Sewing: Shirt in smaller sizes

You can’t make a shirt for sale in just one size. You have to make it in a bunch of different sizes. At every size, you have to determine if the shirt design still works, too, to see if a) it fits the people it’s supposed to fit; b) to see if people like it enough to wear it; and c) if people like it enough to buy it to wear it. Those things are tall orders, so I’m making this new shirt pattern in a bunch of different sizes. It will be interesting to see which runs out first: my patience and love of the design, or the desire of people to own one of these shirts for themselves. I’m suspecting the first one.

But that means I’m making shirts. And I’ll have to sell them as prototypes, because they are prototypes — they’re me learning how to make the shirt, and learning how to make it to a high enough standard that I feel comfortable offering them. This shirt, for example, makes use of flat felled seams, a super fancy technique for avoiding a lot of serging on the inside, or the use of bias tape or really any kind of fabric tape at all. So far I’ve made four: two XXXLs (about a 52US chest), an XXL (about a size 50US chest), and an XL (about a 48US chest). Guess which size I am?

The other thing that I realized, is that it’s incumbent upon me to learn how to make clothes, and then wear them. It’s not enough to make cool clothes for other people to wear; I have to wear them too. A number of years ago, I bought a Utilikilt. They were new, not very common on the east coast of the US. For a few years I was way out there, in fashion, and no one else followed. So I gave up. But a few years later, there were Utilikilts everywhere in at least one of the communities I belong to — they became the popular thing all at once. I don’t know that I had anything to do with that (zeitgeists do occur naturally without my input), but there’s no point in trying to sell clothes that I make if I’m not wearing them. So I have to start wearing them. Given that I really, really like this shirt pattern, I guess that means I have to make a few more XXXLs for myself, and see if anyone says, “hey, nice shirt! Where’d you get it?”

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