Men’s Cotton Camouflage Shirt Jacket


Camo is everywhere these days.

As much as I like the look on others, I never thought camo — classic army green camo — was flattering on me.   So I was delighted when I found this dark gray camouflage fabric, a crisp lightweight Italian cotton, at Mood Fabrics in New York City.  (There’s still some available at Mood online here. Rest assured, there’s no green in it.)

Since we’re enjoying spring weather this February, I decided to make a generously proportioned shirt that could also be worn as a windbreaker.

I found my inspiration from a (very) vintage men’s shirt pattern, Simplicity 3089, which dates from 1939.  Why do I use vintage patterns so often?  For one thing, they come in single sizes, so there’s no tracing involved.  I also find them well drafted and, frankly, charming.  Couldn’t you see a young Tyrone Power sporting something like this?


I made a few changes to the original pattern.  I replaced the gathers under the back yoke (see illustration above) with two side pleats.  (My fabric was too crisp to drape into soft gathers, and gathers are hard to press neatly.)


I liked the pockets in the original pattern, but they were too small to be practical.  The pockets I prefer are zippered breast pockets large enough for a pair of sunglasses or a smart phone.  So I added them.  As you can see below, the zippers have flaps (or shields) covering them.  You can see one of the chrome-plated zipper pulls just above my hand.



The interior pocket bag is stitched and serged for a neat finish.  I also attached a piece of selvage that connects the top of the pocket bag to the side seam so that the bag doesn’t sag.  This keeps the front of the jacket looking neat.

The last change I made was to add a front zipper in place of buttons.  I opted for a two-way zipper, which allows me to open the jacket from the bottom — extremely handy if you’re going to ride a bicycle, which I often do.


My shirt jacket has traditional cuffs, a convertible collar, and a straight bottom hem.  It’s simple but, I believe, elegant and, in this gray colorway, extremely practical.  I’ll be wearing this starting today, when temperatures are predicted to rise into the mid 60’s Fahrenheit.  Winter?  What was that? (!)




I am so glad to have an easy-to-wear camouflage garment in my wardrobe.  Camo is the new black, don’t you think?

QUESTION: Do you see silhouettes of rats on this fabric?  I do — and I love it!



In closing, do you like your camo gray, army green, tan, or something else entirely?  Be sure to check out Mood’s assortment of camo prints — on everything from cotton voile to poly charmeuse — here.

Thanks for reading and see you next month!




  • Jean
    February 23, 2017

    I love that. I quite understand the green thing. I never wear green either, unless it is a vivid lime green.
    I seem to love most of your makes. Just a shame my husband isn’t up for such extrovert clothes!

  • Karen
    February 23, 2017

    Very sharp. You did a fantastic job as always. And now that you pointed out the rats I can’t unsee them!

  • Victoria
    February 23, 2017

    Nice job. I noticed the rats from the first glance!

  • Cheryl
    February 23, 2017

    Love this on you. What better in NYC than camo rats!

  • Cennetta
    February 24, 2017

    The weather this week has been fantastic. Can you believe it? Here in Chicago, it’s starting to change. SNOW this evening. With just a few days of spring and I’m spoiled. Lol

    The real reason for commenting..,
    Your jacket is perfect for 60 degrees. All of the changes you made from the enlargement of the pockets to the pleats below the back yoke make the lines smooth and crisp. Excellent craftsmanship as always. My choice of camo would be the tan colorway. Have a good weekend.

  • sewgirl68
    February 24, 2017

    As always, you did a beautiful job and the marriage of pattern and fabric is perfect along with your expert pattern modifications.
    Love the silver and turquoise accessories too!!

  • Lisa E
    February 24, 2017

    Love your shirt jacket. The gray camo is perfect. My favorite part of the shirt is the zippered pockets; I want some!

  • Edina
    February 25, 2017

    Gorgeous! Great job but the rats do creep me out a bit.

  • Fiona
    February 26, 2017

    What a great match of garment and fabric Peter. I have to say my favourite part is the pockets, what a great idea! They have a slight utility feel to them with the zips and horizontal openings which works so well with the came

    • Fiona
      February 26, 2017

      Sorry autocorrect! Works so well with camo!

  • Sarah Gunn
    February 26, 2017

    Great jacket, Peter! I especially love the addition of your zip pockets.

  • Lori
    March 6, 2017

    That is a great look and I really like the gray camo for a different look.