(I am so, so sorry if Gwen Stefani is now stuck in your head, but I honestly was chanting it throughout this project)
I took a quick trip to visit Simon in San Francisco at the end of February and managed to squeeze in time to make him this new shirt, which is… extremely bananas. Simon was fairly insistent he wanted a banana-print novelty shirt and what kind of wife would I be if I didn’t indulge in his whims…? 🍌

The fabric is a design from Hawthorne Supply Co., and you get to select what substrate you want to use; I chose cotton poplin for a proper crisp shirt, but they also sell this print in various jersey weights, cotton lawn or heavy cotton twills. I lowkey kinda want to make myself another baseball tee with this banana fabric; however, I am genuinely afraid that this will open the floodgates and suddenly everything that Simon and I wear will be banana-themed… but I digress. This poplin is great quality — it was very stable to sew, easy to cut without a huge amount of fraying, and the colours stayed vibrant after pre-washing. I do find that cotton poplins seem to magically hoover up every stray offcut of thread though… Is this just me?! I also used my favourite Pigeon Wishes resin buttons in the shade ‘Chai Latte’, which is the perfect finishing touch — the swirls of warm browns and cream are muted enough to not compete for attention against the zany fabric.

I have previously made Simon two shirts, using McCalls 6044, but I decided to use a new-to-me menswear shirt pattern after being inspired by Lia’s version earlier this year. The Men’s Fairfield Button-up Shirt by Thread Theory is a classic, slim-fit shirt with a grown-on front button placket, a curved hem, a back yoke that is faced, cuffs with a tower placket, and a proper collar with a collar stand. There are two options for the back, either with a pleat or fisheye darts. I chose to go for the more fitted look with the back fisheye darts and made the shirt up in a Medium; I made a muslin first, which involved lengthening the bodice and arms by several inches until I was satisfied with the fit.

Two-part collar
Topstitched cuffs
Tower placket

I am so happy with how much detail there is in this pattern and how much care I put into it! I am thrilled with the tower placket in particular, which I had hyped up in my head as something super complicated, but was actually pretty simple. The Thread Theory sew-along for this step was helpful and I used a washable glue stick to keep everything in place, which was a game-changer. I enjoyed making the yoke using the burrito method, but I did find setting in the sleeves tricky; I just could not seem to get them into place smoothly, and I was worried about damaging the poplin by endless unpicking. In the end, I added a pleat to the sleeve cap to force it to fit in the armscye. I will probably fuss around with reducing the sleeve cap ease in the next version I make, as well as moving the back darts closer to the centre back.

The seams are all flat-felled, with the seam allowances already offset, so do be cautious when sewing! The insides are all neat and pretty though 😊 It came together fairly speedily after making the fitting adjustments, and I finished it off by spending Sunday evening on the sofa, sewing on the buttons while watching a film together. I definitely see myself making more versions of the Fairfield shirt for Simon, as he is happy with both the fit and the style.

Thread Theory Fairfield Button-up Shirt
Size XS – 4XL
Chest: 36 ¼″ – 50″
Waist: 31 ½″ – 54 ⅜″
Hips: 39 ⅜″ – 53 ⅛″

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  1. It looks so good and fits him so well! I’ve definitely lowered the sleeve head on this pattern (plus I never flat-fell the armscye anymore), and the fit really isn’t impacted – it’s so tall/curvy as drafted, there’s height to spare! Also I didn’t know you could customize the print/substrate at Hawthorne…that’s some dangerous knowledge.

    1. Oooh that’s great to know I can make that change without affecting the fit, thanks! 😊
      And yes, it is some dangerous knowledge…! I am now eyeing up even more fabrics to add to my stash 😅

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