on the first picture, I stitched around the little opening to make it stronger. Then I used a bias tape (not made on the bias, no need). Stitched it to the right side, a bit of ironing to fold it on the wrong side, then attached it by sewing just on the edge, this is why the second fold as to be a bit bigger than the first one.
And a few hours later: tada! 

Well, black is maybe not the best color in picture to see the details...

The lovely buttons are vintage, I bought them in a small haberdashery on the island of Groix in Brittany. There notions are all vintage, coming from an old store who closed maybe 20 years ago! I made a little holdup there before living, although it's really not easy buying notions when you don't know what you are going to use them for.

My photografer seems to have a thing for blurry pictures, what can you do? Anyway I'm very pleased by the shirt it's exaclty like I wanted it, I even did the sort of belt on the front of the shirt, nothing fancy, just a rectangular made with small stitches. I just need to shorten the cuffs, I have really tiny wrists. Better not say too much, this will be part of my next post...

conclusion: happy!! and blurry.


  1. Wow, that is incredible! I love both shirts (Robin's and yours!). I'm in love with the vintage buttons, too.

  2. Thanks! I love my buttons too! Each time I go to the shop who sells them, it takes me so much time to decide what to by!! They have such a huge selection, you should see their marine themed buttons! I might use some for some spring pants.