Sewing clothes for my children gives me a lot of joy. It is fairly easy to get things to fit better than off the peg and doesn’t take too much material or time to make things. H is genuinely enthused by having something made for her – particularly if I take her views and tastes into account, S is too young to care (hooray I get to choose….I feel a romper suit may be in the pipeline for this summer!) and I definitely feel a certain (smug?) satisfaction watching them run around in homemade clothes. I have, however, always been extremely reluctant to make anything for O. Partly because the time invested making something means that if he ended up not liking or wearing it there’s an immediate cause for conflict, and also because I’ve never particularly wanted to be the sort of girlfriend that picks out clothes for him to wear. BUT, O has been asking me to make something for him for ages, and as it was his birthday at the weekend I relented and gave it a go, assuming that my birthday gift would not actually be the shirts, but not holding it against him if he didn’t like them. He chose the material – I wouldn’t feel confident choosing anything that loud for someone else – ‘Riley Blake, Geekly Chic Records Gray‘ and ‘Wilmington Prints – Golden Endless Spring Parasols’. Needless to say I have never bought material that expensive for my own clothes, but then, it was a special birthday. I used McCall’s 6044 as it looked fairly simple and had good reviews on sewdirect, making one long-sleeved version without pockets and one short-sleeved version with a single chest pocket. The pattern was fine – the sizing was generous and I ended up making the shoulders slightly narrower, but I didn’t like the construction on the long sleeve. It suggested making it in two pieces instead of inserting a placket but because I was being wary of pattern matching the records and because I wanted it to look like most other mens shirts I ended up taping the two pattern pieces together, cutting a single piece sleeve and inserting a placket using this tutorial. Also apart from the western style shirt there was no yoke included in the pattern which seemed a bit weird so I cut one and put two pleats in the lower back piece. With those alterations they turned out pretty well – I used flat-felled seams and dodgy top-stitching everywhere. O must have liked them because he is now requesting a suit!