Men’s Cotton Chambray Western Shirt


This month, I decided to go for an understated urban cowboy look.

At Mood Fabrics in New York City, I found not one, but two beautiful Japanese chambrays in denim-y tones.   (To see Mood’s online selection of cotton chambray, click here.)  I used to get denim and chambray confused.  Both use colored yarn in the warp and white yarn in the weft, but chambray is a plain weave and denim is a twill.

I decided to make a Western-style shirt and to combine the two chambray fabrics, using the darker of the two for the front and back yokes (cut on the bias), collar and collar stand, cuffs, and pocket flaps.  (My inspiration was this denim shirt from Levi’s Vintage line.)

The pattern I used is one I found on eBay, Simplicity 6955, which dates from 1966.  I made Version 2, which has shaped front yokes.  I added a shaped back yoke, as well as Western shirt-type pockets.  I also narrowed the collar to give it a more contemporary feel.  (TIP: if you’re combining different fabrics that are going to be washed and dried together, make sure you thoroughly pre-shrink them before you use them.)  Finally, I removed the back pleats and added a sloping shoulder adjustment to keep the shirt looking trim, as opposed to blouse-y.




In addition to combining the light and dark chambrays, I lined my inside collar stand, cuffs, and pocket flaps with some Liberty-style cotton shirting left over from my Mood Sewing Network January project (a good reason to save your fabric scraps).  I also finished the hem with bias strips I cut from the same floral fabric.  Custom details like these are one of the joys of sewing your own clothes, don’t you think?




Naturally, a Western-style shirt needs pearl snaps.  Dritz sells them in 12-packs.  They’re not hard to attach, but they do require careful measuring: once they’re hammered in they can’t be adjusted like a button can.


Here’s the finished shirt, which is extremely soft and comfy.  I think the chambray looks even more beautiful after washing and drying (i.e., slightly rumpled).





I don’t usually wear cowboy-inspired clothes but this shirt is subdued enough that I don’t look like I’m headed to a rodeo.  Not that there’s anything wrong with THAT.

See you next month!




  • matt
    April 21, 2015

    what a great shirt! it turned out really well. the details in the cuffs are so cool. well done.

  • Kathy
    April 21, 2015

    Love it!!!!

  • DebB
    April 21, 2015

    That look is great on you! Your fabric choices were just perfect. I always love seeing your projects!

  • Karen T.
    April 21, 2015

    You did an excellent job! Bravo!

  • Graca
    April 21, 2015

    Woohee! Nice job, your topstitching is perfect.

  • patsijean
    April 22, 2015

    Perfect !

  • Joanne
    April 22, 2015

    Love the floral trim – especially the bias binding on the hem – gorgeous detail.

  • Sandi
    April 22, 2015

    Beautiful as always,,,,how DO you get your topstitching so perfect?
    I think you should do a blog post on topstitching.
    Always love to see your name pop up in my inbox.

  • eimear
    April 22, 2015

    love it, the detail is gorgeous (i just noticed the view 3 on the pattern envelope – that tie that shirt!!!) agree with a comment above, your top stitching is perfect – any tips for readers?

  • Sew Busy Lizzy
    April 22, 2015

    I have a massive crush on this shirt. It’s fabulous! I love the fabric choices and adore the yokes, pearl snaps… well I just like everything! So much fun and so much attention to detail.

  • Becky
    April 22, 2015

    Love it!!

  • Erica B.
    April 22, 2015

    I love this shirt Peter. Do you watch “Modern Family”? Cam wears the greatest shirts! If he wore a western look, this would be it! Awesome use of fabrics!

  • sallie
    April 22, 2015

    Great shirt Peter! I always think a little bit of Western flair is fun!

  • Ginger
    April 22, 2015

    Love it! I really like shirts with western detailing, and this one looks cool without being too over the top. Fantastic work!

  • Amanda S.
    April 22, 2015

    Very fun and playful! I love that your personality shows through on what you make.

  • Janine
    April 22, 2015

    There’s nothing like a good vintage pattern for a man’s shirt. The shape of the yoke is so uniquely vintage, and makes for such a “custom” shirt. It’s quite eye catching.

  • Pamela O'Connor
    April 22, 2015

    Looks great . . . so great that you just may usher in a renaissance of the Urban Cowboy look.

  • Lori
    April 22, 2015

    From a midwesterner and a farmer/rancher you look great in your new shirt. I love the two colors of fabric and your stitching is perfect.

  • sewgirl66
    April 22, 2015

    What a great looking shirt! Perfect topstitching and details and I love the contrasting collar stand, inside cuffs and binding on the hem. Beautiful!!

  • Kimberly
    April 23, 2015

    I always love the thought you put into detail in your outfits. Per usual – well done.

  • Fiona
    April 24, 2015

    Love the liberty print details and pearl snaps Peter! Beautiful construction and topstitching as always!

  • Pat
    April 24, 2015

    I love the bias yokes – the grain adds a really cool texture. Excellent work as always, Peter.

  • Sarah Gunn
    April 26, 2015

    Way to go Peter! Your topstitching is divine 🙂

  • Cennetta
    April 26, 2015

    Well done, Peter. You do such a fantastic job with crafting shirts with beautiful details.

  • Sew Well
    April 30, 2015

    I really like the hints of floral. They really amp up the playfulness of the shirt!