You may recall, I made Mr. AFS a plaid flannel shirt a little over a year ago from Simplicity 1544. Since then I’ve gone on to make more versions of the shirt, perfecting fitting problems each time and so this iteration is pretty much near perfect for his body and build. Additionally, he wears that first flannel shirt a lot when it starts getting cold. In fact, it’s surprising just how much he wears it considering he doesn’t like plaid – it’s the flannel. He just loves the warmth. So I thought it was time that he received another. I hauled him on over to a Joann and had him pick out his own flannel this time. They have a surprising collection of flannels – called “plaiditudes” – that are quite thick and fluffy and soft. They wash up OK (just OK, not great) too and since I can’t get my hands on any of that Robert Kaufman Mammoth Flannel locally, this works.


Fitting changes for Simplicity 1544 since the first iteration: I’ve had to widen the collar – or make it 2 sizes larger because the original was too small in the neck. I narrowed the shoulder seam so that the point where the sleeve connects rests at the point where his shoulder point actually is and doesn’t droop over the side (which is not necessarily a bad thing, just not the look I was going for). Had to give him a little extra room in the upper back and then nipped in the waist section a touch. The sleeves were considerably shortened (very long in the sleeve on this pattern) and the cuff tightened.


Since this flannel is so wonderfully thick, I thought I should try my hand at a convertible collar version for this shirt as it seemed like it could cut down on the bulk in the neck area. I took a vintage pj top pattern (which I made for Mr. AFS a few years ago!) and stole the collar and the facing piece from it and converted my Simplicity 1544 to have a convertible collar option. From there, I made a few more drafting decisions based on eliminating bulk. I decided to create an all-in-one convertible collar and I did a fold over facing instead of one that is stitched on. The all-in-one convertible collar is pretty slick. It’s an idea that I saw Louise Cutting do (Threads article here) and I’ve long wanted to try it because I love basically everything that woman does. You basically take the collar piece, eliminate the seam at the collar’s edge and attach an under collar that has a seam down the center back of the collar. It has all the bells and whistles of a jacket collar, but all in one – the under collar section is on a slight bias (not a true 45• angle, but still) and has a seam down the center and that creates a nice turn of the cloth for the upper collar. Seriously, slick.


I stole a new pocket pattern from the Negroni free download – great pocket patterns by the way! – and from there it was all easy as pie. This is also one of my best ever plaid matching jobs. I opted to use Tasia’s way of cutting plaids this time – well sort of. I prep my pattern pieces a little differently for a plaid, but I used her pinning technique for the fabric. I’ve normally done the pieces one by one. I’ll lay a just cut piece on top of another that’s not cut to make sure I get an exact match and pretty much 100% of the time, the cut piece gets distorted just by moving it and/or the cutting is never as precise as doing them in double layer. It sounds a little crazy, but it happens. Cutting two layers at once eliminates that small distortion and can produce a more happy plaid matching experience. Just some food for thought.



Mr. AFS is loving his new shirt. Fits quite a bit better than the first version and I’m liking the convertible collar here. Itching to make my own! Previously, I’ve not been much of a convertible collar fan, but they have a place. Yay for plaid flannel shirt weather!



14 thoughts on “lumberjack

  1. That I’d really a great looking shirt. I’m loving this plaid,and impressed it’s from Joann. Great idea, the collar. I made my husband a plaid flannel Negroni last year and am planning to make another for him this Christmas from a McCall’s pattern.

  2. Wow! That is such a nice shirt! I looked up the pattern, Simplicity 1544. I can’t buy Simplicity patterns locally, so I’ll have to order it online. Your plaid matching is perfect! I have a hubby and three boys – two are teens. We live in a cold climate, so this may be something I will have to tackle in the new year (Christmas sewing is priority #1 now).

  3. I love the way you give tips that take me to a threads article that I had not seen and the collar was not aware of,the seamless collar. Thank you for all your posts,your ideas and styles of writing are wonderful to read.

  4. Oh, nice job on the plaid matching!!!! You know that sound that comes from fingernails on a blackboard? That is the feeling I get when I see those expensive flannel shirts in the stores and the plaids DON’T MATCH.

    Mr. AFS looks very handsome in his new shirt.

  5. Love it! The fabric is perfect and it looks comfy but cool at the same time. I always have problems with the hem when sewing shirts, especially with narrow hems and the curve at the union between fronts and back. Do you have any tips?

  6. Wonderful read. I like that you explained how to adjust the collar. I love working with plaids even though they can be a pain to line up some times. The shirt came out so nicely.

  7. Lovely flannel shirt, yesss! Very good plaid matching job, excellent idea about the neck, and cuffs are also lovely (and a very good way to avoid bulkiness. Regarding the pattern, after so many crucial modifications, and your own ability at drafting variations, I think you should be better off doing your whole patterns yourself, to stop walking around the bush, if you know what I mean, hehe…

  8. This looks great! I used to work at a Joann’s and I loved when the Plaiditudes line came in, in the fall. It does have a really nice hand, beefier than our usual flannel, but mostly I love the name. PLAIDITUDES. hahaha!

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